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Milk Street Noodles
Secrets to the World’s Best Noodles, from Fettuccine Alfredo to Pad Thai to Miso Ramen
Formats and Prices
- Hardcover $35.00 $44.00 CAD
- ebook $16.99 $21.99 CAD
This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around April 25, 2023. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.
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Nearly every culture serves some sort of noodle, from fettuccine, ramen and spaetzle, to lo mein, gnocchi and udon. So we traveled the world to learn the secrets to the best pad Thai, Italian ragu, spicy North African couscous and buttery Turkish noodles flecked with feta.
- In Italy, we were taught the real fettuccine Alfredo—so much lighter, simpler and more satisfying than what we knew.
- In Sapporo, Japan, we learned how to develop the deep umami flavors of miso ramen with minimal time and effort.
- And from Ho Chi Minh City to Lima, we learned the art of the quick noodle stir-fry, from Vietnamese shrimp noodles to Peruvian chicken and pasta
We include guides to using the noodles you have on hand, and show how to make classic noodles from scratch—from homemade udon and hand-cut wheat noodles to fresh egg pasta, orecchiette and potato gnocchi.
What's for dinner? Use your noodle.
Use Your Noodles
Asian Egg Noodles
Chicken Noodle Soup with Turmeric and Coconut Milk
Vietnamese Pan-Fried Noodles with Shrimp and Bok Choy
Asian Wheat Noodles
Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup
Asian Yellow Wheat Noodles
Savory-Sweet Stir-Fried Noodles and Vegetables
Pasta with Cauliflower, Lemon and Pistachios
Pasta with Cauliflower, Garlic and Toasted Breadcrumbs
Pasta with Broccolini, Anchovies and Garlic
Creamy Four-Cheese Pasta
Spicy Peruvian-Style Beef and Noodle Soup
Mexican Chicken and Fideos Soup
Pasta and Seafood “Paella”
Pearl Couscous and Zucchini Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette
Pearl Couscous Pilaf with Artichokes, Green Olives and Dill
Harissa-Garlic Pearl Couscous and Shrimp
North African Chicken Couscous
Dang Myun (Sweet Potato Noodles)
Korean Stir-Fried Noodles with Mushrooms and Spinach
Korean Chicken and Noodle Stew with Potatoes and Mushrooms
Soupe au Pistou
Noodle Kugel with Leeks, Mushrooms and Goat Cheese
Farfalle with Zucchini, Pecorino and Basil
Farfalle with Creamy Carrots and Pancetta
Chicken and Mushroom Noodle Soup with Sauerkraut
Fettuccine with Corn, Tomatoes and Bacon
Chinese Hot Oil Noodles with Bok Choy
Turkish-Style Noodles with Butter, Walnuts and Feta
Pasta and Lentils with Pomegranate Molasses
Crispy Pasta with Chickpeas, Lemon and Parsley
Fregola with Chicken, Chard and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Thai Pork, Glass Noodle and Herb Salad
Spicy Glass Noodles with Ground Pork
Gnocchi with Pancetta and Garlic
Gnocchi with Pesto alla Genovese
Peruvian Spinach Pesto Pasta
Linguine with Artichokes, Lemon and Pancetta
Japanese Macaroni Salad
Catalan Noodles with Pork and Chorizo
Orecchiette with Sardinian Sausage Ragù
Orecchiette with Coriander and Cherry Tomatoes
Toasted Orzo Salad with Roasted Pepper, Feta and Herbs
Harissa-Spiced Beef and Pasta Soup
Greek Orzo and Tomato Soup
Shrimp with Orzo, Tomatoes and Feta
Orzo with Chicken, Tomatoes and Feta
“Orzotto” with Asparagus, Lemon and Parmesan
Pasta with Spiced Beef, Caramelized Onions and Herbed Yogurt
Pasta with Spicy Tomato and Pancetta Sauce
Pasta with Fennel, Green Olive and Pistachio Pesto
Penne with Eggplant, Tomatoes and Ricotta Salata
One-Pot Pasta all’Arrabbiata
Baked Pasta with Eggplant, Sausage and Fontina
Sesame Noodles with Chicken and Scallions
Cold Ramen Salad with Soy and Sesame Dressing
Garlic and Black Pepper Noodles with Shrimp and Chives
Japanese Fried Noodles with Bacon and Cabbage
Rice Stick Noodles
Thai Stir-Fried Rice Noodles with Chicken and Basil
Pad Thai with Shrimp
Stir-Fried Rice Noodles with Beef and Broccolini
