Yum Woon Sen or bean thread noodles salad is a popular dish in both inside and outside Thailand. The combination of ingredients and seasonings make this dish delicious. I love how the bland noodles absorb the hot spicy sour dressing while the peanuts add the nutty, crunchiness to the salad. When you hit the dried shrimp, it packs with saltiness and flavor. Chinese celery and cilantro bring in freshness. I keep going back and forth, a little bit of this and and a little bit of that.
Many Thais view bean thread noodles as a diet food. I don't think it works for me. Yum Woon Sen is so good that I keep eating it. That's totally ineffective!
I recommend this dish for pot luck or party because it stays delicious at room temperature for a few hours. You can prepare all the ingredients ahead of time and mix the dressing at the last minute.
You can adjust Yum Woon Sen to have more or less ingredients. Many people like to add ground pork and tomatoes to yum woon sen. You can dress it up by adding cooked large shrimp like many restaurants do, too. I like mine simple with just dried shrimp for protein.