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Cellophane Noodles, Meaning Of Cellophane Transparent Noodles

Also Called Glass Noodles, Cellophane Noodles Are Made From Green Mung

Ask a seasoned Thai cook the meaning of cellophane noodles and the most likely answer would be 'don't know'. The interesting thing is that most Thai cooks would be using cellophane noodles in their cooking routine at least 3 to 4 times a week. The interesting thing about international food and international cooking is that, the terminology used to describe various food ingredients and even various food dishes is very different. The point is that the Thai cook would refer to the transparent cellophane noodles as 'woon sen' the woon is pronounced with a short 'oo'. Cooks in Europe and the U.S prefer to call these noodles as cellophane noodles as they become transparent like cellophane (sticking) tape when cooked!
Cellophane noodles are made from green mung beans, the beans are polished before use and that is why you do not see the greenish color on these transparent noodles. At times if you observe the entire bunch of cellophabe noodles when unpacked, you might notice some green fragments stuck to the noodles. These are pieces of the skin of the green moon beans stuck to the noodles. There ofcourse is no problem and you can safely eat the noodles. If you visit an Asian grocery store and are looking for cellophane noodles, do not get confused with other greenish noodles that you might come across. The greenish noodles are most likely to be, wheat noodles made along with certain green leaf extracts. The images on this web page will help you recognize cellophane noodles clearly.
cellophane noodles, meaning of transparent cellophane noodles transparent cellophane noodles how to cook
The above image shows cellophane noodles as taken out of the packing. These are uncooked cellophane noodles and show a transluscent texture. The strings of these transparent noodles are long, they are folded when packed. We will talk about how to cook cellophane noodles in this article, the above image shows you how transparent cellophane noodles will look after cooking. The textue is intact, they just become more transparent.
Before we more forward talking about how to cook cellophane noodles, let us first learn about other names used to describe the same type of noodles. This will help you when you read books on international cooking or try out international food recipes.

Other Names For Cellphane Noodles

Woon Sen                   - Thailand
Fens                           - China
Bun                            - Vietnam
Harusame                   -  Japan
Mung Bean Noodles    - Parts of Asia
Glass Noodles            - General
Transparent Noodles   - General
Cellophane Noodles    - General
Now let us take you through the routine of cooking cellophane noodles. These noodles do not have any specific taste or flavor on their own, they absorb the flavor of the ingredients that have been added into the dish along with the noodles. When you buy your cellophane noodles, they will most likely be in the form of strings, folded and bundled together. The noodles are like long strings, the interesting part is that they appear to be quite tough. You could hurt your skin if you tried to tear up the bundle into small pieces with your bare hands. They are not going to crumble into convenient small pieces if you press them together, at least not many of those strings will break down that way.
If you have observed at a Thai cook using cellophane noodles, called woon sen noodles in Thailand, notice how they begin to cook these noodles. The cook (generally a female) will open up the bundle of (uncooked) cellophane noodles with her hands. She will then twist them in opposite directions and get them to break into shorter pieces. Like we mentioned above, this could bruise an inexperienced hand, so do not try to do this.
The basic idea when cooking cellophane noodles is that, most people prefer that they be cut into shorter lengths when cooked with the rest of the ingredients. We have seen some international cook books talking about this. They suggest that you use a scissors and cut the cooked cellophane noodles into smaller pieces. Our suggestion is to do this process before you start cooking the transparent noodles. To accomplish this, take the cellophane noodles out of the packet, open up the folded bundle to about 12 inches length. Then use a big heavy scissors, take your fingers out of the way and cut the noodles into smaller pieces. If you find the cutting to be tough, just separate the bundle into thinner bunches and repeat the process. A final length of around 4 to 6 inches for the cellophane noodles should be fine.
Now the cooking part, boil some water in a pan and let it come to it's boiling state. A very shallow pan might not be suitable for cooking these noodles. The water needs to ultimately immerse all the noodles completely, so use a fairly deep pan to boil the water in. Then put the cut cellophane noodles into the boiling water. Use a large spoon and lightly press the noodles to ensure that they are fully immersed in the water. Let the noodles cook for around 10 to 12 minutes, they will become clearly more transparent and also a bit thicker. This is when you want to take the cooked cellophane noodles out of the pan.
Taking the noodles out of the boiling water needs some attention, so read this carefully. Professional cooks in Asia, use large deep spoons which have a sieve composition. These spoons have fine holes (like a filter) through which the excess water can drain away. You do not want to keep the cellophane noodles in the water after cooking, the sieve spoon helps take off the water. Depending on the size of the spoon, you can leave the cooked transparent noodles to drain in the spoon, until you are ready to add the noodles to your main dish.
The best way to cook cellophane noodles is to do it just as the dish requiring them is being made. The texture of these noodles is quite tough, this despite the rather fine and stringy appearance of the noodles. The texture holds even after the noodles are cooked, this makes them very suitable for some dishes. Both vegetarian and non vegetarian fried spring rolls often use cellophane noodles as an ingredient.
cellophane noodles in spring rolls
One of the very popular Thai food dish that uses cellophane noodles is Thai Spring Rolls. These deep fried spring rolls are available in most Thai or Chinese food houses. We have the recipe and complete details on this cellophane noodle dish ... more.

We do hope that you have enjoyed reading this report on cellophane noodles. The Kaisilver group is not directly involved in any food related business. We are one of the world's leading online highend custom jewelry providers. We do publish various websites in the public interest, a small contribution to world society which has helped us grow from a small jewelry setup into a global gem and jewelry provider. This web resource covers interesting articles related to travel, leisure, health and food. The team at Kaisilver takes time off to update these web resources and thanks you for taking the time to review our efforts.

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