Rice noodles are a staple in many Asian cuisines.
They’re versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, from soups to stir-fries.
But no matter how you prepare them, the right sauce is key to making them truly delicious.
The good news is that there are plenty of sauces out there that pair perfectly with rice noodles – some traditional and some not so much.
In this article, I’ll share my top 10 favorite sauces for rice noodles and give you tips on how to make them even tastier.
Why Use A Sauce for Rice Noodles?
Rice noodles are a popular ingredient in many Asian dishes, and they can be used in stir-fries, soups, salads, and more.
To bring out the best flavor of rice noodles, it’s important to use a sauce.
A sauce helps to enhance the flavor of the noodles by adding sweetness or saltiness depending on what type of sauce is used.
It also helps to bind all the ingredients together so that each bite has an even distribution of flavors.
Additionally, sauces help to add moisture and texture to dishes with rice noodles as well as providing visual appeal with their vibrant colors.
Popular sauces for rice noodles include soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, chili garlic paste and sesame oil.
The 10 Best Sauces for Rice Noodles
Rice noodles are a delicious and versatile ingredient, but it can be hard to know what sauces to pair them with.
Here we look at ten of the best sauces for rice noodles – each one offering a unique flavor that will make your dish extra special:
1. Sweet and Sour Sauce
Sweet and sour sauce is a condiment made from vinegar, sugar, and other ingredients such as tomato paste, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and chili peppers.
It is commonly used in Chinese cuisine to add flavor to dishes.
- Taste: Sweet and sour sauce has a tangy-sweet flavor with a hint of spice. The sweetness comes from the sugar while the tartness comes from the vinegar. The other ingredients add depth of flavor to the sauce.
- Common Uses: Sweet and sour sauce is most often served with fried rice or noodles but can also be used as a dipping sauce for egg rolls or spring rolls. It can also be used as an ingredient in stir-fries or added to soups for extra flavor.
2. Peanut Sauce
Peanut sauce is a condiment made from ground peanuts, garlic, and other ingredients such as soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, and chili peppers.
It is commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine.
- Taste: Peanut sauce has a rich nutty flavor with a hint of sweetness and spiciness. The texture can range from smooth to chunky depending on the recipe.
- Common Uses: Peanut sauce is often served with rice noodles or stir-fried vegetables. It can also be used as a dipping sauce for spring rolls or egg rolls. Additionally, it can be used as an ingredient in marinades for grilled meats or added to soups for extra flavor.
3. Teriyaki Sauce
Teriyaki sauce is a Japanese condiment made from soy sauce, sake (rice wine), sugar, and mirin (sweet rice wine).
It is used as a marinade for meats and vegetables before grilling or roasting.
The name teriyaki comes from the words teri, which means ‘luster,’ and yaki, which means ‘grill.’
- Taste: Teriyaki sauce has a sweet-salty flavor with hints of ginger and garlic. It can be used to add flavor to stir-fries, noodles dishes, grilled meats, fish dishes, soups, salads and more.
- Common Uses: Teriyaki sauce is commonly used in Asian cuisine as a marinade for meat or vegetables before grilling or roasting. It can also be added to stir-fries or noodle dishes for extra flavor. Additionally it can be served as a dipping sauce for sushi rolls or tempura fried foods.
4. Fish Sauce
Fish sauce is a condiment made from fermented fish and salt.
It is commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine, particularly Thai and Vietnamese dishes.
The fermentation process gives the sauce its distinct flavor and aroma, which can be described as pungent, salty, and slightly sweet.
- Taste: Fish sauce has a strong umami flavor that adds depth to dishes without overpowering them. Its taste can range from mild to very intense depending on the brand or type of fish used in its production.
- Common Uses: Fish sauce is most commonly used as a condiment for rice noodles, but it can also be added to soups, curries, stir-fries, marinades, dressings, sauces, dips and more. It’s also often used as an ingredient in dipping sauces such as nuoc cham or nam pla prik.
5. Oyster Sauce
Oyster sauce is a thick, dark brown condiment made from oyster extracts, sugar, salt, and other seasonings.
It is commonly used in Chinese cuisine as a flavoring agent for stir-fries and noodle dishes.
- Taste: Oyster sauce has a sweet and salty flavor with hints of umami. The taste can be described as savory and slightly fishy due to the presence of oysters.
