Gluten or no gluten? Rice or buckwheat noodles? Red lentil or spinach pasta? In this new age, we understand that finding the perfect alternative vegan noodles and vegan pasta to substitute your tried-and-tested tea time classics can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. This short guide will lay out the framework for what you need and when you need it.
From our wide selection of UK vegan pasta and vegan noodles at PlantX you’ll soon have found just the thing for you.
Vegan Noodles vs. Vegan Pasta: What is the difference?
Sometimes it can be difficult to understand the difference between these culinary cousins. Oftentimes similar in shape and appearance, both pasta and noodles are made principally with water and flour and cooked in boiling salty water.
That said, you might be surprised to know that these much-loved carbs are actually part of two completely different food grounds and serve different culinary functions around the world.
The culinary debate that “divides” East and West, these base starchy carbs are age-old favourites across much of Eastern Asia and the Northern Mediterranean. But where do they actually come from and what is the difference?
Vegan Noodles UK
With origins dating as far back as 4,000 years in the Qinghai province in northwest China; the inexpensive noodle has since come to characterise Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai and Malaysian cuisine.
Made with fine-milled flour derived from a range of ingredients, vegan noodles can be made with mung beans, potato, buckwheat, wheat, acorn or rice!
These thin rods of goodness are designed to be enjoyed in soups or alongside stir-fried vegetables.
Finding authentic and high-quality vegan noodles in the UK can sometimes be difficult. Read on to find out how at PlantX we have selected vegan noodle brands that are both true to tradition but also put a fun twist on the classic vegan noodle.
Vegan Pasta UK
You may be surprised to know that the first archaeological evidence of a pasta-like food was not found in Italy but in Arabia. Needless to say - pasta has shot itself into the hall of fame of European cuisine ever since.
Like vegan noodles, vegan pasta is made with durum wheat and may contain vegetable extracts. In recent years, there has been an increased range of ingredients being used to replace durum wheat and flour. Quinoa, rice, lentils, buckwheat, maize - you name it!
Similar to vegan noodles, the chosen base ingredient for your vegan pasta is simply combined with water before being rolled, pressed and cut into those all too well-known pasta shapes - spaghetti, penne, fusilli and orzo.
Most UK vegan pastas are true to these classic methods, but others are putting their own twist on pasta as we know it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Udon, Vermicelli, Rice: what’s the difference between these vegan noodles? And when to use them?
Udon noodles are long and thick Japanese white noodles that are particularly high in carbohydrates. Best enjoyed in a range of soups and broths with a sprinkle of finely chopped spring onions, these simple vegan noodles can be enjoyed hot or cold and are perfect for all seasons.
Vermicelli noodles are a thin and glassy noodle often made with brown rice flour. These gluten-free noodles can be enjoyed hot or cold and make a nice addition to any East-Asian dish, working particularly well with stir-fried vegetables and tofu!
Rice noodles are particularly great for soups and stir-fries. King Soba’s Organic Thai Rice Noodles work well in a range of one-pot spicy broth dishes and are also a classic for a vegan Pad Thai.
How to select the right vegan pasta for the right occasion?
The world of pasta shapes really is one to be reckoned with. Generally, pasta experts recommend that there is one rule that you need to abide by when selecting your pasta shape.
The golden rule: When making a lighter or thinner sauce, it is better to go for a thinner pasta shape like spaghetti, whereas rich and heavier sauces generally go better with larger pasta shapes such as rigatoni, tagliatelle or even penne.
What is the most nutritious vegan noodle?
Buckwheat noodles have approximately half of the calories of other wheat noodles, making them a great nutritious vegan noodle alternative.
Perhaps the crown jewel of vegan noodles, the Organic Sweet Potato & Buckwheat Noodles from King Soba are packed full of everything that you need. Using 100% organic and nutrient-rich natural ingredients, they really are the one to beat.
Comparing the carbs in vegan pasta alternatives
UK vegan pasta alternatives made using wholegrain spelt flour still contain carbohydrates. However, they are generally unrefined meaning that they are often easier to digest. So if you’re wanting to be eased gently into alternative pasta types, we would recommend trying out Biona’s range of spelt pasta, coming in lasagna, fusilli and macaroni
Higher in protein and dietary fibre than your traditional wheat pasta, vegan pasta made using red lentils can be enjoyed guilt-free. The Organic Red Lentil Penne or the Organic Red Lentil Fusilli are both more nutritious than most vegan pasta but do still contain some carbs.
The ultimate low-carb pasta, edamame-based vegan pasta contains just 10g of carbs per serving - enough to leave you feeling full but nowhere near a carb load. Naturally full of protein and gluten-free, edamame pasta makes a fun alternative to your bog-standard wheat spaghetti. Why not try out the Organic Edamame Spaghetti from Explore Cuisine?