Rice Noodles vs Egg Noodles: What Are the Differences?

Understanding the different types of noodles is crucial in the culinary world. There are many variations of noodles, but two of the most notable ones are egg noodles and rice noodles. Each type of noodle is used in specific dishes. While ramen and Thai pad chicken are only a few examples of delicious noodle dishes, they represent the best of Japanese and Thai cuisine. Noodles are incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed in various ways – as a cold appetizer, stir-fried, or even in soup. This is because noodles have a neutral flavor, making them a versatile base for many dishes. Noodles, along with rice and tofu, are staple ingredients in Asian cuisine.

So, how do rice noodles compare to egg noodles: what sets them apart? Keep reading to discover the answer!

What Is the Difference Between Rice Noodles vs Egg Noodles?

infographic on difference between rice noodles and egg noodles

Rice noodles are typically used in dishes like chow fun and mei fun, which can be made with sticks of rice or vermicelli noodles. One version of dried rice noodles is called “fun,” and it is a popular choice. These noodles have been discovered in China for almost 2,000 years, and they come in various different varieties. Some noodle makers add cornstarch or tapioca starch to make the noodles more transparent and chewier, but rice noodles are essentially made from water and rice flour.

a chef making handmade noodles

On the other hand, we have egg noodles, which are basically created by combining flour, water, salt, and wheat eggs. These noodles give a golden yellow hue to their noodles. It is said that egg noodles were discovered way back during the Han dynasty in China. However, Italians also claim to have developed this wonder food. One thing is for sure: making these noodles is as fun as eating them! If you want to try making these noodles, you can follow this easy and quick egg noodle recipe.

If you still can’t decide between these two noodles, let’s help you choose. Noodle soup or stir-fried dishes are well-known as perfect comfort foods, so it’s up to you.

Appearance

In your local grocery store, you will usually find a dried version of the most popular variety of noodles, which are white when cooked and become transparent in color. These noodles typically look like thin, round strips and are thinner than pasta noodles – they resemble string-like strands. Although flat, long varieties of noodles are also available in the market.

dried rice noodles on a brown woven cloth

Handmade rice noodles.

Conversely, shorter and broader ones typically utilize German cuisine, whereas long, flat strips are commonly found in Japanese and Chinese cuisine. Noodles that are thin and stringy, with a bow-shaped form, are most commonly associated with egg noodles, which come in various shapes. However, the shape and size of noodles can vary, with egg noodles usually having a golden yellow color.

handmade egg noodles on a wooden chopping board

Homemade egg pasta.

Taste and Texture

Chefs usually add cornstarch or tapioca when making rice noodles to create a texture that is both chewy and smoother. This is why it’s easy to slurp down rice noodles. If you wonder why, it’s because rice noodles, flavorwise, have a more neutral and basic taste compared to rice. That’s why they can be paired with different dishes like Thai basil stir-fry or soups and curries. It makes for a perfect base food, but some may find its flavor bland, similar to plain rice.

Adding salt to these noodles enhances their texture, making them springy and chewy, while also strengthening the dough structure. On the other hand, the salty flavor of egg noodles is derived from the inclusion of salt. Additionally, the eggs contribute to the main ingredients of these noodles, imparting a subtle hint of savory richness. In contrast, egg noodles possess a slightly salty and savory flavor.

Rice Noodles vs Egg Noodles: Nutritional Value

freshly made noodles on a plate beside eggs

Is it essential to know the nutritional value of the food we consume, including egg noodles and rice, to ensure that we eat healthy? Therefore, it is important to consider our options and make informed choices when it comes to the nutritional value of the food we consume.

The carbohydrate content of noodles and rice ranges from 43.8 grams to 41 grams. It contains 3.1 grams of protein per serving and only 0.4 grams of fat. This food is low in fat and is considered a low-fat option. It has approximately 187 calories per serving, excluding other ingredients and condiments. Judging solely by the calorie count, plain noodles and rice have lower carbohydrate, fat, and protein content compared to egg noodles. Therefore, we can say that rice noodles are healthier than egg noodles.

Rice noodles are lower in calories compared to other types of noodles, with approximately 40 grams per serving. They are relatively high in carbohydrates, with 7 grams of protein and 3 grams of fat. A serving of plain egg noodles without any condiments or additional ingredients has 221 calories, whereas other variations of egg noodles may have different calorie counts.

When it comes to cooking these noodles, be careful when using other fatty oils and butter as it affects the nutritional content. Just pair these noodles with ingredients that will cook well when stir-fried or cooked. On the other hand, if you are on a protein-rich diet, egg noodles are the way to go. If you are looking for a low-protein, low-fat option to add to your diet, then rice noodles are a good choice. Considering that calories are only a small part of what defines a healthy diet for your body, it depends on you to determine which between egg noodles and rice noodles is healthier in general.

ALSO READ: Chow Mein vs Lo Mein- What Are Their Key Differences?

Rice Noodles & Egg Noodles: Gluten-Free and Vegan?

When buying noodles or rice, please take note of the different types of starches or wheat flour that manufacturers may add. It’s important to know that not all variations are gluten-free. If you follow a vegan or gluten-free diet, you can include noodles or rice in most of your meal plans. Additionally, noodles and rice made from plant-based ingredients are also suitable for a vegan-friendly diet. Cornstarch and tapioca flour are both gluten-free and starch-free ingredients, while rice flour is gluten-free but not entirely starch-free.

Vegans cannot consume noodles made with eggs, as eggs are one of the primary ingredients. However, people who cannot consume gluten can still enjoy egg noodles using gluten-free alternatives. Some manufacturers have developed various gluten-free options, although they still contain gluten, which is derived from wheat flour, the main ingredient in most egg noodles. Nonetheless, there are vegan and gluten-free egg noodles available.

Can You Substitute Egg Noodles for Rice Noodles?

a man cooking noodles using a wok

As an alternative, you can use rice noodles instead of egg noodles. The choice depends on your preference. You can also cook them together. There are stir-fried noodle recipes that incorporate both egg noodles and rice noodles. The Miki Bihon dish is a perfect example of this. It combines Miki (fresh egg noodles) and bihon (a variety of rice noodles) stir-fried with other meats and vegetables.

Which Is Better, Rice Noodles or Egg Noodles?

At the end of the day, when it comes to preference, all it boils down to is the even appearance, nutritional value, texture, and taste. If you are looking for rice noodles that are slurpy, chewy, and gluten-free, you can choose from a wide range of varieties in the market. Some people prefer egg noodles that come in different sizes and shapes and have a bouncy texture. However, it is important to note that there are both disadvantages and advantages, not just in terms of health but also in terms of flavor.