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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

[Thailand Recipes] Yum Woon Sen - Spicy Thai Glass Noodles Salad

I had looked at the menu full of glistening pictures of Thai food, and the one with the clear glass noodles, colorful veggies and crushed peanuts jumped out at me—but no one was there to tell me how crazy spicy Yum Woon Sen could be. Especially for a farang (foriegn) tongue that wasn’t used to ped mak mak (very spicy) yet.

Yum Woon Sen - Spicy Thai Glass Noodles Salad | Thailand Recipes

It was pretty common those first few weeks in Thailand for me to be scarfing down delicious food with tears streaming down my cheeks, and a huge smile on my face because even though my mouth and sinuses couldn’t handle the spice yet, it just tasted so good I couldn’t stop eating.

Yum Woon Sen - Spicy Thai Glass Noodles Salad 2 | Thailand Recipes

But this time I was crying not only because it was so spicy my mouth felt like it was just struck by a fireball, but I wanted to keep eating because I was hungry, I was also crying because I was getting over jet-lag, and culture-shock and loneliness were slowly setting in.

After that first week though, things only got better and better, not only for me, but for my tongue. I just kept eating spicy food, even though the tears would come and the flames lit up my mouth, but over time my tongue even adjusted so now I can confidently say, “Chop ped mak mak! (I like very spicy!)” to any Thai street vendor, and eat most spicy Thai dishes without pain.

Yum Woon Sen - Spicy Thai Glass Noodles Salad 3 | Thailand Recipes

And over time, I just kept pushing through the culture shock confusion and the pain of wanting to fit in and have friends that comes with being a newcomer to any place, and I adjusted to Bangkok. I became best friends with my co-workers, found an awesome church where I felt at home, found a Thai man I fell in love with, and I became one of those people walking around in CentralWorld who knew exactly what I was doing.

I just had to keep going through the flames, and eventually passed through, not even realizing how much stronger I was becoming.

All that to say, now I love Yum Woon Sen, and love how I can make it at home as spicy or not spicy as I want.

What’s so magical about Yum Woon Sen are the bean thread glass noodles. When I first saw them, I was a bit freaked out. They are clear, super thin, slippery, and almost look like they are noodles aliens brought over from another planet. Since they are made out of mung bean, Thais who are on a diet love these eating these noodles instead of rice noodles.

Yum Woon Sen is full of fresh veggies, crushed peanuts, and a spicy, lime dressing that puckers your lips and revives your senses. If you have a lot of veggies to use up and are in the mood for a fresh Thai dish, try out Yum Woon Sen today!

Yum Woon Sen Recipe | Spicy Thai Glass Noodles Salad | ยำวุ้นเส้น

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 2-3

In the mood for a fresh Thai salad? Try out Yum Woon Sen, a spicy Thai glass noodles salad!


2 tbsp. cooking oil
1 pound ground turkey (or tofu, sliced into 2 in. long by 1/4 in. wide pieces)
4 garlic cloves, smashed and mined
2-8 Thai chilies, smashed and sliced thin (depending on spice preference)
2 shallots, thinly sliced lengthwise
2 bundles Thai Bean Thread Glass Noodles
3 tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 c. your favorite fresh mushrooms, sliced thin
1 c. bean sprouts
1 c. fresh spinach
1 c. fresh roughly chopped cilantro
1 c. fresh mint
1/2 c. ground peanuts
1-2 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tsp. sugar
juice from 3 limes
2 tsp. roasted rice powder
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Yum Woon Sen - Spicy Thai Glass Noodles Salad 4 | Thailand Recipes


1. Make noodles according to package directions. But if the directions aren't in English, and you don't know what to do, here is what I usually do: soak the noodles for about 10 minutes in warm water.

2. Boil about six cups of water or so and add pre-soaked noodles, and be sure to cut off the strings first that are holding the bundles together.

3. Let boil for about 3 minutes, or until noodles are cooked, but not mushy.

4. Drain and put it in a mixing bowl.

5. Warm cooking oil in a wok or pan of your choice.

6. Add garlic and chilies, stir until fragrant.

Yum Woon Sen - Spicy Thai Glass Noodles Salad 5 | Thailand Recipes

7. Add meat and mushrooms. While cooking it add a few teaspoons of fish sauce.
Once meat and mushrooms are cooked, turn off the heat, and remove the pan from the burner to let the meat cool to room temperature.

8. Once noodles and meat are at room temperature, add the meat, or tofu, and mushrooms to the noodles.

9. Then add in the shallots, tomatoes, bean sprouts, spinach, cilantro, mint, peanuts, fish sauce, lime, sugar, and roasted rice powder.

10. When you taste it, you want lime flavor to be in the lead, followed by a salty flavor, and the sugar is just used to balance out the flavors.



You can use any veggies or herbs you have on hand that you think will go well together! Feel free to add more or less of any veggie, and really customize this to your liking!

This recipe and image sources are referred in website: Thanks so much!

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