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Italy may take most of the credit for bringing pasta to our plates, but noodles actually originated in China and are also a rich part of the culinary culture in Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, Korea and Indonesia. Here are three of our favorites:
Made from buckwheat flour, nutty-tasting Japanese soba noodles are a good source of complex carbohydrates, protein and the antioxidant rutin, which may help lower cholesterol and protect against inflammation. Try them in miso soup or tossed with thinly sliced vegetables and spicy peanut sauce.
Thin, chewy shirataki noodles can be bland on their own, but they readily pick up accompanying flavors. Made from yam starch, they’re very low in calories and are a good source of fiber. Use them to add a fresh twist to your homemade chicken soup or as a base for your favorite stir-fry.
Bean thread noodles:
These delicate, translucent strands, sometimes called glass or cellophane noodles, are made from the starch of mung beans. They’re a good source of gluten-free complex carbs, iron and selenium. Try them in a cool salad with a healthy dose of herbs and a tangy Asian-inspired vinaigrette.