Lao Fried Noodles with Pork and Scallions
Cambodian-Style Rice Noodle Salad with Shrimp, Cucumber and Herbs
Vietnamese Rice Noodle Bowls with Broiled Marinated Pork
Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Peanut Sauce
Yunnanese-Style Pork and Rice Noodle Soup
Filipino Stir-Fried Rice Vermicelli with Shrimp and Snow Peas
Rigatoni with Pistachio, Ricotta and Herb Pesto
Rigatoni Carbonara with Peas
Rigatoni with Roman Broccoli Sauce
Rigatoni with Tomato, Kale and Fontina
Baked Pasta with Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella
Tuna and Pasta Gratin
Pasta with Butternut Squash, Browned Butter and Almonds
Chilled Soba with Ginger and Edamame
Soba Noodle Soup with Chicken and Watercress
Soba Noodles with Asparagus, Miso Butter and Egg
Miso-Walnut Soba with Bok Choy
Chilled Sesame-Soy Korean Noodles with Gochujang
Spaghetti with Parsley Pesto
Pasta with Lemon and Parmesan
Spaghetti with Anchovies, Pine Nuts and Raisins
Skillet Cacio e Pepe
Spaghetti with Garlic, Olive Oil and Chilies
Spaghetti with Lemon Pesto
Spaghetti with Shrimp, Tomatoes and White Wine
Spaghetti with Clams
Spaghetti with Tuna and Mushrooms
Peruvian Stir-Fried Chicken and Noodles
Spaghetti with Goat Cheese, Mint and Peas
Pasta with Tomato, Onion and Butter
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Pasta with Sausage, Olive and Fennel Seed Ragù
Tagliatelle alla Bolognese
Tagliatelle with Mushroom Ragù
Udon Noodles in Soy Broth
Spicy Korean-Style Noodle and Seafood Soup
Chinese Chili and Scallion Noodles
Shanghai-Style Fried Noodles
Stir-Fried Noodles with Kimchi and Pork
Udon Noodles with Spicy Meat and Mushroom Sauce
Indian Vermicelli with Peas and Cilantro
Maltese-Style Vermicelli Omelet
Whole-Wheat Pasta with Chard, Potatoes and Fontina
Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes, Capers and Herbs
Ziti with Tomatoes, Olives and Fried Capers
Pasta with Oven-Braised Pork and Rosemary Ragù
China is home to the world’s oldest known noodles, a bowl of slender, yellow strands about 4,000 years old that were unearthed at an excavation site near the Yellow River. Modern-day Asian noodles typically are made from wheat or rice, though there also are varieties made from yam and mung beans. They may be chewy, soft, springy, dried or fresh. Wheat-based Asian noodles aren’t made of the hard durum wheat typical of Italian pasta and, therefore, cook more quickly. Some require rinsing after cooking to remove excess starch, and all are cooked in unsalted water. They should be cooked until tender—not al dente. Tasting for doneness is the best way to know when your noodles are ready.
Asian Wheat Noodles
Wheat noodles comprise a broad category, but when we refer to fresh Asian wheat noodles we generally mean varieties that are about the size of spaghetti. They’re great in stir-fries or simply sauced. Fresh Asian noodles are often sold in the refrigerated section of the supermarket, near the tofu. Dried Asian wheat noodles, in particular lo mein, are also a good and often more widely available option.
Glass noodles are thin and wiry and are sometimes called cellophane noodles, bean threads or sai fun. Made of vegetable starch, usually mung bean, they turn translucent when cooked. Typical prep is a 15-minute soak in boiling water.
Chewy and stretchy, ramen are made of wheat flour and an alkaline solution that gives the noodles their yellow hue and springy texture. They usually are eaten in brothy soups or stir-fried with vegetables and are most commonly sold in the U.S. in instant form, but also available fresh, frozen and dried. We lean toward dried, non-instant ramen, because it’s easier to source than fresh. The noodles, which might be straight like spaghetti or squiggly and formed into a slab, cook in about 4 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water, or drain and immediately add to soup. Don’t have any ramen on hand? We show you how to “ramenize” Italian pasta using just water and baking soda, see here.
