Glass Noodle Salad is a Southeast Asian-styled noodle dish with a perfect balance of flavors and texture: the freshness of vegetables, the delicate texture of glass noodles, and the vibrant flavors of a well-balanced dressing. It's the perfect refreshing dish for hot summer days!
Origins of this Glass Noodle Salad dish
Glass noodle salad, also known as "Yum Woon Sen" in Thai cuisine or "Miến trộn" in Vietnamese cuisine, has its roots in Southeast Asia. This refreshing salad has become popular across the globe due to its light yet satisfying nature. The dish is characterized by the use of glass noodles, which are made from mung bean starch or sometimes green bean starch, contributing to their transparent appearance.
What are Glass Noodles and how do I find them?
Glass noodles, also known as cellophane noodles or bean thread noodles, are a type of transparent noodle made from various starches, such as mung bean starch, potato starch, or sweet potato starch. They have a gelatinous and slightly chewy texture when cooked and are commonly used in Asian cuisine.
To find glass noodles, you can try the following options:
- Local Grocery Stores: Many well-stocked grocery stores with an international or Asian food section carry glass noodles. Look for them in the pasta or Asian food aisle. Some common brands include "Bean Threads" or "Cellophane Noodles."
- Asian Grocery Stores: Asian grocery stores are a great place to find glass noodles. They usually have a wide selection of different brands and varieties. Look for them in the noodles section or ask the store staff for assistance.
- Online Retailers: You can also find a variety of glass noodles on online platforms. Popular online retailers often have a wide range of options and brands, making it convenient to purchase them from the comfort of your home. Here is an Amazon link to purchase the Glass Noodles (affiliate)
To create a glass noodle salad brimming with flavor, a combination of carefully selected ingredients is essential. Here are the key components that make this salad truly remarkable:
- Glass Noodles: These translucent noodles are the star ingredient of the salad. They are incredibly versatile, absorbing the flavors of the dressing and the accompanying ingredients.
- Fresh Vegetables: Crisp and colorful vegetables such as cucumbers, and carrots add a delightful crunch and vibrant texture to the salad.
- Protein: Tofu is added to the salad to enhance its nutritional value and cater to different dietary preferences.
- Aromatic Herbs: Fragrant herbs like cilantro and mint elevate the salad's taste profile, adding a burst of freshness.
- Dressing: The dressing plays a crucial role in tying all the flavors together. It combines:
- The tanginess of lime or lemon juice
- A hint of sweetness from sugar
- A bit of heat from chili peppers
- Vegan fish sauce or soy sauce can be incorporated for umami richness.
- Minced garlic and ginger
- Roasted peanuts add crunch and nuttiness to this recipe.
See the recipe card for measurements.
Bursting with freshness and an array of vibrant flavors, this Glass Noodle Salad is not only a treat for your taste buds but also a visual feast. Let's dive into the step-by-step preparation of this delicious recipe.
In a large bowl, soak the glass noodles in warm water for about 3 minutes.
Add hot water to the glass noodles.
Soak the noodles for 3 minutes.
Drain and rinse the noodles under cold water.
Prep the vegetables and herbs
Peel the carrot and cucumber. Using a julienne peeler or a sharp knife, cut them into thin, matchstick-like strips.
Cook the Tofu:
Cut the tofu into small cubes or slices according to your preference.
Pan fry the tofu with a small amount of oil, until golden brown and crispy on both sides.
When cooled, cut the fried tofu to thin slices, of equal sizes as the vegetables.
Make the Sauce:
Peel and finely mince the garlic and ginger.
Remove the seeds from the Thai chili pepper and finely chop it.
In a small bowl, combine the minced garlic, ginger, chopped chili pepper, lime juice, soy sauce, and sugar. Stir well until the sugar dissolves.
Assemble the Salad:
In the mixing bowl with the vegetables and herbs, add the cooked glass noodles, fried tofu and some of the chopped peanuts.
Then pour the sauce over the salad and toss gently to ensure everything is evenly coated with the flavorsome sauce.
Next, transfer the glass noodle salad to a serving dish or plate. Finally, garnish with additional cilantro, mint leaves and peanuts and enjoy immediately!
After cooking the glass noodles, drain and rinse them under cold water then soak in water to avoid sticking together.
- To make this recipe gluten-free, make sure that the glass noodles you choose have a Gluten-free label. Glass Noodles are naturally gluten-free but may contain cross-contamination during the manufacturing process. Use tamari, or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.
- If you are allergic to peanuts, you can use sesame seeds, almonds or cashews instead. Make sure to roast them before adding to the salad for extra depth of flavors.
- Sugar: you can substitute sugar with agave or maple syrup.
- Instead of tofu, you can use tempeh, seitan or mock chicken.
- Vegetable Variations: Feel free to experiment with different vegetables based on your preferences and seasonal availability. Consider adding thinly sliced bell peppers, shredded cabbage, bean sprouts, or blanched asparagus to the salad for added texture and flavor. You can also add fruit like mango or pineapple for the sweet and sour combo flavor.
- Herbs: While cilantro and mint are traditional herbs used in glass noodle salad, you can experiment with other herbs such as Thai basil, lemon basil, or even dill to add a unique twist to the dish.
- Sauce: Customize the dressing according to your taste preferences. Consider adding a splash of rice vinegar, a drizzle of sesame oil, or a dash of chili sauce for an extra kick. Use more sugar or agave/maple syrup for a more sweet dressing.
- Glass noodle salad is best enjoyed fresh. If you have leftovers, transfer them to an airtight container and refrigerate promptly.
- I recommend consuming the salad within 24 hours for optimal taste and texture. The longer it sits, the softer the noodles may become.
Variations and Substitutes
- Tofu skin: I use a large sheet of dry tofu skin and rehydrate it in water. If using fresh ones or thin tofu skin, soaking is not necessary.
- To substitute tofu skin, I recommend using rice paper sheets. Soak in water for 1 second to soften before wrapping.
- King oyster mushrooms: If you don't have king oyster mushrooms, you can also use enoki mushrooms and thinly slice them before wrapping them with the tofu skin.
- Gluten-free: All the ingredients in this recipe are gluten-free except for soy sauce, which can be substituted by tamari or coconut aminos.
If you have tried my recipe, please let me know what you think by leaving me a review on this page or tagging me on Instagram @veggieanh. I would love to see your creations!Print