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What are Miswa Noodles?

Miswa noodles are a staple in Filipino cuisine, thin wheat-based strands that absorb flavors beautifully, often found in soups and stews. They're not just a comfort food but a cultural touchstone, connecting generations through shared meals. How do these humble noodles weave their way into the heart of Filipino culinary tradition? Join us as we uncover their story.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Miswa noodles are Chinese wheat noodles which are famed for their slenderness and delicacy. These noodles appear in a wide range of dishes, and they may be fried, boiled, or stewed, depending on the taste of the cook and the food involved. Some Asian markets may stock miswa noodles, and they can also be ordered from specialty importers. If miswa noodles are not available, you can try angel hair pasta, which is also very fine, or explore other Asian wheat noodles in your area.

These noodles are typically produced with both wheat and egg, which are combined into a rich dough. The dough is extruded into very long, thin noodles which are typically folded for drying, creating a nest of extremely thin pasta. The color of miswa noodles is generally off white, although they can become yellowish, depending on the producer, and the noodles have a rich yet delicate flavor which lends itself well to a variety of dishes. Store miswa noodles in a cool dry place to keep them stable until you use them.

Sardines often go with miswa noodles.
Sardines often go with miswa noodles.

One of the most famous uses for miswa noodles is in pancit, a traditional Filipino stir fried noodle dish which is extremely popular in many parts of Asia. Pancit can be made with other types of noodles as well, of course, and it comes with a wide array of toppings and sauces. Miswa noodles can also be thrown directly into soup, or they can be added to salads in both dried and cooked form.

Wheat is used to make miswa noodles.
Wheat is used to make miswa noodles.

When miswa noodles are simply boiled, they take around three minutes to cook. The cooked noodles should be drained and lightly oiled or run through cold water to prevent them from sticking together before they are used. Cooks can also deep fry the dried noodles to create crunchy noodle bits or nests of fried noodles which can be used to serve an assortment of noodle dishes.

Miswa noodles are also popular with sardines and a tangy sauce in some parts of Southeast Asia. If you happen to live in an area with a restaurant which serves Southeast Asian cuisine, you can probably try several dishes made with miswa noodles. You can also use the noodles at home to make your own pancit and other Asian dishes; their fine texture makes them versatile for a wide range of foods, and you can even try then with Italian pasta sauces.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Learn more...
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Learn more...

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Discussion Comments

Acracadabra

@MissMuffet - Accorsing to my calorie bible there are around 200 kcal per cup of dried noodles. Make sure to measure them dry because this figure changes when they are cooked.

I think Miswa noodles can be part of your diet plan, as like any food items, it's what you add to them that sends the fat and calorie content soaring.

If you avoid cooking with or adding fats, use lean meat and plenty of vegetables then you could make a decent stir fry or soup without any worries.

You asked about a whole wheat version but I'm afraid I've never seen one. Most Asian noodles tend to be made from regular grains, so you'd probably have to make them yourself from scratch if it is vitally important to you.

MissMuffet

Miswa noodles sound delicious but I wonder how fattening they are, or whether they are available in a wholewheat version.

I am keen to widen my diet and experiment with staples other than bread or potatoes, but there's no point if I'm loading up the calories.

ysmina

@burcinc-- I'm Chinese and I heard the same thing many times, that miswa is originally Chinese.

It's a very popular dish to have in my family. We always have it on birthdays because miswa is a symbol of long life in China, just as the noodles which are very long. Whoever has a birthday will eat miswa that they so that they may enjoy a nice long life.

We also eat brown miswa noodles a lot. The brown is said to be healthier and it also cooks even faster because it is steamed beforehand. When I was a student, brown miswa noodles and stir fry was our regular food for my roommates and I. Now I make it often for my kids, they like it more than ramen noodles. My husband likes it in broth as a soup before the main meal.

burcinc

When I went to visit Taiwan, we traveled through a locality that was known for handmaking miswa noodles. I think it was called "misua noodles" there. I didn't even know that miswa noodles were handmade, I thought that they came out of factories just like regular pasta.

It was really interesting because the miswa noodles were literally hung up on lines to dry. I think each batch must have had hundreds of individual noodles. They did remind me of angel hair pasta a lot, but the color was different, much whiter.

The other interesting piece of information I head was that miswa noodles actually originated in China. At that point, I wondered if these noodles were different than the Philippine variety but after I ate miswa and oysters at a restaurant, I'm pretty sure it was the same.

I'm not sure where it really did originate, but clearly it's very popular all across Asia.

discographer

Miswa noodles are fantastic! I was introduced to them by a Filipino friend and I loved it. The great part about these noodles is that you can make whatever you want with it and it will still taste good.

I have tried a few authentic recipes with miswa noodles like miswa with meatballs and sardines. They were very good but sometimes you want something that's closer to the foods you are used to eating, especially when you're feeling down or when you're sick. Miswa noodles are great for that too! I especially love making chicken noodle soup with miswa noodles. It tastes even better than the original!

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    • Sardines often go with miswa noodles.
      By: nito
      Sardines often go with miswa noodles.
    • Wheat is used to make miswa noodles.
      By: womue
      Wheat is used to make miswa noodles.