Thai Bean Thread (Glass) Noodles

Thai Glass Noodles

The Spruce

  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 2 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
967 Calories
50g Fat
52g Carbs
75g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 967
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 50g 64%
Saturated Fat 11g 54%
Cholesterol 209mg 70%
Sodium 3211mg 140%
Total Carbohydrate 52g 19%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Protein 75g
Calcium 109mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Glass noodles, also known as "cellophane" or "bean thread" noodles, magically turn transparent when you cook them. Made of mung bean or green pea flour, the wheat-free noodles are also gluten-free. You can substitute thin rice noodles, which you can find at nearly any supermarket, though you won't get quite the same result. Glass noodles absorb a lot of sauce, so it's important to season your stir-fry sauce properly before you toss it with the noodles.


  • For Noodles:
  • 1 chicken breast or (3/4 cup firm tofu)
  • 8 ounces bean thread noodles (or thin rice noodles)
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 shallot (or 1/4 cup red onion) (minced)
  • 1 1/2 cups mushrooms (chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • Generous handful fresh cilantro leaves (torn)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • Optional: lemon or lime
  • For Stir-Fry Sauce:
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce (use wheat-free soy sauce for gluten-free diets)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce (or an additional 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce for vegan option)
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Red pepper flakes (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather and prep the vegetables and sauce ingredients. This dish cooks quickly once you heat your wok or skillet.

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  2. Slice the chicken breast or tofu into bite-size pieces and put it in a bowl. Combine the stir-fry sauce ingredients in a cup or bowl and drizzle two tablespoons over the chicken or tofu. Toss the chicken or tofu cubes to evenly distribute the sauce and set the bowl in the refrigerator to marinate until you start to cook.

    marinate tofu
     The Spruce
  3. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add the noodles, stirring to separate them. Cook them for 5 to 7 minutes or until they turn transparent and soft enough to eat (rice noodles should be cooked al dente). Drain the noodles and rinse them with cold water. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil over the noodles and toss well to keep them from sticking.

    cook noodles
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  4. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and swirl it around, then add the garlic and shallots. Stir-fry for 1 minute, then add the chicken or tofu. Stir-fry until the chicken turns opaque or the tofu starts to turn light brown, about 2 minutes. If the pan dries out, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of stir-fry sauce.

    cook tofu
     The Spruce
  5. Add the mushrooms and bell pepper and 2 to 3 tablespoons of stir-fry sauce. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes.

    add veggies
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  6. Add the noodles and 3/4 of the remaining stir-fry sauce. Use tongs or two forks to lift and toss the noodles with the other ingredients. Tip: To make this easier, use a pair of clean kitchen scissors to cut the glass noodles in a couple of places, as the long strings can be hard to handle.

    add noodles
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  7. Taste-test, adding more or all of the remaining stir-fry sauce as needed. Add more fish sauce or soy sauce to increase the saltiness, or add a squeeze of lemon or lime to cut the saltiness.

    pour marinade
     The Spruce
  8. Serve immediately with fresh cilantro sprinkled on top.