Rice vermicelli

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rice vermicelli
Strands of rice vermicelli
Alternative namesRice noodles, rice sticks
TypeRice noodles
Place of originEast Asia
Region or stateEast Asia, Indian subcontinent, and Southeast Asia
Main ingredientsRice
VariationsGuìlín mǐfěn
Rice vermicelli
Chinese name
Burmese name
Vietnamese name
Vietnamese alphabetbún
Chữ Nôm𡅊
Thai name
RTGSsen mee
Japanese name
Malay name
Indonesian name
Filipino name
Tamil name
Tamilசேவை (sevai)
Lao name
Laoເຂົ້າປຸ້ນ (Khao poon)
Khmer name
Khmerនំបញ្ចុក (num bănhchŏk)

Rice vermicelli is a thin form of noodle.[1] It is sometimes referred to as "rice noodles" or "rice sticks", but should not be confused with cellophane noodles, a different Asian type of vermicelli made from mung bean starch or rice starch rather than rice grains themselves.

Presentation and varieties[edit]

Rice vermicelli is a part of several Asian cuisines, where it is often eaten as part of a soup dish, stir-fry, or salad. One particularly well-known, slightly thicker variety, called Guìlín mǐfěn (桂林米粉), comes from the southern Chinese city of Guilin, where it is a breakfast staple.


Rice vermicelli is widely known in Asia by cognates of Hokkien 米粉 (bí-hún, lit.'rice vermicelli'). These include bīfun (Japan), bíjon or bihon (Philippines), bee hoon (Singapore), bihun or mee hoon (Malaysia and Indonesia), and mee hoon (Southern Thailand). Other names include num banh chok (Cambodia), hsan-kya-zan (Myanmar), and bún (Vietnam).

Naming in Taiwan[edit]

Beginning July 1, 2014, Food and Drug Administration of Taiwan rules have been in effect that only products made of 100% rice can be labeled and sold as "米粉" in Taiwan, usually translated as "rice vermicelli" or "rice noodle". If the product contains starch or other kinds of grain powder as ingredients but is made of at least 50% rice, it is to be labelled as "調和米粉", meaning "blended rice vermicelli".[2] Products made of less than 50% rice cannot be labelled as rice vermicelli.[3]

Naming in Philippines[edit]

Despite colloquially referred to as rice noodles in the Philippines, nearly all retail "bihon" in the country is made of potato starch instead of rice.

Notable dishes[edit]

East Asia[edit]

Mainland China[edit]

Guilin rice noodles

As the term 米粉 (mifen) literally only means "rice noodles" in Chinese, there is considerable variation among rice noodles granted this name. In Hubei and historically in much of Hunan, mifen refers to thick, flat rice noodles made using a wet mix, similar to shahe fen. In Changde, the term refer to thick, round noodles that has supplanted the other mifen in Hunan.[4] These are mifen in China, but not rice vermicelli noodles.

Hong Kong[edit]

Singapore fried rice noodles


  • Taiwanese fried rice vermicelli is the dry, stir-fried local style (particularly known in the Hsinchu region). Its main ingredients include sliced pork, dried shrimp, and carrots.
  • A Hsinchu specialty is to serve rice vermicelli 'dry' (乾 gan, not in a soup) with mushroom and ground pork.

South Asia[edit]

Indian Subcontinent[edit]

  • Sevai is a south Indian dish prepared in houses during festive occasions. It is made in different flavours such as lemon, tamarind and coconut milk.[7]
  • Sawaeyaa is a dish made from semolina vermicelli cooked in milk sugar and dry nuts. It is eaten on Diwali, Eid, and other festive occasions in northern parts of India and Pakistan.
  • शेवया (in Marathi) or shevaya are served to the groom and bride a day before their wedding called halad (हळद) in some parts of Maharashtra.
  • Paayasam is a South Indian sweet dish made from vermicelli, sago, sugar, spices and nuts and milk.
  • Idiyappam is a staple South Indian breakfast dish. It is typical of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and other southern Indian states, as well as Sri Lanka, where it is known as string hopper.

