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Different types of Vietnamese noodles

Updated on April 1, 2013
types of Vietnamese noodles
types of Vietnamese noodles | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Flat rice noodle - banh phoRice vermicelli - bun Glass noodle - mien
Flat rice noodle - banh pho
Flat rice noodle - banh pho | Source
Rice vermicelli - bun
Rice vermicelli - bun | Source
Glass noodle - mien
Glass noodle - mien | Source

If you are new to Vietnamese cuisine then you might confuse between different types of Vietnamese noodles. In the jungle, you'll find many three main types:

  • Flat rice noodle - banh pho (bánh phở)
  • Rice vermicelli noodle - bun (bún)
  • Glass noodle/ cellophane noodle - Mien ( miến)

Similarities and differences

Flat rice noodle and rice vermicelli, they are both made from long grain rice, but rice vermicelli making is much more complicated. And as a result of the fermenting and boiling process, rice vermicelli is lighter (less fatty) and a bit sour compares to Pho.

Pho making process, in another hand, is much simpler. It is just thick steamed rice pancake, cut into strings.

Flat noodle is relative easy to make, it's also heavier compares to other two
Flat noodle is relative easy to make, it's also heavier compares to other two | Source

Glass noodle

We have fresh Phở and Bún but not Miến, the glass noodle.

It's made from arrow root so it's transparent and possess a silky "crunch' bite.
Many people mistake that glass noodle's made from cassava. Commercially it might but traditional, it's made from arrow root. We even have a compound word miến dong: miến - glass noodle, dong - arrow root.

high quality glass noodle must be made from arrow root
high quality glass noodle must be made from arrow root | Source

Into the bowl

While glass noodle and flat noodle are mainly for hot noodle soup, rice vermicelli, in another hand, second to plain rice, is much more versatile. It can be served hot or cold, with broth or dipping sauce.

Rice vermicelli is the most versatile noodle
Rice vermicelli is the most versatile noodle | Source


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    • huyenchi profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from London - Hanoi

      HI sethpowers, thank you for dropping by and I am glad that you found something news!

    • sethpowers profile image


      6 years ago from Virginia

      I love glass noodles, although I always refered to them as rice noodles. This is good information.


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