Food Guide

Why is My Noodle Chewy? Discover the Secrets to Perfectly Cooked Pasta

Why is my noodle chewy? I’ll tell you why, because it’s fresh! If you’re wondering what I mean by that, let me explain.

Noodles are typically made with flour and egg yolks, which are mixed together to form a dough.

The dough is then rolled out and cut into noodles.

The key to getting a nice chewy noodle is to make sure that the dough is fresh.

If it’s not fresh, the noodles will be tough and not as enjoyable to eat.

1. The type of protein used in the noodle dough

I used to think that the chewy texture of noodles was due to the type of flour used, but it turns out that it’s actually the type of protein in the noodle dough that makes the difference.

While regular flour is made from wheat, rice flour is made from rice and has a different protein structure.

Wheat flour is made up of gluten, which is a protein that gives bread its elasticity, while rice flour is made up of amylopectin, a different type of protein that gives noodles their chewy texture.

That’s why rice noodles tend to be more tender and have a slightly different mouthfeel than wheat noodles.

2. How the dough is kneaded

Kneading is a process used in bread making that manipulates the dough to make it more stretchable.

This is achieved byrivalling the dough between two surfaces, pushing it forward and then folding it back on itself.

The process is usually repeated numerous times.

When the dough is kneaded, the gluten proteins in the flour are activated and begin to form networks throughout the dough.

This process creates a structure within the dough that gives it its characteristic chewiness.

The longer the dough is kneaded, the more the gluten proteins will continue to form networks, resulting in a chewier texture.

Some noodles are naturally chewy due to the type of flour used in the dough, such as buckwheat or whole wheat flour.

These flours contain a high amount of protein, which results in a chewier texture when the dough is kneaded.

Other noodles may be chewy because of the way they are processed.

3. Whether or not the dough is allowed to rest

It’s important to allow the dough to rest because it allows the flour to fully absorb the liquid and for the gluten molecules to relax.

This results in a more tender noodle that is less likely to be chewy.

4. The thickness of the noodle

Noodles are commonly made using one of three different methods, which result in distinct textures and flavors.

The most common method is to make the noodles from wheat flour and water, which yields the familiar white, thin noodles commonly found in ramen or stir-fry dishes.

These noodles are very similar to Italian pasta, and are usually declared as such in English-speaking countries.

Another method of noodle production is to make the noodles from rice flour and water.

This yields a very different product, commonly called rice noodles.

These are common in many Southeast Asian cuisines, such as Thai and Vietnamese food, and are often used in soups or stir-fries.

They are also commonly called for in many Chinese dishes, such as chow mein.

Finally, there are also noodles made from mung bean flour and water, which are called glass noodles.

5. The cooking time

The cooking time for noodles can vary depending on the type of noodle and the desired texture.

Generally, fresh noodles will cook faster than dried noodles.

Also, the more time you spend cooking the noodles, the chewier they will become.

That’s why you might want to keep an eye on your noodles while they are cooking to avoid overcooking them.

Final Thoughts

What’s the difference between a chewy and tender noodle? It’s all about the protein, kneading and rest time.

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, there are some general guidelines that can help you make the perfect noodle for your dish.

Different types of protein will affect the texture of your noodle.

For example, egg yolk is a softer protein and will result in a more tender noodle, while egg white is a harder protein and will result in a chewier noodle.

The same goes for flour, with soft flour resulting in a more tender noodle and hard flour resulting in a chewier noodle.

Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
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