Different from thin rice sticks, these are ribbon-like noodles, sold in widths ranging from ⅛ to ½ inch, used for dishes such as pad Thai and pho. They’re made of rice flour and are most commonly sold dried. To prepare them for stir-frying, the noodles are usually first softened by a soak in hot water or, in the case of soups, they are quickly cooked in boiling water.
Also known as thin rice sticks or maifun, these are thin, wiry noodles used in soups, salads and stir-fries. Don’t confuse them with wide, flat rice sticks used in pad Thai or pho.
Gray-brown and nutty, soba is made from buckwheat flour or a blend of buckwheat and wheat flour. It sometimes is flavored with matcha (green tea powder) to make cha soba. Usually served chilled with a dashi-soy dipping sauce, or hot, in a dashi-based broth, though we also like them in noodle salads. They are sold dried and fresh (frozen). We prefer the clean, nutty flavor of dried 100 percent buckwheat soba, but this type can be difficult to find. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes, or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Delicate, pale and thin, somen are made from wheat flour dough that is oiled, then stretched several times. The noodles, sold dried, packaged in bundles, usually are served chilled in summer months with a soy-based sauce or dressing or dipping sauce. Add to boiling water and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring gently to prevent sticking, then drain and rinse with cold water.
Sweet Potato Noodles (Dang Myun)
Some recipes refer to these as glass noodles, but these Korean noodles are quite different, and are made, as the name implies, from sweet potato starch. They are grayish brown in color, uniquely springy, and translucent when cooked. They have the ability to really soak up flavors and are often used in soups and stir-fries.
Chewy and well-kneaded udon are a Japanese noodle made from wheat flour, water and salt and prepared in a variety of thicknesses. They are served hot in soup, stir-fried or chilled with dipping sauce, and are sold dried, frozen and fresh (refrigerated and shelf-stable). We prefer the firm, springy texture of frozen udon, which is already cooked, but dried udon is easier to source. Boil until tender, then drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.
Homemade Udon Noodles
Start to finish: 4 hours (1½ hours active)
Makes about 1¾ pounds uncooked noodles (about 3 pounds cooked noodles)
Udon is a type of Japanese wheat noodle. The thick, chewy strands can be served in hot soup, eaten cold with dipping sauce, stir-fried or simply sauced. When adapting Sonoko Sakai’s udon formula from her book, “Japanese Home Cooking,” we found that the brand of flour used and relative humidity can impact how much water is needed to make the noodle dough. For best results, the dough should be on the dry side and should contain just enough moisture so it holds together shaggily; if needed, work in more water 1 tablespoon at a time, but err on the side of dry rather than wet. With resting and kneading, the dough will hydrate and become smooth, silky and elastic. The classic way to knead dough for udon is to stomp on it by foot, a good—and fun!—way to develop strong gluten structure; we put the dough in a doubled heavy-duty plastic bag before stepping on it (without shoes, of course) to ensure everything stays clean. If you find the dough is difficult to roll because of its elasticity, allow it intermittent rests. You can alternate between the two pieces, rolling one while the other relaxes. Aim for a ⅛-inch thickness so the noodles aren’t too thick; they expand when boiled. Unlike most fresh noodles, this udon requires lengthy cooking—about 15 minutes of boiling—to attain the correct texture.
1½ tablespoons table salt
1 cup warm water (about 100°F)
4 cups all-purpose flour
Cornstarch, for dusting
In a small bowl or a measuring cup, mix together the salt and warm water until the salt dissolves. Put the flour in a large bowl, add half of the salt water and mix with a wooden spoon until the water is absorbed. Add the remaining saltwater and mix, using your hands once the water has been absorbed, until a very shaggy dough forms. If the mixture is very dry and won’t come together, mix in additional water 1 tablespoon at a time, but it’s better to err on the side of too little water than too much. Transfer to a 1-gallon heavy-duty zip-close bag, press out the air and partially seal the bag; let rest for 30 minutes.
