Thai Rice Noodles
Sen Jun เส้นจันท์
In general, Thai rice noodles are call ‘sen lek’, or small strand. A type of rice noodles popular in the US and Thailand are originally made in Chantaburi province, pronouced jan- ta-bu-ree. Hence it’s called ‘sen jun’. (Jun or Chandra means the moon).
Prepping the noodles can be done a variety of ways, depending on your use. For absolutely fast noodles, soak in boiling water before using for 7-10 minutes or until soft, but still somewhat firm. Make sure the noodles are covered in water.
However, if you are making 'pad Thai', soak the noodles in lukewarm water instead. The noodles should be somewhat soft. It is better to under-soak the noodles if you are planning on cooking them or pouring hot soup on top. If they become over-soaked, but not yet falling apart, drain the water and let the noodles sit for a while to dry out.
For chewy texture, soak noodles in lukewarm water until soft and pliable. Boil the noodles in hot boiling water for 2 minutes. Take out a strand and taste. The noodle should be chewy without hard center. If you can feel the hard center, continue to boil for another half a minute. Then drain and add a little bit of oil, preventing the noodles sticking to itself. If you accidentally over soaked your noodles, pop them in microwave for a few minutes. They turn chewy.
Sometimes the rice noodles are labeled 'rice stick.' It is made fresh and dried for convenience. Rice noodles come in a clear plastic bag, a one pound package. Some brands have wider strands than the others. I choose smaller strands, easy to soak and cook. The noodles are available at Asian grocery stores and many local markets like Trader Joe’s..