Misua Noodles: Culture, Serving, and Storage Tips
If you’re looking for a noodle that’s a little different from the norm, you might want to try misua noodles. But what are they?
Misua (also spelled mee sua or miswa) is a very thin variety of salted Chinese noodles made from wheat flour. It originated in Fujian, China. The noodles differ from mifen (rice vermicelli) and cellophane noodles in that the latter two are made from rice and mung beans, respectively, and are typically a lot thinner than those two varieties.
Let’s look at the history, ingredients, and how to cook them so you can decide if they’re right for you.
In this post we'll cover:
- 1 Unraveling the Thin and Delicate Misua Noodles
- 2 The Cultural Significance of Misua Noodles
- 3 How to Serve and Store Misua Noodles: Tips and Tricks
- 4 Misua vs Sotanghon: The Battle of the Noodles
- 5 Misua vs Bihun: The Battle of the Noodles
- 6 What to Use When You Can’t Find Misua Noodles?
- 7 Conclusion
Unraveling the Thin and Delicate Misua Noodles
Misua noodles originated from China and are also known as Chinese vermicelli. These thin and delicate noodles are made from wheat flour, salted water, and sometimes, cornstarch. There are two main varieties of misua noodles: the wheat-based and the mung bean-based. The wheat-based misua noodles are more common and are usually sold in cellophane packets.
Misua Noodles as a Staple in Asian Cuisine
Misua noodles are a staple in Asian cuisine, particularly in Chinese and Filipino dishes. These noodles are versatile and can be added to soups, stir-fries, and even salads. They are also a popular ingredient in Filipino dishes such as ginisang misua (stir-fried misua noodles with vegetables) and batchoy (a noodle soup made with pork broth, misua noodles, and other ingredients).
How to Cook and Serve Misua Noodles
Cooking misua noodles is a breeze as they only take a minute or two to cook. To cook misua noodles, simply add them to boiling water and cook for a minute or until they are tender. Drain the noodles and rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking process. Misua noodles can be served in a variety of ways, such as:
- In soups: Misua noodles are a popular ingredient in soups, such as the Filipino dish, sardines misua soup.
- Stir-fried: Misua noodles can be stir-fried with vegetables and meat for a quick and delicious meal.
- Salad: Misua noodles can be added to salads for a unique texture and flavor.
The Cultural Significance of Misua Noodles
Misua noodles have a long and rich history in Chinese cuisine. They are traditionally made from wheat flour and are thin and delicate in texture. Misua noodles are often referred to as longevity noodles because of their length, which symbolizes a long life. They are a popular dish during Chinese New Year and other special occasions.
The Unique Ingredients and Production of Misua Noodles
Misua noodles are made from wheat flour, eggs, and water. The dough is pulled and stretched into thin strands, which are then cut into the desired length. The production process is unique and sets misua noodles apart from other types of noodles. The noodles are also different from other types of noodles because they are not dried before being cooked.
The Famous Misua Noodle Dishes
Misua noodles are a versatile ingredient and can be used in a variety of dishes. Some of the most popular misua noodle dishes include:
- Misua with pork and vegetables: This dish is made with ground pork, chopped vegetables like onion and ginger, and misua noodles. It is often served with rice and soy sauce.
- Spicy misua noodles: This dish is made with black pepper, red pepper flakes, and soy sauce. It is a spicy and flavorful dish that is perfect for those who love spicy foods.
- Egg misua noodles: This dish is made with beaten eggs and misua noodles. It is a simple and delicious dish that is perfect for breakfast or lunch.
The Japanese Influence on Misua Noodles
Misua noodles are also popular in Japanese cuisine, where they are referred to as somen noodles. Somen noodles are similar to misua noodles but are thinner and longer. They are often served cold with dipping sauces and chopped vegetables.
Getting Creative with Misua Noodles
Misua noodles are a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. Here are some creative ways to use misua noodles:
- Use misua noodles instead of rice noodles in stir-fry dishes.
- Add misua noodles to soups and stews for a unique texture.
- Use misua noodles in place of spaghetti in pasta dishes.
- Try making misua noodle salad with chopped vegetables and a soy sauce dressing.
Why Misua Noodles are Better Than Other Noodles
Misua noodles are better than other noodles because they are unique in texture and flavor. They are delicate and thin, which makes them perfect for stir-fry dishes. Misua noodles also have a slightly sweet flavor that sets them apart from other types of noodles. Additionally, misua noodles are not dried before being cooked, which means they have a fresher taste and texture.
What People Say About Misua Noodles
People who have tried misua noodles say that they are delicious and easy to prepare. They love the unique texture and flavor of misua noodles and appreciate the health benefits that they offer. Some people say that misua noodles are better than other types of noodles because they are more versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes.
How to Serve and Store Misua Noodles: Tips and Tricks
- Misua noodles cook quickly, so it’s best to prep all the ingredients before cooking.
