Yum Woon Sen Recipe

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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.

 

2-3 Servings, Prep Time: 17 Minutes, Total Time: 17 Minutes

Tips and Techniques

  • Clear noodles are also known as glass noodles, cellophane noodles, silver noodles and bean thread noodles. The noodles are white when uncooked and dried. When they are cooked/soaked in hot water, they turn clear.
  • Regular celery is a good substitute for Chinese celery. Slice the them thin and use the leaves, too.
  • The home-grown celery tastes comparable to Chinese celery.
  • Soak the sliced onion in the salad dressing to tone down the heat in onion.
  • If you like the salad mild, cut the chili peppers big, easier to pick out. 
  • I tried using raw garlic, it doesn't give the complex flavor like fried garlic. Here is the link on how to make easy fried garlic
  • Red onion is a great substitute for brown onion and it doesn't impact the flavor negatively. It adds another color to the dish, purple.  However, I don't use it because it's not an ingredient you'd find/use in Thailand.
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