Thai Glass Noodles Recipe (w/ Meat and Vegan Options)

Thai Glass Noodles

The Spruce

  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 2 Portions (2 Servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
967 Calories
50g Fat
52g Carbs
75g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 Portions (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, are a culinary wonder. Made of mung bean or green pea flour, glass noodles magically turn transparent when cooked and are completely wheat/gluten free. This recipe can also be made with thin rice noodles, available at nearly every supermarket these days. Glass noodles are a tasty part of Thai and other Southeast-Asian cuisines and are a healthy source of carbs as well. They absorb much of the sauce they are cooked with, so it's important to get your stir-fry sauce right. Glass noodles are available at your local Asian store (you'll know them by checking the ingredients for mung bean flour), or check your local supermarket for thin rice noodles as a delicious substitute. ENJOY!


  • For Noodles:
  • 8 ounces 'bean thread' noodles (or thin rice noodles)
  • 1 chicken breast (or 3/4 cup firm tofu)
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 shallot (or 1/4 cup purple onion, minced)
  • 1 1/2 cups mushrooms (chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • Generous handful fresh coriander/cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • For Stir-Fry Sauce:
  • 1/3 cup good-tasting chicken stock (or faux-chicken/vegetable stock)
  • 3 tablespoon soy sauce (use wheat-free soy sauce for gluten-free diets)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce (or for vegetarians: 1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Chili flakes (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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  2. Slice chicken or tofu into bite-size pieces and set in a bowl. Combine Stir-fry Sauce ingredients in a cup and drizzle two tablespoons only over chicken or tofu. Stir and set in refrigerator to marinate until ready to stir-fry.

    marinate tofu
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  3. Bring a large pot of water to boil and dunk in the noodles. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until bean thread noodles are transparent and soft enough to eat (rice noodles should be cooked until 'al dente'). Drain noodles and rinse with cold water. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil over noodles and toss to keep from sticking.

    cook noodles
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  4. Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle in vegetable oil and swirl around, then add garlic and shallots/onion. Stir-fry for one minute, then add the chicken or tofu. Stir-fry until chicken turns opaque or tofu is braised​ about 2 minutes. If the pan dries out, add one to two tablespoons of stir-fry sauce.

    cook tofu
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  5. Add mushrooms and bell pepper and two to three tablespoons of stir-fry sauce. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes.

    add veggies
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  6. Add noodles and 3/4 of the stir-fry sauce. Use two utensils to lift and toss the noodles with other ingredients. Tip: To make this easier, use a pair of clean kitchen scissors to cut glass noodles in a couple of places, as they get very long and hard to turn.

    add noodles
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  7. Taste-test, adding more or all of the remaining stir-fry sauce until flavorful enough. More fish sauce or soy sauce can be added for additional flavor or saltiness; if too salty, add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice.

    pour marinade
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  8. Serve immediately with fresh coriander sprinkled over, and enjoy!