Difference Between Noodles and Spaghetti [Is There Any?]

Noodles and Spaghetti are the epitomai of comfort food all over the world. East and the West relish them with delight. It is said that Marco Polo brought back the Noodles to Italy from China in the 13th Century.

I have often times wondered if Noodles could be swapped with a pack of Spaghetti in the pantry. This curiosity led me to dig deeper and hence a post on the different worlds of Noodles and Spaghetti. 

Noodles and spaghetti are not the same even though they use similar ingredients. Noodles are typically made from wheat and rice flour, whereas spaghetti is made from durum wheat flour. Spaghetti can be used interchangeably with noodles as an ingredient in a recipe. However, it is not recommended.

Noodles are stapled in Oriental Cuisine and are made out of rice flour or wheat flour. Spaghetti originated in Italy and is made out of durum wheat flour. The cooking styles for both are the same, they are treated differently once cooked. The former is stir-fried, and the latter is mixed in the sauce.

In China, Noodles were made with rice flour and water and dried in the sun. Italians used wheat, which was their staple food. They flattened and rolled the strips of dough and cut them into long thin strips. Whatever their history, today they are enjoyed as haute cuisine or street food worldwide.

So, let’s learn about the differences between spaghetti and noodles in detail in this article.

Differences Between Noodles and Spaghetti

Noodles Spaghetti 
They are used in Oriental Cuisine  Spaghetti is used in Italian Cuisine. 
They are made from Rice flour, wheat flour, or lentil flour Spaghetti is made from durum wheat flour nowadays, they are also made with lentil flours 
They are mostly stir-fried. Stir-fried Noodles are called Chowmein  Spaghetti is not stir-fried at all 
Those Noodles that are cooked in oriental Sauces are called lo mein It is cooked in a sauce which is creamy or tangy and then topped with vegetables or meat. 
Noodles are not cooked in wine, Spaghetti can also be cooked in sauces that use cooking wine, red wine, or white wine. 
They can be added to soups as well  Spaghetti can be added to soups, but it is not. 
Noodles are eaten in South East Asian Countries where chopsticks are mainly used. Thus Noodles are eaten with Chopsticks. Spaghetti is eaten with a fork. 
Noodles are thinner than Spaghetti.There are forms of spaghetti differing in their thickness as well as some varieties of Spaghetti are made hollow. Eg. Bucatini 

Can Spaghetti be Used as Noodles?

In general, Spaghetti can be used wherein the recipe uses wheat flour Noodles. The texture will differ significantly as Noodles are thinner than Spaghetti strands.

Also, the taste will be different as Spaghetti is generally made out of a special variety of wheat called durum wheat. Thus, we will not be able to achieve the smooth, silky texture of the Noodles that we so much love.

To achieve a similar texture as the Noodles, the most important part would be to cook the Spaghetti al dente and not to let it get mushy. Some experts even recommend using Baking Soda while cooking Spaghetti which mimics the texture of noodles.

However, interchanging them is not recommended as you might not get the same taste that you are accustomed to.

Which is Healthier: Spaghetti or Noodles?

In Americans, overall pasta consumption has been associated with better diet quality, improved nutrients, and fiber intake compared to non-pasta consuming Americans.

Research has found that Semolina Spaghetti and Whole Wheat Spaghetti are much healthier options than wheat-based Noodles and White Rice. They have a lower glycemic index compared to Noodles and white rice.

Whole wheat Spaghetti can be a healthier option compared to wheat-based Noodles. It also helps with stomach problems and lowers cholesterol.

Alternatively, gluten intolerant people can choose Rice Noodles which are gluten-free and low in sodium.

Is Chow Mein and Spaghetti the Same?

Chow mein and Spaghetti, although they look similar but are very different.

Chowmein is a combination of two words ‘chow’ means fried and ‘mein’, which means noodles. Basically, it means stir-fried noodles that are used in most Chinese cooking. Noodles are boiled in water with a little oil and then stir-fried with meats or veggies and sauces. American noodles are usually greasy, salty, and /or sweet.

Spaghetti, however, is cooked in boiling water and mixed with the desired sauce. Seasoned with fresh or dried herbs and topped with meats, seafood, or veggies. Spaghetti sauce can be cream or tomato-based.

Are Egg Noodles and Spaghetti Same?

Spaghetti and egg noodles can be substituted in recipes. However, they are not the same.

As the name suggests, Egg noodles contain more eggs than the normal variety of noodles, have an enhanced taste, and impart much more flavor to the recipe than the normal wheat-based noodles.

Egg noodles are made with egg and wheat or rice flour. Sometimes, arrowroot powder or tapioca powder is also added to enhance the taste and get a uniform texture.

Can I Use Spaghetti While Making Pad Thai Noodles?

If Pad Thai isn’t available for any reason Spaghetti can be substituted for Pad Thai. In fact, there are many other substitutes for Pad Thai that work well such as fettuccini, vermicelli, linguine, and egg noodles.

Pad Thai traditionally uses dried rice noodles. Rice noodles are soaked and water and prepped for use in recipes. Since they are gluten-free, hence a good choice for people who want to avoid gluten.

Can I Use Spaghetti instead of Vermicelli?

Yes, where a recipe calls for Vermicelli, Spaghetti can be used. It will not alter the taste and texture of the dish. In fact linguine, fettuccini, Spaghattoni, Spaghettini, and Angel’s Hair Pasta are all good substitutes for Vermicelli.

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