Glass noodles ~ cellophane noodles ~ mung bean threads ~ su'on ~ tunghoon ~ they're all one and the same. Slippery glass threads that are near impossible to scoop up if they were put into a soup. It's not to be confused with rice noodles.
It's complete transparency and its feel as it slips through your lips, slides over your tongue and slithers down your throat makes it a very unique noodle.
It is an ingredient in a lovely soup with dried or fresh shrimps that I used to eat as a child. A soup that's made up of bean curd skin, loofah, wooden ear fungus, golden needles and finally the glass noodles. Delicious. It was a favourite vegetable soup. But it was always the glass noodles that attracted and fascinated me more than anything else. It kept me busy.
But the Thais have made it the main ingredient in a light and lovely salad. Less slithery because it is not in a soup but is a moist salad and very delicious because it is mixed with a spicy, salty, sour and sweet dressing made of fish sauce, lime juice, bird chillies and brown sugar with the addition of some prawns, dried and fresh, and minced chicken. MMMM
My son and I had it for lunch today. It was a healthy lunch. Unfortunately I spoiled the 'healthy' part by gorging on some pineapple tarts I had baked right after. And as if I hadn't sinned enough.....2 hours after that I had a bowl of ice cream. But I redeemed myself by having an orange after.
Shall I'll try again tomorrow?
I have to tell you that it tasted even better after I had some later in the evening after the noodles had absorbed all the flavours of the dressing. Double MMMMMMMM
The recipe ~ the measurements are approximate since I had thrown everything in before remembering to measure them.....
100 gm dried glass noodles
100-150 gm minced chicken
5-6 pieces of medium prawns, shelled and cleaned, left whole season with little salt and pepper
1 cup of chopped spring onions
1/4 cup of chopped coriander
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 T dried shrimps, fried to a crisp and pounded finely (optional but more flavourful if included)
3 T fish sauce
1 T brown sugar
3-4 bird chillies or use large chillies if you prefer less heat
1-2 T lime juice
Soak the glass noodles in cold water to soften for about 10 minutes. Then drain placing the noodles back into the bowl. Pour just boiled water into the bowl of noodles and let stand for just 3-4 seconds and then drain thoroughly running cold water through to rid it of the heat. Keep aside.
Cook the minced chicken in a frying pan using only 1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil. Season with very little salt and pepper. Scoop out to a bowl. Saute the prawns in the same pan. Add a little oil of too dry. Don't use to much salt because the fish sauce is very salty.
Place the fish sauce and the brown sugar in a small pot and cook to a syrup.
Pound the chillies or chop them. Then mix the rest of the dressing ingredients to the fish sauce syrup. Taste and adjust for sweetness and tartness.
Combine the noodles, chopped spring onions, coriander sliced onions, cooked minced chicken fresh prawns and dried shrimps in a medium bowl. Pour the dressing over and mix well. Adjust for saltiness by adding salt or a few dashes of fish sauce. Serve.