3 Bean Thread Noodles Recipe Ideas 粉丝

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3 bean thread noodles recipe ideas. Also known as glass noodles and mung bean vermicelli.

What the heck is mung bean vermicelli?

The problem with trying to explain Chinese food in English is that sometimes there just aren't any equivalent. So, we resort to using direct word translation or borrowing somewhat similar terms from other languages.

Mung bean vermicelli and bean thread noodles are two such terms. In Chinese, it is known simply as 粉丝 (fen si) and 冬粉 (dang hun) in hokkien, a southern Chinese dialect.

It is basically thin round noodles made from ground mung beans. It is sold in its dried form. Perhaps its most famous use is in Vietnamese spring rolls.

I like mung bean vermicelli in hot soups, spring rolls and salads. Grandma likes to stir-fry it with mixed vegetables. It can be added to soups dried although it should be rinsed first. For spring rolls, salads and stir-frying, it needs to be parboiled to soften it first.

Recipe 1: Bean thread noodles stew

This is a hearty vegetarian soup recipe with carrot, bamboo shoot, cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, cloud ear and wood ear fungus and mung bean vermicelli. Also fondly called chap chye in Hokkien. 

This soup is thickened with a little cornstarch mixture and the texture blends very well with the bean thread noodles. To enhance the flavour, sometimes I will add a small piece of fermented bean curd.

Ingredients

  • 60ml cooking oil
  • 30g cloud fungus
  • 30g wood ear fungus
  • 55g mung bean vermicelli
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms
  • 100g cabbage
  • 55g canned bamboo shoot
  • 100g carrot
  • 1 litre vegetable soup stock

Seasoning A

  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 pepper

Cornstarch mixture

  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp sesame seed oil
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch powder

Directions

  1. Soak the cloud ear fungus, wood ear fungus till soft and expanded. Drain and cut into thin strips
  2. Soak the mung bean vermicelli in hot water to soften. Drain and leave aside
  3. Wash and slice the shiitake mushrooms
  4. Cut the cabbage into long strips, wash thoroughly
  5. Wash the canned bamboo shoot and cut into thin strips
  6. Wash and peel the carrot, cut into thin strips
  7. Heat the oil in a wok
  8. Add the cloud fungus, wood ear fungus, mung bean vermicelli, shitake mushrooms, cabbage, bamboo shoots and carrot
  9. Stir fry for a while, add seasoning A
  10. Mix well and add soup stock
  11. Bring soup to a boil
  12. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir continuously until soup thickens
  13. Serve

Recipe 2: Bean thread noodles soup with beef slices 

Ingredients

  • 1 packet of bean thread noodles
  • 2 stalks of bok choy
  • Slices of cooked beef
  • 1 litre of water 
  • 2 cups of soup stock
  • Salt, pepper and sesame seed oil
  • Chopped spring onion (optional)

Method

  1. Wash the bok choy and slice in half lengthwise
  2. Bring the water to a boil in a soup pot
  3. Add the bok choy and cook till soft but still bright green, remove and drain for use
  4. Add the bean thread noodles into the boiling water to soften
  5. Remove and drain for use
  6. Place the bean thread noodles, bok choy and cooked beef slices into a serving bowl
  7. Bring the 2 cups of soup stock to a boil, season with salt and pepper
  8. Pour the stock over the noodles, vegetables and beef
  9. Drizzle some sesame seed oil and garnish with chopped spring onion
  10. Serve hot

You can substitute the beef with pork or ground pork. 

Recipe 3: Glass noodles with pork and bok choy

The meat and vegetables can be substituted with other ingredients. Chicken or beef for pork and lettuce leaves for bok choy.

Ingredients

  • 150g minced pork
  • 100g pak choy (xiao bai cai)
  • 100g dried glass noodles (fen si)
  • 500ml soup stock
  • A dash of sesame seed oil
  • Salt and pepper

Marinate

  • A tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • Chopped spring onions

Directions

  1. Add soy sauce, minced ginger and chopped spring onions to the minced pork. Mix well and leave to stand for a while
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil, use a spoon to scoop the minced pork into the boiling water. Repeat until all minced pork have been used up
  3. When cooked, the meat will float to the surface. 
  4. Add the bean threads, the vegetables
  5. Add salt to taste
  6. It is ready when it boils again
  7. Add sesame seed oil and pepper just before serving

Happy Souping, Phoebe

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