What are those crazy noodles?
October 9, 2007 7:20 AM   Subscribe

The noodles in "Mr. Mom"...Hollywood trickery? Or, a real food?

For years, I have wondered if the noodles that Michael Keaton cooks up in little less than two seconds are a real thing. Do such noodles exist? What are they? What do they taste like? And, what would you cook them with? (apologies for all the very poor sentence structure I have going on here)
posted by AlliKat75 to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm sure someone will give you a better answer, but yes, it's some kind of pre-prepared (Japanese?) product that just has to be dropped into oil (?) for a couple of seconds.
posted by JimN2TAW at 7:29 AM on October 9, 2007

I think they were rice noodles. I eat them all the time. They do cook pretty damn quickly - less than a minute if you get the thin ones. They're made from ground rice, and taste pretty much just like any other pasta, but with a bit more rice flavor, natch. I make cold Asian noodle salad with them, and lots of stir-fry dishes, and also treat them like pasta by putting various tomato sauces on them. I can't do wheat, so rice noodles are always in my pantry. You can buy them in most supermarkets in the Asian section. Sometimes they're gelatinous and chewy, which I can't stand. Depends on the brand.

Supposedly there's a similar scene in the movie The Four Seasons, where someone makes rice noodles in a few seconds.
posted by iconomy at 7:33 AM on October 9, 2007

They are fried cellophane noodles, I believe.
posted by Alison at 7:56 AM on October 9, 2007

I don't remember Mr. Mom well enough, but do you mean rice vermicelli (terrible picture, you normally buy it in clumped form)?

Not only does it soften wicked fast, but you can dump it into a deep fryer and create the most awesome puffed noodle product.
posted by Chuckles at 7:56 AM on October 9, 2007

D'oh! Alison has it.. They aren't rice at all, but bean. That would be the reason for the "terrible picture". Now I'm confused about what rice vermicelli is :P
posted by Chuckles at 7:59 AM on October 9, 2007

I remember watching that scene as a kid and wanting to try whatever cooked into that giant, crispy bird's nest. I think rice noodles are a a little too tough on the teeth to cook that quickly, but I've had deep fried cellophane noodles as a garnish and they seem to have the right texture and snap to match the movie, but not a ton of flavor.

I'm not whether they can cook in two seconds, you might have to do some experimenting yourself to see if its just movie magic.
posted by Alison at 8:04 AM on October 9, 2007

I haven't cooked them in a long time, but it's not movie magic. You drop them into hot oil and they really do puff right the heck up. The tricky part is, if the oil isn't hot enough they'll be in too long and get tough. If it's too hot or if you don't take them out fast enough they burn.

Also, if you put too many in at one time or they're too tangled, some on the inside of the bundle won't get enough exposure to the oil to fully cook and will be tough.

But with just a little practice they're not hard to cook. I think they commonly are served at Chinese restaurants with Mongolian Beef.
posted by dnash at 11:15 AM on October 9, 2007

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