- Common Uses: Oyster sauce is often used to enhance the flavor of stir-fried vegetables or noodles. It can also be used as a marinade for meats such as beef or chicken before cooking them in a wok or skillet. Additionally, it can be added to soups and sauces to give them an extra depth of flavor.
6. Hoisin Sauce
Hoisin sauce is a thick, dark-colored condiment made from fermented soybeans, garlic, chilies, and various spices.
It is commonly used in Chinese cuisine as a dipping sauce or marinade for meats and vegetables.
- Taste: Hoisin sauce has a sweet and savory flavor with hints of garlic and chili. It is slightly spicy but not overly so.
- Common Uses: Hoisin sauce can be used to add flavor to stir-fries, noodles dishes, dumplings, spring rolls, barbecued meats such as pork or duck, and even soups. It can also be used as a dipping sauce for dim sum dishes like steamed buns or potstickers.
7. Satay Sauce
Satay sauce is a Southeast Asian condiment made from a combination of spices, herbs, and other ingredients.
It is usually served as an accompaniment to grilled meats or vegetables, but it can also be used as a dipping sauce for fried foods such as spring rolls or egg rolls.
- Taste: Satay sauce has a complex flavor profile that combines sweet, salty, sour, and spicy notes. The sweetness comes from the addition of palm sugar or brown sugar; the saltiness comes from fish sauce; the sourness comes from tamarind paste; and the spiciness comes from chili peppers.
- Common Uses: Satay sauce is most commonly served with grilled meats such as chicken satay or beef satay. It can also be used as a marinade for grilling vegetables like mushrooms or bell peppers. Additionally, it makes an excellent dipping sauce for fried foods like spring rolls and egg rolls.
8. Chili Garlic Sauce
Chili garlic sauce is a spicy condiment made from chili peppers, garlic, and other ingredients such as vinegar, sugar, and salt.
It is commonly used in Asian cuisine to add flavor and heat to dishes.
- Taste: Chili garlic sauce has a pungent aroma of fresh chilies and garlic with a hint of sweetness. The flavor is hot and spicy with a slight sweetness that lingers on the tongue.
- Common Uses: Chili garlic sauce can be used as an ingredient in marinades or sauces for stir-fries, noodles, soups, salads, curries, dumplings, egg rolls, spring rolls or any dish that needs some extra heat. It can also be used as a dipping sauce for fried foods like chicken wings or tempura vegetables.
9. Sesame Oil
Sesame oil is a vegetable oil derived from sesame seeds.
It has a nutty flavor and is commonly used in Asian cuisine, especially in Southeast Asia.
- Taste: Sesame oil has a strong, nutty flavor that can be overpowering if used too liberally. It’s best to use it sparingly as an accent or finishing oil for dishes like stir-fries, noodles, and salads.
- Common Uses: Sesame oil is often used as a cooking oil in many Asian cuisines, particularly Chinese and Thai. It’s also popularly used as a condiment or dressing for salads and other cold dishes such as noodle salads. Additionally, it can be added to soups and sauces to enhance their flavors.
10. Soy Sauce
Soy sauce is a fermented condiment made from soybeans, wheat, salt, and water.
It is an essential ingredient in many Asian cuisines and has been used for centuries as a flavor enhancer.
- Taste: Soy sauce has a salty taste with hints of sweetness and umami. The flavor can vary depending on the type of soy sauce being used; some are light and mild while others are dark and intense.
- Common Uses: Soy sauce is commonly used to season dishes such as stir-fries, marinades, soups, sauces, dressings, and more. It can also be used as a dipping sauce for noodles or rice dishes like pad thai or fried rice.
In conclusion, rice noodles are a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes.
To make them even more delicious, the right sauce can really take your meal to the next level.
The best sauces for rice noodles are sweet and sour sauce, peanut sauce, teriyaki sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, satay sauce, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, and soy sauce.
Each of these sauces offers its own unique flavor and texture, so you can mix and match to find the perfect combination for your dish.
Using these sauces is an easy way to add depth and complexity to your meal, and will ensure that you never have to eat boring noodles again.
10 Best Sauce for Rice Noodles Collection
- Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Peanut Sauce
- Teriyaki Sauce
- Fish Sauce
- Oyster Sauce
- Hoisin Sauce
- Satay Sauce
- Chili Garlic Sauce
- Sesame Oil
- Soy Sauce
- Pick your favorite sauce from this collection to serve with your rice noodles.
- Prepare all of the required ingredients.
- Enjoy your meal in 15 minutes or less!
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.