I sometimes buy rice noodles from an Asian grocery, especially since certain sizes (like sheets) are hard to find in dried form, and the finished texture is different. However, I generally find that unless the rice noodles are very fresh (as in made within 24 hours) the tend to stick together as if glued, and tear instead of separating.

I've tried soaking them both in warm water and in cold water to help separate them, but inevitably end up with a bunch of torn noodle bits instead of the nice spongy rice noodles I wanted. Given that selling week-old fresh rice noodles is common across Asian groceries, there must be some way to separate them. What is it?

Update: I'm talking about noodles like this:

package of noodle sheets

  • Have you tried boiling water? – AGirlHasNoName Jul 20 '18 at 2:25
  • There are MANY times of rice noodle do you have a picture or name. – Jade So Jul 20 '18 at 2:40
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    For fresh wheat pasta, I just gently pull apart the noodles. You have to go quite slowly, and it's a bit time consuming, but it's worth if for when I've had fresh noodles in the fridge for too long. I have no idea if that'll work for rice noodles or not – Joe Jul 20 '18 at 15:43
  • @bruglesco I have not, is there some reason that would work? – FuzzyChef Jul 20 '18 at 20:26
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    @FuzzyChef It might soften them up and help them separate. Ive gotten wheat noodles to separate that way. Never tried with rice noodles. – AGirlHasNoName Jul 20 '18 at 20:47

I have been hacking at this for a while and when buying the whole un-ribboned sheets I have found the following process to work well:

I place the entire batch of rice noodles on a microwavable plate and cover with plastic wrap. Place in microwave and cook on defrost (power level 3 for my microwave) I do this 2-3 times before flipping the first time, and then alternate as needed. I am touching the edges with my fingers to check for softness. I like 1 inch+ wide noodles as the become soft I cut them, lay them on their edges and separate. This is about 140F degrees. At 147F degrees I found them too plastic and the tor while separating.

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I think those are chow fun noodles, cut them to the desired size if not already cut, soak it in cool water for about 7-15 mins then hand unroll them. That how I was taught anyways.

The packaging looks tight too so possibly cut the sides off too, should help it stop from clumping and allow the water to penetrate and separate them.

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  • I tried soaking them in cold water for over 1/2 hour and they did not separate. Didn't try trimming off the sides, though. – FuzzyChef Jul 23 '18 at 16:35

The only way to deal with these is to microwave them. Nuke them for several minutes at a time and they will start to fall apart.

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    Several minutes? Wouldn't that cook them? – FuzzyChef Oct 14 '19 at 16:01

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