3 Simple rice noodle dishes

An Asian-style chicken soup made with rice noodles. An Asian-style chicken soup made with rice noodles. Photo Credit: Marge Perry

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Marge Perry Newsday columnist Marge Perry

Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition. ...

Rice noodles are a great gluten-free alternative to pasta.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN-STYLE CHICKEN SOUP WITH RICE NOODLES

1 clove garlic

2 (1/2-inch) pieces peeled ginger root

12 cups lower-sodium chicken broth

3 tablespoons fish sauce

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4 dried shiitake mushrooms

1/8 teaspoon whole coriander seeds

1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (or breasts)

6 ounces rice noodles

2 tablespoons lime juice, plus 6 slices lime

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3 scallions, thinly sliced

6 cilantro sprigs

6 basil sprigs

6 mint sprigs

1. Smash garlic clove by pressing it under the handle of a chef's knife; do the same with each piece of ginger. Place in a large soup pot with broth, fish sauce and mushrooms. Place coriander seeds in tea infuser or tie them in a small piece of cheesecloth and place in broth. Bring broth to a boil; add chicken and reduce heat to gentle simmer. Cook 15 to 18 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Transfer chicken to cutting board, allow to cool slightly, then cut into thin slices.

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2. Use slotted spoon to remove all solids (including coriander seeds) from broth; slice mushrooms and discard the rest. Bring broth to a boil, add noodles and cook 4 to 5 minutes, until soft. Stir in lime juice.

3. Place some chicken and mushrooms in each of 6 bowls; spoon in broth and noodles. Stir in scallions and add 1 sprig of each herb to each bowl. Accompany with a slice of lime and serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 260 calories, 6 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 20 g protein, 30 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 932 mg sodium

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PAD THAI WITH SHRIMP

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8 ounces wide-stick rice noodles

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 cup lime juice

1/4 teaspoon (or to taste) Sriracha or Asian chili garlic sauce

2 tablespoon canola oil, divided

1 cup thinly sliced red onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound peeled shrimp

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

3 scallions, thinly sliced

1 cup fresh bean sprouts

2 tablespoons roasted peanuts,

coarsely chopped

Lime wedges

1. Prepare the noodles according to package directions; set aside.

2. Combine fish sauce, brown sugar, lime juice and Sriracha in a bowl; set aside.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium high. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until onion is soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook 2 minutes on each side, or until just cooked through. Transfer contents of the pan to a plate.

4. Add eggs to skillet and cook, stirring briefly, until egg is cooked in a large, flat disk; turn and cook 1 minute. Slide out of pan and roll, jelly roll style, into a tube. Slice across to form 1/4-inch-wide furled strips.

5. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in skillet; add noodles and stir-fry 1 minute. Stir in the sauce and cook, tossing, until the noodles are evenly covered in sauce, about 2 minutes. Stir in the shrimp, egg, scallions and bean sprouts. Top each serving with peanuts and accompany with lime wedges. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 468 calories, 13 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 24 g protein, 65 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 1,471 mg sodium

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BEEF-AND-RICE  NOODLE SOUP

3 cloves garlic, smashed with a knife handle

1 inch peeled ginger, cut into 4 slices

8 cups low-sodium beef or chicken broth

2 tablespoons fish sauce

8 dried shiitake mushrooms

1 whole star anise

1 cinnamon stick (2 to 3 inches)

1 pound very thinly sliced top-round beef

4 ounces wide rice noodles

1 jalapeño, cut across into thin slices

2 scallions, thinly sliced

1 cup fresh bean sprouts

4 sprigs basil

4 lime wedges

1. Combine the garlic, ginger, broth, fish sauce, shiitakes, star anise and cinnamon in a soup pot; bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a simmer and cook 10 minutes.

2. Use slotted spoon to scoop out solids; discard all except the mushrooms. Cut the shiitakes into thin slices and set aside. Add the beef to the broth and cook 45 to 60 seconds, until just cooked through. Transfer to 4 bowls. Add mushrooms back to broth; stir in the noodles and cook 4 to 5 minutes, until soft.

3. Ladle the soup and noodles over the beef into the bowls. Stir in the jalapeño, scallions, bean sprouts and basil. Serve with lime wedges. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 272 calories, 4 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 32 g protein, 32 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 944 mg sodium

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