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Gourmet Hacks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Rice Noodles

We’ve all been there, staring at a recipe that calls for rice noodles, only to find the pantry glaring back at us, empty of what we need. It’s a bit of a pickle, right?

Lucky for us, the kitchen is a place of creativity and improvisation. Finding a stand-in for rice noodles isn’t just about getting dinner on the table; it’s about keeping the flavors we love in play.

I remember the first time I swapped in spaghetti for rice noodles in a pinch. Was it unconventional? Sure. Did it work? Absolutely. And that’s the beauty of cooking — it’s all about what works for you and what you have on hand.

In this guide, we’re going to show you five of the best substitutes for rice noodles. Each option promises to keep your meal exciting and delicious, without a trip to the store.

What’s Rice Noodle?

Rice noodles are an essential ingredient in many delicious Asian dishes, offering a unique flavor and texture to stir-fry and soup recipes.

Originating in China, rice noodles have been eaten for centuries, crafted from simple ingredients such as rice flour, salt, and water.

Appearing either thin or wide depending on the recipe they accompany, these long noodles offer a comforting chewy texture with a slight hint of sweetness.

Rice noodles can easily be cooked just like any other type of noodle – simply submerge them in boiling water until they reach their desired tenderness.

With versatile usage ranging from stir-fries to soups, there’s no limit to the creativity one can bring to utilizing the savory and subtle nuances of these carnivalesque noodles.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Rice Noodles

If you’re looking for a gluten-free alternative to traditional noodles, then rice noodles are a great option.

However, there are some other alternatives that you may want to consider as well.

Here are five of the best substitutes for rice noodles:

1 – Vermicelli

A common ingredient in many Asian dishes, vermicelli is a form of thin pasta, wisp-like in shape.

It has a lovely nutty taste and can be cooked quickly as it is so thin.

Its texture is unique, too – soft enough to eat but not quite as soft as other noodles.

Vermicelli makes an excellent substitute for rice noodles in a variety of dishes such as spring rolls, salads, soups, or stir-fries – simply break the strands into smaller pieces when using them instead.

Many use it to make vegan or gluten-free meals, too, due to its simple makeup of flour, water, and salt.

Adding vermicelli to your cooking repertoire can help you create interesting and delicious recipes with ease.

2 – Glass Noodles

Glass noodles, also known as bean thread noodles or cellophane noodles, are a classic Asian ingredient and a popular choice for many dishes.

The taste is mild, and the texture is unique; they become gelatinous when cooked, unlike traditional rice noodles, which remain chewy.

If you’d like to give them a try, they can easily be substituted in most dishes that call for thin rice noodles like pad thai or chow mein.

Be sure to give them ample time to soak in hot water before adding them to a stir fry or soup – this will ensure they cook through properly and absorb flavor well.

3 – Soba Noodles

Soba noodles are an amazing, traditional Japanese staple.

Unlike most wheat-based noodles, soba noodles, made with buckwheat flour, boast a heartier taste and texture that adds depth to many Asian dishes.

For those looking to substitute soba noodles for the more common rice noodle, they can make a great substitution in any dish that calls for boiled or softened noodles.

For stir-fry dishes, pan-frying in oil will add greater crunch to the already chewy texture.

Enjoy this delicious Asian treat today and explore all that soba has to offer.

4 – Udon Noodles

Udon noodles are long, thick wheat noodles that are a common staple in Japanese cooking.

Their chewy texture and subtle nutty flavor make them hard to resist when cooked properly.

They can sometimes be substituted for rice noodles if you find yourself without the former.

To do this, be sure to add some elasticity when cooking by adding a dissolve a tablespoon of kudzu powder or cornstarch into boiling water, then stir in the udon and cook for three minutes before straining and serving.

Udon noodles are versatile as they pair well with many flavors, making them an ideal choice for those who love experimenting with different dishes.

5 – Ramen Noodles

Ramen noodles bring back a wave of nostalgia for many diners.

Not only do these classic Japanese wheat noodles provide a pleasant and familiar taste, but they also have a signature chewy texture that tantalizes the taste buds.

While ramen doesn’t always take center stage on the dinner table, it can make an excellent substitute for rice noodles in many recipes.

For instance, replacing rice noodles with ramen in your spring roll mix creates an entirely unique combination that entices even the pickiest eaters.

Whip up a bowl of ramen noodles at home and enjoy the same classic profile you remember from childhood.


In conclusion, Asian cuisine is filled with many different types of noodles that can be used as substitutes for rice noodles.

When searching for a suitable substitute, it’s important to consider the texture and flavor profile of each noodle and how that will affect your dish.

You can experiment with vermicelli, glass noodles, soba noodles, udon noodles, and ramen noodles to find your favorite replacement.

With a little bit of practice and exploration, you can easily create delicious dishes that go beyond the expected.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Rice Noodles

Looking to switch up your recipe with a rice noodle alternative? You're in luck! Here's a curated list of the 5 best substitutes for rice noodles that will add a twist to your dish:
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Vermicelli
  • Glass Noodles
  • Soba Noodles
  • Udon Noodles
  • Ramen Noodles


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword Substitutes for Rice Noodles
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