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Egg Noodles vs. Rice Noodles: 6 Key Differences to Know

Noodles are an amazingly versatile food people have enjoyed for thousands of years.

However, when you’re walking down the aisle looking at all the different types of noodles, it’s hard to know if you should choose egg noodles or rice noodles.

So today, we’re chatting about egg noodles and rice noodles, what the differences are between the two noodles, and how to choose which one is right for you.

Plus, you’ll come away with two amazing recipes that feature either egg noodles or rice noodles.

About Egg Noodles

fresh egg noodles

Egg noodles are made by mixing and then kneading eggs and flour into an unleavened dough. Then the dough is rolled flat and cut into various strips and shapes. It can be dried for future use or cooked and eaten fresh.

Dried egg noodles will keep for many months if stored at room temperature in an airtight container. Fresh egg noodles will keep for only a few days if refrigerated.

Egg noodles absorb flavors well and are a common addition to soups, risottos, and pasta salads.

Here is a popular recipe that use egg noodles.

homemade paprika chicken stroganoff

Paprika Chicken Stroganoff

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Nothing is better on a cold winter night than serving delicious paprika chicken stroganoff to family and friends.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces uncooked wide egg noodles
  • 1 ½ pound of boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½-inch thick strips
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 1 pound sliced baby portobello mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, halved and sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup chicken stock or dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley

Instructions

1. In boiling water, add your noodles until desired texture.

2. Meanwhile, toss the chicken with paprika, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Then heat the oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven. Saute the chicken in batches until it's brown, taking about 2-3 minutes per batch. Remove from pan and set aside.

3. Using the same pan, saute the mushrooms in butter until lightly brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add the saute and onion until it's softened, which will take 3-4 minutes.

4. Now add the garlic. You will need to cook and stir for 1 minute.

5. Pour wine into the pan. Scrape the bottom with your spoon to loosen browned bits. Add stock, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard. Allow the mixture to cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10-12 minutes.

6. Stir in the chicken, turn the heat down to medium-low, and cook uncovered until the chicken is no longer pink.

7. Stir in the creme fraiche or sour cream, parsley, and the remaining salt and pepper before removing the pan from the heat. Stir in the noodles.

8. Serve hot.

Notes

Cream Fraiche is similar to sour cream but slightly thinner. The taste is richer but not as sour as sour cream.

The recipe was tested with chardonnay wine.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 446Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 131mgSodium: 828mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 30g

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About Rice Noodle

rice noodles

Rice noodles are made by mixing and kneading rice flour and water. Once the dough is made, it’s rolled flat and cut into the needed shapes and sizes.

hey come in wide varieties, including round rice stick (the most common form), flat rice stick (also called vermicelli), and thin rice vermicelli (also called rice ribbons).

Rice noodles have a subtle flavor. Soups, stir-fries, salads, and Asian dishes often call for rice noodles.

Rice noodles are commonly used in Vietnamese cuisine, but they may also be found in Chinese cuisine and other Southeast Asian cuisines such as Thai and Cambodian food.

Here is a popular recipe that call for rice noodles.

homemade grilled pork noodle salad

Grilled Pork Noodle Salad

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This grilled pork noodle salad is a delightful dish to enjoy on a hot summer day.

Ingredients

PORK MARINADE

  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 pork tenderloins (¾ pound each), cut into ½-inch slices
  • 1 package (8.8 ounces) of vermicelli-style thin rice noodles

DRESSING

  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce or soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon brown sugar

SALAD

  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 2 plum tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 medium cucumber, julienned
  • 2 medium carrots, julienned
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves

Instructions

1. Combine the marinade ingredients except for pork and noodles in a large shallow dish. Place the pork in the marinade and turn it over to ensure it's coated. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the pork for 3 hours or overnight.

2. Drain the pork and discard the marinade. Then lightly oil the grill rack. Now you will grill the pork covered over medium heat for about 1-2 minutes on each side. Make sure the pork reaches a temperature of 145°.

3. Follow the directions on the package to cook the noodles. Drain the noodles and rinse them under running cold water.

4. In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together.

5. Layout 6 bowls and divide the rice noodles among them. Arrange the salad vegetables, herbs, and pork over the noodles. Drizzle with dressing and toss to combine.

Notes

The oil from hot peppers can burn your skin. Consider wearing protective gloves when chopping hot peppers and avoid touching your face.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 145Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 946mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 11g

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Differences Between Egg Noodle and Rice Noodle

There are several differences between egg noodles and rice noodles, including the ingredients, nutritional values, and the taste of the noodles.

