Product description – Vietnamese rice noodles
Basically rice and water but some elasticity is added by way of a bit of the older batch of dough. The soft dough is pushed through a perforated container into a pot of boiling water to cook, then fished out the water and rinsed quickly to cool. The result is chewy-soft. Dried bun noodles contain some tapioca starch to mimic the chewy texture.
How to cook bun noodles
Dried noodles should be cooked in lots of boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes (for small noodles) and up to 12 minutes for extra large noodles. Watch the foaming water as bun noodles can over boil in a pot. Moderate the temperature and/or add some fresh water to the pot while it’s going fast and furious. Drain in a colander (put an inverted rice bowl at the bottom to prevent clumping) and flush with lots of cold water. Set aside to cool. The cooled noodles will get tacky and take on a resilient texture.
How to use bun noodles
These are THE noodles for rice paper rolls (a.k.a. summer rolls, salad rolls, goi cuon); do not mistakenly use cellophane noodles (glass noodles, mien) which I’ve seen in a number of mainstream publications. Soaked and uncooked cellophane noodles tastes like fiber optic lines and are unfortunately the wrong noodles to wrap in rice paper rolls — unless the rolls are later fried for cha gio.
Once the bun rice noodles are cooled, use and serve them (1) on a platter (arranged in small 2-3-inch clumps for easy pick up) at room temperature. Or, (2) put the cool rice noodles directly into a bun rice noodle bowl. For (3) noodle soup, bun rice noodles are typically reheated first in a saucepan of boiling water.
Storing cooked bun noodles
Put them in a zip-top bag or plastic container. Briefly plunge them into boiling water to soften, refresh, then drain and cool. For small quantities, put them in a bowl and pour some just-boiled water over them, let them sit for 1-2 minutes, then drain well, and cool.