Rice drops ? sliver needle noodle ? rat tails?


Here is the tricky part about Asian foods, there are so many names for the same type of food.

Pick rice noodle as an example: depending on its shape and the process of making it, there are vermicelli noodle, rice sticks, pho noodle etc… Within a type of rice noodle, sometimes they give it a different name depending on its shape and on which part of Asia you are in.

Today I would like to share with you a type of rice noodle which is commonly called rice drops, sliver needle noodle and rat tails.

You can easily buy rice drops from Asian grocers. You may find the noodles are quite greasy when you first opened a packet of rice drops or flat rice noodle, that is because oil is added to prevent the noodles from sticking together. Unless you buy the dried rice noodle such as Vermicelli, you will always get that greasy when you buy fresh rice drops from the fresh. You may want to rinse the noodle under hot water before cooking to take away the oil on the surface! In the Western diet, this is like buying dry pasta versus fresh pasta and fresh pasta is dusted with flour to prevent it sticking together!

This type of noodle is widely used in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore. I am from Hong Kong and we have always called it silver needle noodle because the noodles are thin on both ends, thick in the middle. Malaysians called them rat tails or rat noodle, again it is because of its shape with thin ends. The texture of rice drop is quite similar to udon except udon is so much longer and you eat it with chopsticks whereas rice drops usually have the length of a finger. Rice drops are suitable in both noodle soup or stir fry. From a nutrition point of view, stir frying requires lots of oil in high heat to prevent sticking to the pen, the fat content is comparable to having fried rice/fried noodle in Chinese takeaway.

I would like to share with you two rice drops recipes I used: in soup and seafood stir fry

fried-rice-drops-and-seafoodFried rice drops with seafood & mushrooms (serves 3)


  • 1/2 pack of rice drops ~500g
  • 250g mixed marinara
  • 100g prawns
  • 1 pack (approx. 100g) of mixed mushrooms (shikate, oyster mushroom, button mushroom)
  • 20g fish cake (extra Asian flavor!)
  • 2 stings of spring onion, chopped
  • 1 glove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce for colour
  • 1 chili, chopped
  • 2 tsp dried shallots
  • 1/2 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tbs of canola oil
  • 2 tsp of sesame oil


  1. Heat up the pan with canola oil, add garlic and cook for 2 minutes
  2. Add marinara mix, prawns and fish cake to the pan, stir fry for 5 minutes until seafood are half cooked
  3. Add mushroom, chopped chili into the pan, stir fry for 2 minutes
  4. Rinse and drain rice drops under hot water to take away the grease and to separate the noodle
  5. Turn the flame to medium, add rice drops into the pan and stir fry quickly to prevent noodle stick onto the pan
  6. Add dark soy sauce and sugar into the pan, stir fry for another few minutes
  7. While the pan is hot, sprinkle spring onion, add sesame oil and mix through with noodle
  8. Serve on a bowl or plate, sprinkle fried shallot on top before serving

…here you go another dish which can make you addicted :)

Rice drop in noodle soup with fish cake and garlic shootsrice-drop-in-noodle-soup (serves 1)

quite an ideal lunch when you have the time (forgot to mention Asians eat hot meals at lunch too!)


  • 1 cup of rice drops
  • 30g fish cake or 5-6 slices
  • a bunch of garlic shoot( that veggie in the photo which looks nothing like garlic! Don’t worry, it doesn’t really taste like garlic)
  • 1 string of spring onion, chopped
  • 1.5 cup of water
  • salt and white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil


  1. Rinse and drain rice drops under hot water to take away the grease and to separate the noodle
  2. Bring water to the boil in a medium pot
  3. Add garlic shoots into boiling water and cook for 4-5 minutes until cooked then remove from the pot
  4. Bring water to the boil again add fish cake slices. Boil fish cake slices for 2-3 minutes then add rice drops to the pot
  5. Add sugar, salt and pepper to adjust the stock according to your liking
  6. Serve rice drops on a bowl and place garlic shoots and fish cake on top, fill the bowl with adequate stock.
  7. Sprinkle spring onion and drizzle sesame oil on the bowl


Leave a reply