How to Cook Thai Rice Sticks

Frying-Rice-SticksThis cooking class at Let’s Get Cookin’ in Westlake Village was great fun — presented by prolific cookbook author, Hugh Carpenter, we foodies were immersed in Thai recipes, always good eats. Hugh’s dry sense of humor kept us in stitches while we soaked up cooking techniques that are quite useful. Cooking rice sticks, for starters.


If you love those crispy, wispy, airy fried rice noodles on top of Chinese chicken salad, this is your lucky day. Hugh taught us his technique for mastering them. At first glance, complicated. But once demonstrated, quite easy!


  • 2 oz. package rice sticks – Hugh prefers Sailing Boat or Sin Bo brands
  • 12-inch sauté pan
  • Baking sheet lined with paper towels
  • Long-handled tongs
  • Paper grocery sack
  • 3 cups flavorless oil (safflower, peanut)


Inside the grocery sack, separate rice sticks into handful-sized portions, “working like a skilled surgeon,” he said.  Because they are so brittle, when separating, the sticks tend to fly all over your kitchen. Hugh’s technique “avoids finding them throughout your house ten years later when you are getting ready to sell.”

You will cook fast and in batches, so have party guests nearby to watch and admire your skill. It takes just minutes to cook a full package.

Heat the oil in sauté pan. Test oil temperature by dipping in one strand, it should puff up immediately and dramatically.

Once hot enough, cook one handful of strands at a time. Place in oil, it will immediately puff, use tongs to flip the whole thing over, cook a second on the other side, remove to paper towel. Repeat.

When ready to toss with other food ingredients, have your guests at the ready in the kitchen to “grab their servings and sprint to the table.” Noodles get soggy very quickly once tossed with dressing.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Worth The Whisk August 31, 2015 at 11:51 am

I wouldn’t, Lynn. They are so delicate and airy, they would probably get soggy rather quickly.

2 Linn August 29, 2015 at 4:32 pm

Can you store fried rice sticks and use them the next day? I’m having company and I don’t want that smell in my house.

3 Worth The Whisk October 11, 2012 at 6:47 pm

May, I think you should make your soup separate from the noodles. Cook the noodles and put into the soup.

4 may pendergrass October 11, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Thsho e rice sticks I have a wide like wid noodles and are supposed to go in soup. Ahould I do them the same?

5 Jill Silverman Hough November 17, 2009 at 4:58 pm

LOVE the paper sack solution! Thanks for sharing it, Patti!

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