Cellpohane Noodles[ PURCHASE INFO ]
Cellophane Noodles: Cellophane noodles (also known as Chinese glass noodles, bean thread, and Chinese vermicelli) are thin noodles resembling vermicelli. Sometimes confused with rice noodles or rice vermicelli, cellophane noodles are made from mung bean flower and are glassy and transparent when cooked while rice noodles are white. Cellophane noodles are common in Chinese cooking, and are also used in Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan, the Phillipines and Hawaii. They have many culinary uses but are most common in soups and stir-fries. Glass noodles require little cooking time, 1-3 minutes in boiling water, and can just be soaked in hot water to reconstitute them. They have little flavor of their own but absorb flavors easily, taking on the flavor of whatever they are cooked with.
Because cellophane noodles are not made with flour they were not classified as noodles by the FDA until recently. The FDA required a noodle to contain flour, water and eggs, so they were labeled as "imitation noodles" before the change, affecting their reputation in the US. Many "Asian noodles" do not contain flour or eggs. Noodles from Vietnam, Thailand, Korea, China and Japan (among others) are made from alternative starches like rice, cornstarch, mung bean flour, buckwheat, sweet potatoes... So many were not classified as noodles in the US. Ironically, Asia is the birthplace of the noodle. Marco Polo is credited with bringing noodles back from China in the 13th century. Cellophane noodles are one of the most popular types of noodles in Asia. They figure prominently in the cuisine of China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.
Where to buy: Cellophane Noodles