Southeast Asia[edit]


Num banh chok
  • Cha mee sor is a stir-fry glass noodle dish common in Cambodia. This dish is commonly made during Pchum Ben. It is taken to the temple and given to the ancestors along with other Cambodian dishes. This dish is sold on the streets of Cambodia and can be eaten any time during the year, mostly enjoyed at parties. Cha mee sor is made with vermicelli noodles and ground pork and sautéed with different Asian sauces. Green onions can be used as garnish at the end.[8]
  • Neorm is a Cambodian cold noodle salad, cabbage and vermicelli noodles being the main ingredients, usually served cold with chicken, pork, or shrimp. A variety of vegetables and mints are added and it is mixed with a homemade sweetened fish sauce, topped with crushed peanuts. This dish can be served and eaten any time of the year. It can also be made vegetarian.[9][10][11]
  • Num banhchok is one of the most popular Khmer dishes, normally served in family gatherings or parties. The typical num banhchok is served with samlor proher, a greenish soup made of fish and kroeung. Fresh vegetables such as chopped cucumbers or bean sprouts can be added as preferred. Num banhchok stalls are usually found in the fresh market and street vendors.[12][13]


Bihun goreng
Soto mie bogor style noodle and rice vermicelli, cabbage, tomato, (cartilage and tendons of cow's trotters) and tripes, risoles spring rolls, served in broth soup, added sweet soy sauce, sprinkled with fried shallots and sambal chilli


Bihun sup
Singaporean-style Hokkien mee
Laksa Sarawak is the de facto state dish of Sarawak

In Malaysia, rice vermicelli may be found as mihun, mi hoon, mee hoon, bihun, or bee hoon.

There are various types of bihun soup, from pork noodles, chicken meat, fish balls and the list goes on, basically alternatives to different noodles that you prefer.

  • Ak thui bihun reng is a duck noodle herbal soup
  • Bihun kari mixed with curry, added with mung bean sprout, fried tofu and red chillies sambal
  • Bihun soto is in a yellow spicy chicken broth, served with chicken and potato cutlet
  • Bihun sup is a Malay-style dish, mixed with spiced beef broth or chicken broth; sometimes it comes with sambal kicap (pounded bird's eye chilli mixed with dark soy sauce) as a condiment
  • Bihun tom yam is mixed with tom yam
  • Char bihun is a Chinese version of fried noodle
  • Hokkien mee throughout Malaysia varies considerably due to regional differences
  • Laksa Sarawak is mixed with a base of sambal belacan, sour tamarind, garlic, galangal, lemon grass and coconut milk, topped with omelette strips, chicken strips, prawns, fresh coriander and optionally lime; ingredients such as bean sprouts, (sliced) fried tofu or seafood are not traditional but are sometimes added
  • Mee siam is a dry stir-fried style dish in Malaysia


Mohinga with fritters
Rakhine mont di fish soup with garnish
  • Mohinga—rice vermicelli served with curry gravy and fish, an essential part of Burmese cuisine, considered by many to be the national dish of Myanmar
  • Mont di—fish soup; there are a number of dishes, the Rakhine version from the Arakanese in western Myanmar is the most popular
  • Kyar san kyaw—rice vermicelli fried with vegetables; chicken, pork, and seafood are possible additions


Filipino pancit bihon served with calamansi
Filipino pancit palabok
  • Pancit bihon (or pancit bihon guisado) is a general term for rice vermicelli dishes with a mixture of stir-fried shrimp, meat (usually pork or chicken) and various vegetables cooked in an adobo-style sauce with garlic, black pepper, soy sauce, patis (fish sauce), and other spices to taste. Usually topped with hard-boiled eggs and served with calamansi as a condiment.[14] It is also a common filling for the empanadas of the Tausūg people known as pastil.[15]
  • Pancit choca (or pancit choca en su tinta) is a black seafood noodle dish made with squid ink and rice vermicelli from Cavite.[16]
  • Pancit palabok is a rice vermicelli dish with shrimp sauce, topped with shrimp, pork, crushed chicharon, tinapa (smoked fish) flakes, hard-boiled eggs, scallions, and toasted garlic. Served with calamansi.[17]
  • Pancit miki at bihon guisado is a combination of pancit bihon and pancit miki (egg noodles).[18]
  • Pancit canton at bihon guisado is a combination of pancit bihon and pancit canton (wheat noodles).[19]


