Vermicelli is a long noodle, similar to spaghetti, only thinner. Two varieties are commonly found: wheat vermicelli, which is often used in Italian cuisine, and rice vermicelli, which is more commonly found in Asian cooking. The two should be cooked slightly differently to get them to their desired consistency.
Wheat vs. Rice Cooking Times
If you're cooking wheat vermicelli, cook it in a pot of salted, boiling water for 8 to 12 minutes, until it has reached your preferred degree of softness. The cooking time varies depending on whether you like your pasta al dente or well done. Rice vermicelli noodles only need to be soaked in hot water -- if you boil them, they will go mushy -- for 10 to 15 minutes to soften them.
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