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Garden Greens with Asian Dressing and Crispy Bean Thread Noodles

Garden Greens with Asian Dressing and Crispy Bean Thread Noodles

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Description

This Asian inspired salad of Garden Greens with Asian Dressing  and Crispy Bean Thread Noodles creates an opportunity to serve a green salad with any Asian meal. In my house that is a lot of meals.

The dressing has quite a few ingredients, all of which I would recommend for your Asian pantryGluten free soy sauce and gluten free hoisin sauce are easy to find and seem to last forever. I do a lot of Asian cooking so mine gets replaced but I know hoisin sauce will definitely keep in the fridge for a year.

The garnish on this salad is the bean thread noodles. When deep fried these become crispy and are a brilliant white colour. Rice noodles will crisp up the same and are worth doing it…they just don’t turn such a nice, bright white colour.

Bean Thread Noodles vs Rice Vermicelli Noodles

Rice vermicelli and bean thread noodles are pantry items worth stocking since they are inexpensive and versatile. The name vermicelli actually refers to the size of the noodle rather than the flour it is made of. Most often recipes calling for vermicelli are referring to rice vermicelli noodles. I use them in Asian noodle soup or salad and my personal favourite, Vietnamese salad rolls.

Bean thread noodles are also called glass noodles, mung bean threads, cellophane noodles or vermicelli. They are made using mung bean flour then cut into thin vermicelli or flatter tagliatelli shaped noodles. They are tough and difficult to cut or break in their dried state so I buy them in packages containing several smaller individual bundles. This way they can be separately and deep-fried easily.

Bean thread noodles can be soaked before using so they are easier to handle. After soaking them cut into shorter lengths with scissors and use as you would use rice noodles. Softened they can be used in soups or stir-fries but for me that is one extra step. I find the rice noodles easier and leave the bean thread noodles for deep-frying.

Deep Frying Bean Thread Noodles in a Wok

In a recent cooking class I demonstrated deep-frying bean thread noodles. This can easily be done in a frying pan but deep-frying in a wok is my preference. A flat bottom wok sits safely on the element of an electric or gas stove. A wok provides a larger cooking surface than a pot and is essential for the stir-frying technique of Chinese cooking. I’m sure many people stir-fry in a frying pan of some kind but there are so many other reasons to have a wok. Deep-frying is one of them.

My wok is my deep fryer. Because the diameter of the base is small it doesn’t require as much oil as a shallow pan and it is wider at the top so can hold a good amount of food to fry at one time. The shape of the sides also allows you to attach a thermometer, the kind you might use for deep-frying or making candy. I use my wok to deep fry  things like calamari, French fries and these bean thread noodles.

You can watch my video of deep-frying mung bean noodles here or read the instructions in the recipe. No matter how you fry the noodles or which ones you use they add a nice crunch and beautiful look to a simple green salad.

 

Ingredients

SALAD
4 cups mixed greens
¼ red bell pepper, slivered
¼ yellow bell pepper, slivered
3 or 4 thinly sliced radishes
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)
¼ cup slivered green onions
deep fried bean thread noodles
DRESSING
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp GF soy sauce
1 tsp GF hoisin sauce
½ tsp dry mustard
½ tsp sugar
2 tsp finely minced fresh ginger
½ tsp finely minced garlic
1 Tbsp minced green onion

Directions

1
Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously. Set aside.
2
To fry the noodles heat oil on medium-high heat in a frying pan or wok. It is hot enough when the end of a single noodle puffs up immediately. When ready drop a small handful of noodles into the oil. They will puff us immediately. Using tongs lift up the noodles and turn the pile over. Listen for the remaining noodles to puff up then remove immediately. They should be bright white and crispy. Drain on a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat with remaining noodles. When cool the fried noodles can be stored for several days in an airtight container.
3
Combine salad greens and vegetables in a large bowl. Shake dressing again then sprinkle over salad. Top with noodles and gently toss salad. Serve in a large bowl or individually on plates. Garnish with edible flowers.

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