Tips in Cooking Noodles and Pasta

1. Keep noodles in a tightly sealed container or package to prevent mold or insect infestation.

2. Cook miki and other wet noodles within 24 hours after preparation. Leaving these noodles uncooked gives them a soapy after-taste.

3. Soak Chinese noodles such as pancit bihon, canton and sotanghon in water to make them flexible. Do not soak longer than necessary as the noodles will get soggy.

4. The proportion of water to pasta is important. Use a generous amount of water (one gallon to every 450 grams of pasta or more) if cooking dried pasta as it absorbs a lot of water. (Too little water results in gluey pasta as the small amount of water becomes starch-laden).

5. Use a very large pot. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Although some would recommend adding a dash of oil (to prevent pasta from sticking), others do not see the need. Add a large pinch of salt to help bring out the flavor.

6. Once the pasta is in, stir occasionally to move it off the bottom of the pot. (don't stir too often as this tends to release excess starch.)

7. Pasta should be cooked (in slow rolling boil) for 8-10 minutes only; more time is required if cooking dried pasta as it absorbs more water.

8. The pasta is done when it is al dente (tender), but with some resistance to the bite. Press a piece between your finger. You should also feel the texture and from in the mouth.

9. Take pasta out of the pit and wash with cold water. Drain extra water out of the bowl. (Rinse only if pasta is to be used in a cold dish).

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