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Thai Glass Noodles in a Savory Sauce

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Thai Glass Noodles in a Savory Sauce

Thai Glass Noodles (in a Savory Sauce)

D.Schmidt
Glass (or "cellophane") noodles are thin and as transparent as the name suggests. Healthier than wheat noodles, glass noodles are made from green beans, broad beans, and peas, which makes them gluten-free and a source of iron, calcium, and fiber. They are opaque (white) until soaked in water. Look for them at your local Asian store sold in dried bundles/packages (check ingredients to be sure they are "glass" noodles - look for bean or pea flour). Made with my savory sauce, these noodles are truly irresistible! (Includes instructions for vegetarians.)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 7-8 oz. Thai-style vermicelli noodles (very thin, clear noodles made of bean/pea flour) - SERVES 1 red bell pepper, de-seeded and sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, de-seeded and sliced
  • 4-6 shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts OR 4 chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces, OR 1+1/2 cups vegetarian wheat gluten "chicken" pieces OR cubed firm tofu
  • SAUCE:
  • 1 cup chicken stock OR vegetarian vegetable or faux chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp. ground bean sauce (sold in jar at Asian/Chinese food stores) - gluten-free diets: buy a wheat-free bean sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal or ginger
  • 1 cup fresh coriander, including the stems, finely chopped
  • 4 Tbsp. soy sauce (or wheat-free soy sauce for gluten-free diets)
  • 1 tsp. dark soy sauce (or 1 extra Tbsp. soy sauce OR wheat-free soy sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp. fish sauce OR vegetarian oyster sauce OR vegetarian stir-fry sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • optional: 1 red or green chili, de-seeded and minced, OR 1 tsp. chili sauce

Preparation:

  1. Soak noodles in a pot of cold or room-temperature water for approximately 20-30 minutes, or until soft enough to eat (some brands may take up to 1 hour). The noodles will absorb much of the water and expand - they will also magically turn from white to transparent. Drain and set aside. Tip: If the noodles won't stay immersed in the water (they are very difficult to bend/break when dry), weigh them down with a heavy bowl.
  2. While noodles are soaking, make the sauce. Place broth in a wok or deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add all other sauce ingredients plus chicken, wheat gluten, or tofu, and mushrooms. Stir well. Turn heat down to medium. Cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked. (Note that wheat gluten is already cooked, so it will only require a few minutes to warm.).
  4. Add bell peppers and simmer for an additional 5 minutes, or until softened.
  5. Add the drained noodles, gently turning them in the wok/pan. Reduce heat to minimum.

    Stir-frying Tip: If the noodles remain too clumped together, use a pair of clean scissors to cut them into smaller, easier-to-manage lengths. You can cut them directly in the wok/pan, without removing or touching them with your hands (be careful not to scrape the bottom of the wok/pan).

  6. Note that this dish can be served either "wet" or "dry". That is, you can serve the noodles immediately for a saucer dish (as soon as the noodles are covered in sauce). OR you can continue to gently turn the noodles over low heat until all the sauce has been absorbed by the noodles (they will then be dry and slightly sticky).
  7. Do a final taste test for salt, adding more fish sauce or soy sauce (1/2 Tbsp. at a time) if not salty enough. If too salty, add a squeeze of lime juice until desired flavor is reached. Serve with a sprinkling of fresh coriander, and Thai chili sauce on the side, if desired. ENJOY!

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