- Boil water in a pot and add a tablespoon of salt to it.
- Add the misua noodles to the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes until tender.
- Drain the noodles and rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking process.
Misua vs Sotanghon: The Battle of the Noodles
Misua and sotanghon are both types of noodles commonly used in Filipino cuisine. They are both made from starch, but they are prepared differently and used in different dishes.
- Misua is a very thin, solid noodle made from rice flour and water. It is usually served in soups or as a main course with pork or ground meat.
- Sotanghon, on the other hand, is a type of vermicelli made from mung bean flour. It is also very thin, but it is sold in a dried form and needs to be soaked in water before cooking. Sotanghon is usually served in soups or stir-fried with vegetables and meat.
How are Misua and Sotanghon used in Filipino cuisine?
Misua and sotanghon are both popular ingredients in Filipino cuisine and are used in a variety of dishes:
- Misua is often used in soups, such as misua soup with ground pork and black beans. It can also be served as a main course, such as misua with ground pork and sliced onion.
- Sotanghon is commonly used in soups, such as chicken sotanghon soup with shrimps and vegetables. It can also be stir-fried with meat and vegetables, such as sotanghon guisado with leftover chicken and beans.
Which one should you choose?
Choosing between misua and sotanghon depends on the dish you are preparing and the desired texture and flavor. Here are some factors to consider:
- Misua is an excellent choice for soups and dishes with ground meat, as it absorbs flavors well and has a smoother texture.
- Sotanghon is a good choice for stir-fries and dishes with vegetables, as it has a slightly firmer texture and can prevent the dish from going too dark.
- If you are stuck between the two, knowing the tradition of the dish you are preparing is important. Misua is a more traditional ingredient in Filipino cuisine, while sotanghon is more commonly used in Chinese cuisine.
Misua vs Bihun: The Battle of the Noodles
Bihun noodles, on the other hand, are fried and made from rice flour. They are also known as rice vermicelli and are commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine. Bihun noodles are yellowish in color and are often used in dishes such as curry, where they are cooked in coconut milk and spices. They are also commonly used in stir-fries and salads.
While both noodles are thin and delicate, there are some key differences between misua and bihun noodles. Here are some of the main differences:
- Misua noodles are made from wheat flour, while bihun noodles are made from rice flour.
- Misua noodles are normally eaten in soup dishes, while bihun noodles are often used in stir-fries and salads.
- Misua noodles are best served with seafood, potatoes, and fresh vegetables, while bihun noodles are commonly used in dishes such as curry and are cooked in coconut milk and spices.
- Misua noodles are typically topped with sliced onion, celery, and chunks of tuna, while bihun noodles are often served with chopped bean sprouts and fresh herbs.
Which One to Use?
Both misua and bihun noodles have their uses in the kitchen. Here are some tips on when to use each one:
- Misua noodles are best used in soup dishes, such as misua soup with ground pork and egg. They are also great in seafood dishes, such as misua with tuna and ginger.
- Bihun noodles are best used in stir-fries and salads, such as bihun goreng (fried bihun noodles) and bihun salad with seafood and vegetables.
What to Use When You Can’t Find Misua Noodles?
If you can’t find misua noodles, you can always opt for Chinese long noodles. These noodles are made from wheat flour and are similar in texture to misua noodles. However, they are not as thin as misua noodles, so you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly. Chinese long noodles are perfect for making noodle soups, such as almondigas, a comforting Filipino soup that is perfect for cold weather.
Salted Wheat Flour Noodles
Another alternative to misua noodles is salted wheat flour noodles. These noodles are made from wheat flour and are seasoned with salt. They are thin and delicate, just like misua noodles, and are perfect for making soups and stir-fries. Salted wheat flour noodles are commonly used in Chinese cuisine and can be found in most Asian grocery stores.
Other Noodle Options
If you can’t find either Chinese long noodles or salted wheat flour noodles, don’t worry! There are plenty of other noodle options that you can use as a substitute for misua noodles. Here are some other options to consider:
- Rice noodles: These are a great gluten-free option and are perfect for making soups and stir-fries.
- Glass noodles: Also known as cellophane noodles, these are made from mung bean starch and are translucent when cooked. They are perfect for making salads and stir-fries.
- Vermicelli noodles: These are thin, long noodles that are made from rice flour. They are similar in texture to misua noodles and are perfect for making soups and stir-fries.
In conclusion, there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to substituting misua noodles. Whether you opt for Chinese long noodles, salted wheat flour noodles, or another type of noodle, you can still enjoy the comfort of eating a warm bowl of noodle soup.
So there you have it- everything you need to know about misua noodles. They’re a Chinese noodle made from wheat flour, and they’re delicious! They’re perfect for stir-fries, salads, and soups, and can be used as a substitute for rice noodles. Plus, they’re a great way to add some extra fiber and protein to your diet.
Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.