What’s in a name? Bean thread noodles are variously known as cellophane, jelly, transparent, glass, silver, green bean thread or invisible noodles. Whatever you choose to call them, they’re one and the same beast, made from an extrusion of mung bean and tapioca starches mixed with water. When soaked, their gelatinous, springy texture is perfect for soaking up cooking juices or gravy, as in this Kylie Kwong-inspired dish. They’re also found in desserts and deep-fried. To make life easier when slurping these slippery creatures, snip the noodles with scissors after they’ve been soaked.
- 5 red shallots
- 80 ml peanut oil (1/3 cup)
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp minced ginger
- 40 mussels, scrubbed, beards removed
- 100 ml Shaoxing wine
- 200 gm bean thread vermicelli
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 3 long red chillies, seeds removed, cut into julienne
- 60 gm salted black beans (3 tbsp)
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- 60 ml oyster sauce (¼ cup)
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 small red chillies, thinly sliced
- 250 gm sugar snap peas, halved lengthways
- 1 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
- 1 cup coriander leaves (loosely packed)
- 1Thinly slice 1 shallot. Heat 2 tbsp peanut oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add shallot, garlic, half the ginger and cook for 3-4 minutes or until fragrant. Add mussels and cook for 1 minute, then add 40ml Shaoxing wine. Cover and cook, shaking pan occasionally, for 3-4 minutes, or until mussels open. Remove mussels from pan, reserving ½ cup liquid.
- 2Place vermicelli in a large heat-proof bowl, pour over boiling water and stand for 3 minutes, then drain and set aside.
- 3Cut remaining shallots into wedges. Heat remaining peanut oil in a wok or large frying pan over high heat, add green onion, remaining ginger, shallot, long red chilli and black beans and cook for 3 minutes or until fragrant. Add mussels and drained vermicelli and stir-fry for another 2 minutes, then add remaining Shaoxing wine, sugar, oyster sauce, sesame oil, reserved mussel liquid, chilli and sugar snap peas. Cook for 3 minutes, or until liquid is reduced. Add vinegar and coriander, toss to combine and serve immediately.