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.
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.
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.
60ml cooking oil
30g cloud fungus
30g wood ear fungus
55g mung bean vermicelli
4 shiitake mushrooms
55g canned bamboo shoot
1 litre vegetable soup stock
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp water
1 tsp sesame seed oil
2 tbsp cornstarch powder
Soak the cloud ear fungus, wood ear fungus till soft and expanded. Drain and cut into thin strips
Soak the mung bean vermicelli in hot water to soften. Drain and leave aside
Wash and slice the shiitake mushrooms
Cut the cabbage into long strips, wash thoroughly
Wash the canned bamboo shoot and cut into thin strips
Wash and peel the carrot, cut into thin strips
Heat the oil in a wok
Add the cloud fungus, wood ear fungus, mung bean vermicelli, shitake mushrooms, cabbage, bamboo shoots and carrot
Stir fry for a while, add seasoning A
Mix well and add soup stock
Bring soup to a boil
Add the cornstarch mixture and stir continuously until soup thickens
Recipe 2: Bean thread noodles soup with beef slices
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