Differences

Egg Noodles

Rice Noodles

Color

Yellow

White

Ingredients

Wheat flour, egg, water, and a small amount of salt

Rice flour and water

Cooking Method

Boil for 5-7 minutes before using

Soak in hot water for 1-2 minute before using

Taste & Texture

Chewy texture

Mild rice taste

Gluten

Contain gluten

Don't contain gluten

Calories

More calories

Less calories

Ingredients

Egg noodles are made with wheat flour, eggs, and water with a small amount of salt. The dough is kneaded before rolled flat and cut into the desired noodle shapes.

Rice noodles do not include wheat flour or animal products as they’re made with rice flour and water. Tapioca or cornstarch may be added to improve the texture of the noodles.

Rice noodles are an excellent choice for vegans and people who are gluten intolerant as the noodles don’t contain any wheat or animal products.

Because egg noodles contain more protein than rice noodles, they will cook faster than other types of noodles, such as spaghetti.

Rice noodles stick together if cooked incorrectly, so add plenty of olive oil or butter to keep them separate while cooking.

Cooking Method

Egg noodles need to be boiled for 5-7 minutes, although the time will vary depending upon the thickness of the noodle and the brand.

egg noodles image

You don’t need to boil rice noodles. Instead, soak them in hot water for 1-2 minutes. Check the instructions for the thickness and brand of noodles.

Taste

Egg noodles absorb flavors and have a chewy texture, while rice noodles have a subtle flavor with a mild rice taste.

Rice noodles tend to be crispier than egg noodles, making them an excellent addition to soups, stir-fries, and salads. Egg noodles are often used in soups, pasta salads, and risottos.

Gluten

Rice noodles are made from rice flour, whereas egg noodles are made from wheat flour.

For this reason,  rice noodles don’t contain gluten, so they’re safe for people with celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or allergies.

Egg noodles can be a problem for people with these conditions because they contain gluten.

Rice Noodles Vs. Egg Noodles Calories

Rice noodles have fewer calories than egg noodles, so if you wish to watch your calories, rice noodles are the better choice.

Egg Noodle Calories: 1 cup of cooked egg noodle typically has 221 calories.

Rice Noodle Calories: 1 cup of cooked rice noodles made with white rice has 193 calories.

Egg Noodles Vs. Rice Noodles for Diabetics

Egg noodles have more protein, while rice noodles have more carbohydrates. The advantage of more carbohydrates is that rice noodles provide more carbs for the body to transform into energy.

However, the glycemic index score of egg noodles is 40 compared to that of rice noodles which is 61.

A lower glycemic index means the food is less likely to suddenly cause blood sugar levels to increase.

Are Rice Noodles or Egg Noodles Better?

dried rice noodles

Rice noodles are typically used in Asian cooking to replace wheat-based pasta. They are made from rice flour and water.

Rice noodles don’t include wheat or animal products. They’re an excellent choice if someone eating the noodles is gluten intolerant or vegan.

A person with diabetes may also wish to use rice noodles because they’re high in the carbohydrates that the body needs to transform into energy.

Egg noodles are made from flour and eggs. They have a soft texture that makes them suitable for soups, stews, and other dishes that require a very soft noodle.

Egg noodles are also easy to cook — just boil water in a pot until it boils, throw in your egg noodles, then let them sit for about 8-10 minutes (depending on how soft you like your noodles). 

A vegetarian may prefer egg noodles as they have more protein, a richer taste, and are more filling.

FAQs About Rice and Egg Noodles

What has less carbs, rice noodles or egg noodles?

Egg noodles have fewer carbohydrates than rice noodles. The typical cup of egg noodles has 40 g of carbs, while a cup of rice noodles has 44 g of carbs.

Can you substitute egg noodles for rice noodles?

Yes, you can substitute egg noodles for rice in noodles. Cook the egg noodles to al dente before substituting them for rice noodles.

What is healthier rice noodle or egg noodle?

Rice noodles have fewer calories, while egg noodles have more protein and fat. Ultimately, the healthier choice for you will depend upon your nutritional needs.

Can I substitute egg noodles for rice noodles for pad thai?

Yes, egg noodles are an acceptable substitute for rice noodles when making pad thai. Make sure that you cook the egg noodles to al dente.

Substitute the cooked egg noodles when the recipe instructs you to add rice noodles.

Conclusion

Egg noodles and rice noodles are both popular dishes in Asian cuisine. They are made from different ingredients and provide different textures in the finished dish.

The choice of noodles you pick will depend on the texture you’re looking for and what shies you plan on preparing.

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I’m Jennifer Schlette, a Registered Dietitian and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I love cooking, reading, and my kids! Here you’ll find the healthiest recipes & substitutions for your cooking. Enjoy, and be well, friends!

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