YUM! I love Thai food, so I am very excited to try this out today:
Yum Woon Sen (Spicy glass noodle salad with crunchy peanuts and shrimp)
- 5-6 sprigs cilantro
- 1 bundle Clear Noodles
- 1/4 cup dried shrimp
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon fried garlic
- 1-2 limes
- 1/2 sliced onion
- 1/2 cup peanuts
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 3 Thai chili pepper
- 1 cup cut Chinese Celery
The clear noodles I use come in a pink mesh bag with 8 2-ounce bundles inside. You only need one bundle (2oz). Put the noodles in a heat resistant bowl. Pour boiling hot water over the noodles and let soak for 6 minutes. Move the noodles around to make sure that all the strands are submerged. You can start prepping other ingredients. At this point, I set the timer for 6 minutes. Strain the noodles. When the water stop dripping (2 minutes), pour the noodles into a large mixing bowl and cut them with scissors randomly to make the strands easier to serve and eat.
If you are using raw peanuts, fry peanuts in 1 teaspoon of oil over low to medium low heat. You can also toast peanuts in a pan without oil, too. Either way takes about 5-7 minutes for the peanuts to turn light brown and cooked. Remove peanuts and set aside. Fry the dried shrimp over medium heat until crispy and brown, about a minute, depending on the size of your shrimp. When the shrimp turns whitish, remove from heat and set aside. Cut the Chinese celery into 1 ½ inch pieces. Slice onion, top to bottom to get crescent pieces. Chop cilantro and chili peppers.
For one lime, I get about 3 tablespoons of juice. For every tablespoon of fish sauce, I use about 5 tablespoons of lime juice. You want the sauce to be more sour than salty. You’ll need to taste your dried shrimp to see how salty they are. Dried shrimp is another source for salt, so the tossed salad will be a little bit saltier than your dressing. The role of sugar here is to round the flavors. The dressing should not even have a hint of sweetness. Mix the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar together well. This makes approximately 6 tablespoons of dressing.
Add a tablespoon of fried garlic to the noodles and mix them. Fried garlic gives the noodles flavor. Add 5 tablespoons of the salad dressing to the noodles and mix well. Add the peanuts, dried shrimp, onion, Chinese celery, chili peppers and cilantro to the noodles. Toss well and taste. You may need more dressing, depending on water content of the noodles and the concentrations of your seasonings. Some noodles can absorb more water and keep on expanding. That is not a desirable characteristic of good noodles. Anyway, there is 1 more tablespoon of dressing to play with.
The noodles should be soft (not mushy) and full of flavors (spicy and sour). If you use freshly toasted peanuts, the nutty aroma is incredible when you crunch on them. The Chinese celery is refreshing addition to the salad. Yum Woon Sen tastes really good right after you mix all the ingredients. However, it’s a good party or pre-prepared dish but less intense flavors.