Place the bag with the dough inside another 1-gallon zip-close bag, press out the air and partially seal. Lay the bag on the floor and repeatedly step on the dough with your feet, being careful not to tear or puncture the plastic, until the dough is flattened and fills the bag to the edges. Remove the dough from the bag and set it on the counter. Fold it into thirds like a business letter, return it to the inner bag and partially seal both bags. Repeat the process 4 more times, until the dough is very smooth and elastic; after the fifth pressing, leave the dough flat (do not fold it into thirds). Seal the bags and let the dough rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour or refrigerate for up to 1 day (if refrigerated, let the dough stand at room temperature for about 1 hour before proceeding).
Lightly dust a rimmed baking sheet and the counter with cornstarch. Remove the dough from the bags and set it on the counter. Using a chef’s knife, cut the dough in half. Return one piece to the inner bag and seal it. Using a rolling pin, roll out the second piece until it is ⅛ inch thick. The shape of the rolled dough doesn’t matter; it’s more important that the dough be of an even thickness. Dust the surface of the dough with cornstarch, then accordion-fold the dough into thirds; set it on a cutting board. Using a chef’s knife and a decisive cutting motion (do not use a sawing action), cut the dough crosswise into ⅛-inch-wide noodles. Unfold the noodles and transfer them to the prepared baking sheet, gently separating them; toss to lightly coat with cornstarch and cover with a kitchen towel. Roll and cut the remaining dough in the same way.
In a large (at least 8-quart) pot, bring 5 quarts water to a boil. Using your hands, add the noodles to the pot, first shaking them over the baking sheet to remove excess starch. Cook, stirring occasionally, until a noodle rinsed under cold water is tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain in a colander, rinse the noodles under cold running water and drain again.
Hand-Cut Wheat Noodles
Start to finish: 1 hour (35 minutes active)
Makes about 1 pound uncooked noodles
These Asian-style wheat noodles can be simply sauced or used in a wide variety of soups and stir-fries. The dough comes together easily and, once rolled, can be cut with a knife into noodles of the desired width, from slender linguine-like strands to ribbons about ½ inch wide. If the noodles end up slightly uneven, not to worry—it adds to their charm. We use bread flour to make a strong, gluten-rich dough that handles beautifully and cooks up into noodles with a satisfyingly springy texture, no matter their thickness or width. With each step of rolling and cutting, be sure to dust the dough with flour to prevent the noodles from sticking together. But at the stovetop, be sure to shake off excess flour as you add the noodles to the boiling water. After draining the noodles, rinse them under running water to remove excess starch.
1 tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil
2 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
½ teaspoon table salt
In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine ½ cup water and the oil. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Make a well in the center, then add the liquid. Using a fork, stir in a circular motion, starting in the center and gradually moving outward to incorporate the wet and dry ingredients, until a shaggy dough forms. Using the heel of your palm, begin kneading the dough, swiping along the edges of the bowl to incorporate any dry bits. If the dough resists coming together, add more water, a few drops at a time, until all the flour is just moistened. Knead in the bowl until the dough is smooth and cohesive, about 10 minutes.
Lightly dust the counter with flour and turn the dough out onto it; knead until soft and springy, about 10 minutes. Form into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for at least 20 minutes or up to 1 hour.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with a kitchen towel and lightly dust with flour. Lightly flour the counter and set the dough on the floured surface. Using a rolling pin and dusting with flour as needed to prevent sticking, roll the dough to an even ⅛- to -inch thickness. (If the dough sheet winds up longer than 16 to 18 inches, cut in half crosswise for slightly shorter lengths.) Dust the surface of the dough with flour, then accordion-fold it into thirds, sprinkling flour between each fold; set it on a cutting board. Using a chef’s knife and a decisive cutting motion (do not use a sawing action), cut the dough crosswise into strips of the desired width. Unfold the noodles and transfer to the prepared baking sheet, gently separating the strands. Dust with flour and toss to lightly coat. If making ahead, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
To cook the noodles, follow the directions in the recipe that you are making, or in a large pot, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. Add the noodles, first shaking them over the baking sheet to remove excess flour. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are tender, about 5 minutes for thin noodles or up to about 8 minutes for wider ones. Drain, rinse under cold water and drain again.
- On Sale
- Apr 25, 2023
- Page Count
- 304 pages