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© Copyright 1995-2017, Clay Irving <clay@panix.com>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA

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Cellophane Noodles

Cellophane Noodle Characteristics
Pronounced: SEHL-uh-fayn
Cellophane noodles are translucent, thread-like noodles and are also known as "bean threads", "mung bean threads", "bai fun", "translucent noodles", "shining noodles", "slippery noodles", "peastarch noodles, powdered silk noodles, saifun, sai fun, silver noodles, Chinese vermicelli, "transparent noodles", "fen szu", "fen si", "fan si", "fun see", "glass noodles", "crystal noodles", "jelly noodles", "transparent vermicelli", "soo hoon" or "sohoon" (Cantonese), "su boon", "tung boon", "su un" (Indonesian), "pancit sotanghon" (Tagalog), "woon sen" (Thai), "bun tau", "mien" or "bun tao" (Vietnamese), "bean thread vermicelli", "green bean thread noodles", "invisible noodles", "pekyasan", "vermicelli noodles", "tanghoon" (Malaysia), "mung pea noodles", and "sotanghon" (Philippines). I wonder if the number of different names for cellophane noodles is any indication of their popularity in Asia?

Cellophane noodles are made from flour made from green mung bean paste. Most people in the US have no idea what mung beans are, but they probably see a form of mung bean everytime they visit the grocery store -- Mung beans are used for bean sprouts!
Green Mung BeansBean Sprouts

Cellophane noodles are removed from the packaging and soaked for approximately 15-20 minutes in hot water before using in most dishes. Once softened in hot water, they are added boiling and cooked for no more than 1 minute. They become gelatinous and transparent, and readily absorb the flavors of the ingredients that are cooked with. Presoaking isn't necessary when they're added to soups. The dried noodles can also be deep-fried to make a crunchy garnish or bed for sauces.

Varieties


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