Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Touch of Glass

Glass Noodles stir-fried with Broccoli, Mushrooms and Napa Cabbage
   It’s official, I’m obsessed with glass noodles!  So slippery and light, springy and snappy, they are a delight for the senses.  These noodles are great absorbers of flavor and they don’t fall apart like their rice counterparts or clump together like pasta and other wheat-based noodles.  But what are they exactly, and what makes them so freaking cool looking?
   As it turns out, cellophane noodles are made from starch- usually mung bean or potato- which becomes translucent as you cook it and also makes this a great gluten-free option.  Served warm or cold, glass noodles are popular in a lot of Asian cuisines, especially in Korean and Vietnamese dishes where they add a wonderful texture to salads, spring and summer rolls, soups, and stir-fries.  Plus, they are fat-free and have half the calories and carbohydrates found in ramen-style noodles, so I can feel pretty good about eating a big old bowlful. 
  My local grocery has a very limited “Asian” section, so imagine my surprise when I found cellophane noodles right there on the shelf!  Being my first attempt at cooking them, I had no idea how truly easy they are to prepare.  This is a great veggie option with tons of flavor and it took me less than 15 minutes to throw it all together with what I had in the fridge. 

Veggie Stir-Fry with Glass Noodles

1 pkt              Cellophane noodles
2 T                 ginger/garlic paste
2                    scallions
1 head            broccoli
1 small           napa cabbage
1 pkg              mushrooms              

¼ cup             soy sauce
2 T                  rice wine vinegar
2 T                  brown sugar
1 t                   sesame oil

1. Soak the noodles in hot water for 10 minutes to soften them.  I followed the instructions on the side of the packet which suggests using scissors to cut the noodles after they are soft- I found that this wasn’t so easy since they ended up in a pretty tangled mess.  Next time, I will definitely break them up a bit before I soak them.  Drain the noodles, rinse with cold water and set aside.

2. In a small bowl, mix together the sauce and adjust to your taste.

3. Stir-fry the veggies, then add the sauce and throw in the softened noodles and cook for 2-3 minutes more until they become clear.  Add a squirt of sriracha if you like them spicy!

4. Squeeze a lime over the noodles and garnish with cilantro, scallions, and/or sesame seeds.
   As always, this recipe is just a guideline based on what I made myself for dinner.  Glass noodles are so versatile and they work with so many different flavors.  Get creative and use your favorite veggies or meats for a fun quick meal!


  1. MMMM.... as soon as i saw this, i decided i would make it for dinner tonight! thanks for a yummy recipe...will let you know how it turns out. Looks delicious!

  2. This looks great Archana! A good vegetarian dish to try! I love your blog - it's awesome!! I love it how you have step by step pictures with the receipe. Keep up the great work!!

  3. Just wanted to thank the chef for these recipes which have saved my life during the hectic work week, not to mention left me in good standing with my houseguest! For the first time ever I am confident serving someone other than my loved one and stocking the fridge has been so easy!!