Grain Products Category

Grain Products
Includes flour, noodles, and dough.
river rice noodles, chow fun guo tiao, fen noodles, hieu tieu, hu tieu
river rice noodles
These chewy rice noodles are popular in southern Vietnam, where they're often served with seafood. They're usually sold as fresh sheets, which are either left whole or sliced into various widths. Rinse them in warm water before using, then add them to stir-fries or soups, or use the sheets to wrap meat fillings before steaming them.
Learn more
ruote, ruote de carro, ruotine, wagon wheels, wheels
rotelle
Rotelle is an Italian pasta that's shaped like a wagon wheel, and it works well with chunky sauces or in pasta salads.
Learn more
rotini, rotelle, spirals, twists
rotini
These pasta shapes look like short springs or corkscrews made from spaghetti. They cling to chunky or thick sauces, but they also work in pasta salads.
Learn more
roux
roux
This is a thickener that's made from equal weights of flour and a fat, like butter or meat drippings. It's especially good for thickening rich, hearty stews and gravies. To make it, heat the fat in a pan, then gradually whisk in the flour. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, for at least several minutes, then gradually whisk in the hot liquid you're trying to thicken. You must then cook the sauce for at least 30 minutes to prevent it from acquiring a grainy texture and a starchy, floury taste. Some cooks make large batches of roux, and store it in the refrigerator or freezer.
Learn more
rye flour, dark rye flour, light rye flour, medium rye flour
rye flour
includes medium rye flour and heartier dark rye flour. To see how to substitute other flours for wheat flours when making yeast breads, see the listing under all-purpose flour.
Learn more
sagnarelli
sagnarelli
This flat Italian pasta is about two inches long, and has a ridged border.
Learn more
Sago starch, pearl sage, sago
Sago starch
This flour is made from the inner pulp of the sago palm. It's often used to make pudding, but it can also serve as an all-purpose thickener. Look for it in Asian markets.
Learn more
sahlab
sahlab
This is made from orchid tubers and has a pleasant, flowery smell. Look for it in Middle Eastern markets.
Learn more
saimin
saimin
These noodles are so popular in Hawaii that a soup based on them has been served at McDonald's restaurants there. They're similar to ramen noodles, only they're made with eggs and not deep-fried.
Learn more
sausage casings
sausage casings
These are traditionally made from intestines, but synthetic casings are now more common. You can order them online, or prevail upon a friendly neighborhood butcher.
Learn more
seitan, fu, kofu, SAY-tan, wheat meat
seitan
This is a vegetarian meat substitute that's rich in protein, low in fat, and chewy enough to pass for steak or chicken. It's made by mixing gluten flour or wheat flour with water, kneading it, washing away the starch with water, and then cooking the rubbery gluten that remains in a flavored broth. The seitan can then be sliced or shaped however you like and then fried, steamed, baked, or added to stews. Look for packages or tubs of it in the refrigerated sections of Asian markets and health food stores. You can also buy it in the form of meat-flavored sausage, salami, and deli cuts. Store seitan in the refrigerator for up to ten days, or for up to six months in the freezer.
Learn more
self-rising flour
This is more commonly used in the South than in the North.
Learn more
seme di melone
seme di melone
These "melon seeds" are a type of Italian pasta commonly served in broths.
Learn more
seme di peperone
These tiny pasta shapes are usually served in a broth or very light soup.
Learn more
semolina
semolina
Semolina is made mostly with durum wheat.
Learn more
Shanghai noodles, mi xau, pancit Miki, Shanghai-style noodles
Shanghai noodles
These thick noodles are often used in stir-fries or soups.
Learn more
shirataki
shirataki
These Japanese noodles are a form of konnyaku, a rubbery, gelatinous substance derived from devil's tongue yams. The noodles come in white or black versions; black is preferred for sukiyaki. Look for them in Japanese markets, either in cans or fresh in plastic bags in the refrigerated section. Drain and cook the noodles before using.
Learn more
silver pin noodles
These are thick, round rice noodles that are usually homemade.
Learn more
soba, buckwheat noodles, cha soba, chasoba, nama soba, yamaimo soba
soba
These chewy Japanese noodles are popular at soup counters in Tokyo. They're made with a blend of wheat and buckwheat flours, the more buckwheat the better. They're often sold fresh (called nama soba) in Japan, but foreigners usually have to settle for dried. Soba comes in different widths and flavors, including green cha soba = chasoba, which is flavored with green tea, and yamaimo soba, flavored with yams. Cook them for about 3 minutes.
Learn more
somen, cha somen, omago somen
somen
These very thin Japanese wheat noodles are almost always served cold. There are different colors, including cha somen, which is colored with green tea, and tomago somen, which is flavored with egg yolks. Cook them for about 2 or 3 minutes.
Learn more
sorghum flour, cholam flour, jowar flour, jowari flour, juwar flour
sorghum flour
This is widely used in India and Africa, especially by poor farmers who can't afford wheat flour. It's somewhat bland but very nutritious and gluten-free. You can sometimes find it in health foods stores, but you can get it for less in an Indian market.
Learn more
soup pasta
soup pasta
As a rule, the thinner the soup, the smaller the pasta. For broths and light soups, select from a large assortment of tiny shapes. Larger shapes, like tubetti or ditali, are perfect for minestrone or other hearty soups.
Learn more
soy flour
soy flour
To see how to substitute other flours for wheat flours when making yeast breads, see the listing under all-purpose flour.
Learn more
soy pasta
soy pasta
This is made with both wheat and protein-rich soy flour.
Learn more
soya flour, soya powder
soya flour
To see how to substitute other flours for wheat flours when making yeast breads, see the listing under all-purpose flour.
