As much as I love western food, the cook in me knows that the best flavors come from Asian cuisines. Asian cuisines are drawing more attention around the world and it encompasses many varieties of cuisines; Chinese, Indian or Thai, just to name a few.
Asia has a very long history of using spices and herbs. Dishes like Tom yum, Curries and Rendang have been made popular by Asians and I have seen many renowned chefs trying their hands at Asian delicacies such as Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay.
Today I would be sharing a popular and refreshing Thai dish. Did you know that Thai food is one of the most popular cuisines in the world? I feel that the Thais are so amazing at combining flavors. There is always this well-balanced blend of spicy, sweet and sour in their dishes. Thai dishes are HUGE on flavors and this has to be the primary reason as to why their food is famous internationally.
Thai food uses a lot of herbs and they are especially big with cilantro, lemongrass, lime leaves, and basil.
Yum Woon Sen or also known as Thai Glass Noodle Salad is basically made from glass noodles/ cellophane noodles or mung bean noodles. They are similar to vermicelli but glass noodles take almost no time to cook and they turn quite translucent when done.
So this Thai Glass Noodle Salad starts with soften mung bean noodles that are tossed in a delicious and zingy dressing with a whole bunch of fresh herbs and aromatics. It is then topped with some crushed roasted peanuts. In my case, I used pine nuts. You can actually use your preferred nuts. All we want here is some crunch to add another level of texture in the salad.
This salad is a popular appetizer in Thai restaurants and best of all, it is healthy as well! Come to think of it, this Thai Glass Noodle Salad is the perfect example of how the Thais can harmoniously combine flavors. The sweet from the palm sugar, the saltiness of the fish sauce and the tang from the lime juice. Although Thai dishes have quite an amount of heat in them, you can easily adjust the spiciness accordingly. Ultimately, You want to be able to enjoy the food!
This salad is a perk me up for your taste buds. I mean warm noodles, vibrant vegetables and a fresh and delicious dressing with the crunch from the nuts. It is just perfection, and really portray the sumptuous tastes of Thailand! You do not require a lot of effort to bring this dish together. It is adaptable and you can add more vegetables to the salad or add other protein of your choice from chicken to sliced beef or even squids. My family and I absolutely loved this Thai Glass Noodle Salad and we hope you would enjoy it as much as we did.
- 50 g dry glass noodles
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 1 onion, julienned
- 1 Roma tomato, sliced
- ½ cup fresh coriander leaves, sliced (including stems)
- ½ cup fresh mint leaves, torn
- ½ cup basil leaves, torn
- A spring of spring onion, sliced
- 6-8 prawns, shelled and deveined
- 2 tbsp roasted peanuts/pine nuts
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 4 bird eyes chilies or 3 red chilies, sliced
- 1 lemongrass, sliced thinly
- 1-1.5 tbsp palm sugar finely chopped (or brown sugar)
- 4 tbsp fish sauce
- 4 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- Soak the noodles in lukewarm water for 10 minutes to soften slightly.
- Season prawns with some salt and black pepper.
- Heat a frying pan with 1 tbsp of oil and pan fry the prawns for a few minutes. Set the prawns aside and use this pan to mix the dressing as the remaining oil in the pan would add more flavor to your dressing.
- In the pan (without the fire), add the ingredients for the dressing. Mix until sugar is dissolved and set aside.
- Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Add the noodles to the hot water.
- Cook the noodles for 1 minute and drain.
- Use scissors to cut the noodles into more manageable lengths
- Place the noodles in a mixing bowl, toss with half of the dressing.
- Add in all the vegetables and herbs. Season with more dressing if required.
- Transfer to a serving plate. Top with prawns and sprinkle with the peanuts.
- Serve immediately!