Who would have thought that making perfectly springy (read: not mushy) vermicelli was as easy as steaming it?

When it comes to vermicelli, I have made them mushy, hard and goopy. You name it, I have done it. I just follow the packaging and boil it with the time the packaging tells me and the results are always different but more often than not it’s mushy – even when I run cold water through it. I honestly feel like the boiling of the water agitates the delicate noodles too much which can either easily overcook it or just agitate the starches to make it super goopy. So how do you cook vermicelli and make it right everytime? Soak and steam it!


So when I recently came across a technique of steaming vermicelli, I was suuuuuper excited to share this with everyone. The noodles come out just right and springy. You don’t even need to run it under cold water.


One thing to note is, vermicelli is never created equal so depending on what brand you buy, they all will require different cooking times. This method will only work on the thinner vermicelli the ones most commonly used in the vermicelli rice salads or stir fried noodles dishes (some are thicker, almost like a spagettini or spaghetti thickness, this method will not work on those types of rice noodles).


How to Cook Vermicelli Without Boiling It
The one on the left is the thin traditional rice vermicelli. The one on the right is slightly thicker, almost the same thickness as a spaghettini – still vermicelli! The main difference is the thicker one has a bit more of a chew.


One of the main reasons why I love this method is that it’s so easy. You don’t need to dirty up a pot and if you’re like me and doing single portions you can reuse the bowl you steamed the noodles in as your serving bowl as well.



Let’s Start!


  1. First we get a bowl to fit the noodles in and pour boiling water into it. Then we soak the noodles in it. As the noodles touch the hot water, it will be more pliable and will be able to fit properly into the bowl. Make sure to cover all the noodles with water and cover it with a lid to keep the heat in (We use plates as lids). Soak it for the amount of time the packaging tells you. For us it was 1-2 minutes.
    How to Cook Vermicelli Without Boiling It
  2. Next we drain the water out through a strainer or sieve. At this point, you can leave the noodles in the strainer or you can put it back into the bowl you were soaking them in, just make sure the bottom of the bowl is clear of any water to prevent sogginess.
    How to Cook Vermicelli Without Boiling It
  3. Then we quickly take a towel or a plate and cover the strainer/bowl. At this point we are steaming it. Steam it for about 3 minutes. Check if it’s soft enough by taste testing!
  4. Once it is done steaming, just loosen it up with your fingers and use it! It should have a nice spring to it. You eat it as is, or fry it in a pan for some fried vermicelli! 🙂
    How to Cook Vermicelli Without Boiling It


The Noodles Taste Raw Still, What Gives?

This usually happens if the noodles need to be soaked longer. I have had that happen before and all I did was re-soak it for another 1 minute or run the noodles under piping hot water from the tap through the strainer/sieve for a few minutes and then steam it again for 1-2 minutes until soft, and don’t forget to use a lid 🙂


It’s noodle time!


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