Learn more
spaetzle, spaetzen, spaetzles
spaetzle
Germans serve these small dumplings as a side dish, often alongside roasted meats. Spaetzle is often topped with butter, bread crumbs, or a sauce, or tossed with cheese and onions. Look for boxes of dried spaetzle in large supermarkets or gourmet shops.
Learn more
spaghetti
spaghetti
The most popular pasta variety, spaghetti (Italian for "little strings") works best with light tomato or cream sauces. Don't use it in pasta salads.
Learn more
spaghettini
spaghettini
This is thin type of spaghetti.
Learn more
spelt flour
spelt flour
Spelt flour contains gluten, but it's tolerated by many people with gluten allergies. If making bread with spelt flour, don't knead it for as long as you would a wheat bread--its gluten isn't as durable as that in wheat. Freeze any spelt flour that you're not planning to use right away.
Learn more
spelt pasta
spelt pasta
Spelt contains gluten, but it's tolerated by many people with gluten allergies.
Learn more
spiralini, spirali
spiralini
These are spring-shaped lengths of Italian pasta. They're good with chunky sauces, or in pasta salads. A larger version is called spirali.
Learn more
Starch thickeners
Starch thickeners
Notes: These silky powders are used to thicken sauces, gravies, pie fillings, and puddings. They're popular because they thicken without adding fat or much flavor. To avoid lumps, mix the starch with an equal amount of cold liquid until it forms a paste, then whisk it into the liquid you're trying to thicken. Once the thickener is added, cook it briefly to remove the starchy flavor. Don't overcook--liquids thickened with some starches will thin again if cooked too long or at too high a temperature. Cornstarch, arrowroot, and tapioca are the most popular starch thickeners. They have different strengths and weaknesses, so it's a good idea to stock all three in your pantry. Starch thickeners give food a transparent, glistening sheen, which looks nice in a pie filling, but a bit artificial in a gravy or sauce. If you want high gloss, choose tapioca or arrowroot. If you want low gloss, choose cornstarch. Cornstarch is the best choice for thickening dairy-based sauces. Arrowroot becomes slimy when mixed with milk products. Choose arrowroot if you're thickening an acidic liquid. Cornstarch loses potency when mixed with acids. Sauces made with cornstarch turn spongy when they're frozen. If you plan to freeze a dish, use tapioca starch or arrowroot as a thickener. Starch thickeners don't add much flavor to a dish, although they can impart a starchy flavor if they're undercooked. If you worried that your thickener will mask delicate flavors in your dish, choose arrowroot. It's the most neutral tasting of the starch thickeners. Tapioca starch thickens quickly, and at a relatively low temperature. It's a good choice if you want to correct a sauce just before serving it.
Learn more
stelle, stellette
stelle
These small star shapes are a type of Italian soup pasta. A smaller version is called stellini.
Learn more
stelline
These pasta shapes look like tiny stars. They cook quickly and are best used in soups.
Learn more
stivaletti
These tiny pasta shapes are usually served in a broth or very light soup.
Learn more
stortini
stortini
This is a small form of elbow macaroni.
Learn more
stringozzi
stringozzi
An Umbrian specialty, this is a narrow ribbon pasta that's chewier and thicker than spaghetti.
Learn more
strozzapreti
strozzapreti
The name means "priest strangler" in Italian, and it refers to a pasta shape that resembles a rolled towel.
Learn more
strudel dough
strudel dough
This is used by German and Austrian cooks to make strudels, delicate pastries filled with sweet or savory fillings. The dough is made up of many layers, each rolled into a tissue-thin, almost transparent sheet. German cooks make strudels with it by stretching the dough and wrapping it around a filling, and then baking it. It's hard to find, but your best bet is a German market.
Learn more
stuffed pasta, filled pasta, pasta ripiena
stuffed pasta
These are fresh pasta sheets that are stuffed with a filling and then folded into whimsical shapes. In the past, they were just a fancy way to recycle leftovers, but cooks now stuff them with more elegant fillings, like cheeses, veal, sweet potatoes, wild mushrooms, lobster, and pheasant. After they're cooked, they're often served with a light sauce, or in a broth or pasta salad. They freeze well, and are great to keep on hand for quick and easy meals. If you're cooking frozen stuffed pasta, allow two or three additional minutes for it to cook.
Learn more
sui kow wrappers
sui kow wrappers
These are similar to potsticker wrappers, but they're intended to be used in soups. While assembling the dumplings, keep the stack of wrappers moist by covering them with a damp towel. Seal the dumplings with a "glue" made with cornstarch and water. Look for stacks of these wrappers in the refrigerator cases of Asian markets. Store them in the refrigerator or freezer, but let them come to room temperature before using.
Learn more
sweet potato starch
sweet potato starch
Asian cooks like to dredge pork in this before frying it.
Learn more
sweet rice flour, glutinous rice flour, glutinous rice powder, mochi flour
sweet rice flour
This thickener has the virtue of remaining stable when frozen. It's often used to make Asian desserts. Don't confuse sweet rice flour with ordinary rice flour. Look for it in Asian markets.
Learn more
tagliatelle
tagliatelle
These long ribbons of pasta are very similar to fettuccine. They go well with a hearty meat sauce.
Learn more
taglierini, tagliarini, tagliolini, tah-lyeh-REE-nee, tonnarelli
taglierini
These are thin flat ribbons of pasta.
Learn more
tapioca, small pearl tapioca
tapioca
These are small beads of tapioca that are used to make tapioca pudding. The beads don't dissolve completely, so they end up as small, squishy, gelatinous balls that are suspended in the pudding. Don't confuse this with instant tapioca, which is granulated and often used to thicken fruit pie fillings, or with pearl tapioca, which has much larger balls.
Learn more