Cooking suggestions included! By Yuen Yi Ying
These new-fangled varieties (available at major supermarkets) don’t just taste different; experts on Shape’s advisory board say they could be nutritionally superior too. “In particular, wholemeal noodles add precious grams of fibre to your diet (most women don’t meet the recommended daily requirement of 20–30g), while veggie-based ones boost your intake of vitamins and minerals,” says Pooja Vig, nutritionist at The Nutrition Clinic.
When buying noodles, don’t forget to look out for additional ingredients like fat and sodium, advises Jaclyn Reutens, a clinical dietitian at Aptima Nutrition & Sports Consultants. “There should be less than 10g of fat and 350mg of sodium per 100g of noodles.”
Fans of quinoa, which is rich in manganese, a mineral that relaxes blood vessels, can try this stringy version – some variations come combined with wholemeal. Punch up its flavour with cubed mango, toasted sesame seeds and quartered cherry tomatoes.
Nutritional data unavailable
Said to be a good source of essential vitamins and minerals, this goes well with miso soup, chopped bamboo shoots and tofu cubes.
Per 100g 358kcal, 0.2g fat, sodium content unavailable
Not all soba noodles are made completely of buckwheat – some have wheat fillers and binders, making them unsuitable for those allergic to gluten. Look for those free of additives. Slice some ginger, carrots and cucumbers finely, toss with the noodles and top with toasted sesame seeds (and a light drizzle of sesame oil).
Nutritional data unavailable
Don’t be put off by the strange inky colouring. This tastes just like regular instant noodles and supposedly helps rid toxin build-up. Top with a chunky tomato salsa.
Per 100g 166kcal, 0.7g fat, 323mg sodium
Think of brown rice vermicelli as regular bee hoon with a light oaty aftertaste. You’ll need to soak it for 15 minutes before cooking (five minutes longer than you would with white rice vermicelli), but each 100g serving adds a welcomed 2g of fibre (about the amount you get from one orange) to your diet.
Per 100g 371kcal, 1.2g fat, sodium content unavailable
Millet and other grains
We found this interesting blend of red rice, buckwheat and barley, among others, which ups your fibre content by 4g per 150g patty. Chewy with a subtle malty taste, the strands go well with crunchy chopped peanuts and zingy spring onions.
Per 100g 164kcal, 0.7g fat, 323mg sodium
This fatigue-fighting, iron-rich root is yummy even when cold, and is perfect in salads.
Per 100g: 145.6kcal, 0.04g fat, sodium content unavailable
Chinese herbalists believe that mung beans help detoxify the body. Translucent when cooked, this is a convincing replacement for shark’s fin.
Per 100g 347.5kcal, 0g fat, 9.1mg sodium
Packed with heart-healthy anthocyanins, two patties of this also contain as much antioxidants as half a cup (84g) of blueberries. Its taste reminds us of black glutinous rice.
Per 100g: 382kcal, 1.2g fat, 420mg sodium
This pungent green boasts immunity-boosting benefits. We like this in a hot pot with chicken, cabbage and mushrooms.
Per 100g 274kcal, 1.3g fat, 301mg sodium
Next: Easy recipes with our favourite noodles