To make chef Jet Tila’s chewy drunken noodles, you’ll need to brush up on your chemistry

Make rice noodles with two hotel pans and a whole lot of science.

Come, let Food Network star and cookbook author Jet Tila teach us how to make rice noodles. Also, while we have you, why don’t you subscribe to Popular Science on YouTube?

The No. 1 comment I get when people are trying to make my drunken noodles is: “Dude, I can’t find these noodles.” You’ve got all the ingredients to make the noodles! And guess what? It’s science-y and you’re going to look like a kitchen hero.

White rice contains two types of starches: amylose and amylopectin. The amylose wants to hold its structure—it makes up 30 percent of the starch in rice. The amylopectin is 70 percent of the starch in rice, and gives it that floppiness—the ability to kind of stretch. That’s why we get these soft rice noodles, without them getting really brittle. The structures will actually gelatinize (the bonds between starch molecules will break) at about 180-200°F.

You can start by making a DIY steamer rig. All it is is three pieces: The bottom is a 4-inch hotel pan. Water goes inside to create steam. Inside the hotel pan is a 9-by-13 inch glass baking dish. It’s the baking dish you use for casseroles, for brownies, I know you have one. I’ve flipped it over because you don’t want the sheet to come in direct contact with the water. Now the lid is very simply a 2-inch hotel pan. I’m just going to place the batter right on top of the baking dish, put the lid on, and let it steam for about 3 to 4 minutes until this becomes noodles.

Homemade rice noodles


  • 1 cups white jasmine rice
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch (or cornstarch)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, plus more for brushing


  1. Place rice, tapioca or corn starch, salt and water into a blender. Blend in high for about 15-30 seconds or until all items are liquefied and make a smooth batter.

  2. Create a steamer by placing a 4-inch-deep hotel pan over two burners. Add about 3 to 4 inches of water in to the pan. Turn heat to high. Place a 2″ deep perforated hotel pan into the larger pan. Use a 2″ non perforated hotel pan upside down as a lid. You can also use a ¾ size sheet pan.

  3. Once the water reaches a full boil. Spray the inside of a 7 x7 inch baking dish with spray oil. Pour batter into a 7×7 baking dish until depth reaches about 1-2 millimeters.

  4. Steam covered for about 5 minutes. Once batter is firm, remove from heat and spray with a mist of oil. Fold over and remove onto a plate. Cut into 1″ strips for stir fry or leave as sheets to wrap other food.

For more, check out the video, above. You can also subscribe to Popular Science on YouTube.