What Is Vermicelli?
Vermicelli is a traditional type of pasta round in section similar to spaghetti. In English-speaking regions it is usually thinner than spaghetti while in Italy it is typically thicker.
The term vermicelli is also used to describe various types of thin noodles from Asia. In Vietnam vermicelli is the same as angel hair pasta or capellini.
In 14th-century Italy, long pasta shapes had varying local names. Barnabas de Reatinis of Reggio notes in his Compendium de naturis et proprietatibus alimentorum (1338) that the Tuscan vermicelli are called orati in Bologna, minutelli in Venice, fermentini in Reggio, and pancardelle in Mantua.
The first mention of a vermicelli recipe is in the book De arte Coquinaria per vermicelli e maccaroni siciliani (The Art of Cooking Sicilian Macaroni and Vermicelli), compiled by the famous Maestro Martino da Como, unequalled in his field at the time and perhaps the first "celebrity chef," who was the chef at the Roman palazzo of the papal chamberlain ("camerlengo"), the Patriarch of Aquileia. In Martino's Libro de arte coquinaria, there are several recipes for vermicelli, which can last two or three years (doi o tre anni) when dried in the sun.
What’s Vermicelli Made from?
Vermicelli is made from refined rice, flour or bean. Vermicelli is similar in appearance to noodles but is much thinner. They are a form of rice noodles. They are often referred to as rice vermicelli noodles or rice sticks.
Is Vermicelli Gluten Free?
There are various types of vermicelli made from different raw materials, for the ones made from wheat flour, do contains gluten; but for some Chinese vermicelli noodles, it is gluten-free, because they are made from refined rice or beans. Take a look at the ingredient list before choosing it.
How to cook Vermicelli?
First, we get a bowl to fit the noodles in and pour boiling water into it and soak the noodles in it. Make sure to submerge 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.
Next, we drain the water out through a strainer or sieve. At this point, you can use it as-is or you can leave the noodles in the strainer or bowl you were soaking them in, just make sure the bottom of the bowl is clear of any water to prevent sogginess.
You can take a towel or a cloth and cover it to keep it warm or to prevent it from drying out if you are not ready to use it yet.
Once the noodles are soft, you can 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!
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