Years ago when I first came to the US, one of the products that I missed the most was the type of rice vermicelli that the Thai people call khanom jin (ขนมจีน). The noodles weren’t available fresh anywhere, which is understandable considering how difficult it is to make them at all let alone on a large scale commercially. The dried noodles labeled as khanom jin (RTGS: khanom chin; also informally romanized kanom/khanom jeen) on the market were also of subpar quality. Some people used the Japanese dried somen noodles instead, but I found them to perform so poorly as a substitute for khanom jin that I didn’t bother with them. My only choice was to make peace with the fact that if I wanted to eat khanom jin without being disappointed, I would have to wait until my next trip to Thailand.
Then things started looking up when the local Asian markets in Chicago began carrying a product labelled “Guilin Vermicelli” which is extruded rice noodles in dried form. Once cooked, this product yields rice noodles that are as close to fresh khanom jin as I have found to date. Continue Reading →