This TikTok Hack Keeps Rice Noodles From Clumping Together

Is anyone else mesmerized by how many things parents just seem to know? Many of us turn to family when we're attempting to cook lasagna or recreate a childhood casserole. Oftentimes, we form habits in the kitchen simply because we learned them from our parents, like how we store produce or organize dishes in the dishwasher.

For example, many home cooks know that you can keep rice noodles from sticking together by rinsing them in cold water or tossing them in oil. But they might be less familiar with TikTok user @thevietvegan's hack, which they say they learned from none other than their mom (via TikTok). Their video, which has nearly 90,000 views, suggests a second anti-sticking step after submerging rice noodles in cold water: Grab single-serving clumps of rice noodles, then arrange them in layers in a criss-cross pattern in a colander. Leave them there to drain for 15 minutes, and you'll be able to easily separate exactly what you need for spring rolls or soups, @thevietvegan says. While many users commented with surprise, others said their moms used to do the very same thing.

Other hacks for perfectly un-sticky rice noodles

The reason that rice noodles (and other types of noodles and pasta) stick together when cooked is because their surface starches become adhesive and therefore glue together, Bon App├ętit explains. The food magazine favors @thevietvegan's cold-rinse method for cool noodle dishes but suggests that if you're going to eat them hot, such as in a stir-fry, you should coat them in sauce or oil as soon as possible in order to form a slippery barrier between those sticky surface starches. Regardless of how you plan to eat the noodles, make sure to cook them according to package instructions; overcooked noodles tend to gum up even more than properly cooked ones.

More in the mood for something crispy? Yet another TikTok rice-noodle trend delivers exactly that: Rice noodle "popcorn." Several videos, such as one by @bijoualley (via TikTok), show users frying uncooked rice noodles in hot oil, which causes them to dramatically bloom into light and crispy snacks in about five seconds. Coat them in salt or your seasoning of choice, and you have a kernel-free popcorn alternative that won't get stuck in your teeth.