  • Kerabu bee hoon is a Nyonya-style rice vermicelli dish, mixed with herbs and other seasonings.
  • Hokkien mee, commonly in Singapore, consists of rice vermicelli mixed with yellow noodles and fried with shrimp, sliced cuttlefish and pork bits. Hokkien mee throughout Malaysia varies considerably due to regional differences.
  • Satay bee hoon is rice vermicelli served with spicy peanut satay sauce, common in Singapore.
  • Seafood bee hoon is rice vermicelli cooked with sauce and served in tasty seafood broth and seafood such as lobster, crayfish, clams, scallops and prawns.


Vietnamese bún thịt nướng chả giò
A dish of bánh hỏi in Ho Chi Minh City
A bowl of bún riêu and a dish of vegetables
A bowl of bún bò (at Bún Bò Huế An Nam restaurant)
  • Bánh hỏi—a Vietnamese dish consisting of rice vermicelli woven into intricate bundles and often topped with chopped scallions or garlic chives sauteed in oil, served with a complementary meat dish.
  • Bún riêu—rice vermicelli in soup with crab meat. It has a fresh sour flavor, so Vietnamese like to enjoy it in summer. There are many restaurants in Vietnam that sell this dish.
  • Bún bò Huế—rice vermicelli in soup with beef from Huế.
  • Bún chả—a dish from Hanoi consisting of grilled fatty pork and over a plate of white rice vermicelli and herbs with a side dish of dipping sauce
  • Bún thịt nướng—a Vietnamese dish consisting of grilled pork (often shredded) and vermicelli noodles over a bed of greens (salad and sliced cucumber), herbs and bean sprouts. Also, it often includes a few chopped spring rolls, spring onions, and shrimp. It is commonly served with roasted peanuts on top and a small bowl of nước mắm pha (fish sauce with garlic, chilli, sugar, lime juice, water or coconut juice).
  • Gỏi cuốn—rice vermicelli with pork, shrimp and herbs in a rice paper roll. It is served with nước chấm.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ malik (2005). "Asian Rice Noodles". Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  2. ^ www.fda.gov.tw (2 December 2013). "市售包裝米粉絲產品標示規定". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  3. ^ www.fda.gov.tw. "食品標示法規手冊" (PDF). Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  4. ^ 不是常德、不是岳阳,湖北这座历史名城才是被低估的美食王国 [Not Changde, not Yueyang, this historic city of Hubei is the real underrated kingdom of food]. 24 February 2022.
  5. ^ "Singaporean Fried Rice Noodles". tastehongkong.com. 21 April 2010. Archived from the original on 22 September 2017. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  6. ^ "How to make perfect Singapore noodles". theguardian.com. Guardian News and Media Limited. 2 October 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  7. ^ "Indian Coconut Rice Noodles". Allrecipes.com.au.
  8. ^ Larsen, Tevy (7 March 2012). "Stir fry clear rice noodle (Char Mee Sur)". tevysfoodblog. blogspot. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  9. ^ Bolla, Sarah. "Cambodian Noodle Salad with Sweet Pepper Dressing". foodandwine.com. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  10. ^ "Fragrant Cambodian Noodle Salad". thekindcook.com. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  11. ^ "Fragrant Cambodian Noodle Salad". recipes.vegkit.com. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  12. ^ Mi, Yuen (17 April 2017). "How to Make Cambodian Noodle: Num Banh Chok". awonderingfoodie.com. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  13. ^ Lina (5 March 2013). "Khmer noodles: The story of num banh chok". movetocambodia.com. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  14. ^ "Pancit Bihon Guisado". Kawaling Pinoy. 24 August 2017. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  15. ^ "Pastil". Savor Filipino Foods. 14 October 2018. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  16. ^ Uy, Amy A. (24 February 2013). "Asiong's Carinderia: Why it still is the pride of Cavite City". GMA News Online. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  17. ^ "Pancit Palabok Recipe". Panlasang Pinoy. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  18. ^ "Filipino Pansit Miki at Bihon Guisado". Magluto.com. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  19. ^ "Pancit Canton at Bihon Recipe". Panlasang Pinoy. 24 February 2018. Retrieved 5 July 2019.

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