Yum Woon Sen – Cellophane Mun Bean Noodle Spicy Salad
1/2 minced pork
1/2 cup seafood (optional)
1 cup mung bean noodles (bean thread noodles)
2 tbsp. sliced onion
2 tbsp. sliced tomato
3 tbsp. scallion (cut 1 inch)
3 tbsp. Chinese celery (cut 1 inch)
2 tbsp. chopped carrot
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. chopped red chili pepper
1 pickled garlic (sliced) with 1 tbsp. juice
7 tbsp. lemon juice
5 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. sugar
2 crushed coriander roots
1. Boil minced pork and seafood in 1/2 cup of water for 5 minutes. Add salt.
2. While the pork is being cooked, soak mung bean noodles until it’s soft.
3. In a different pot, add water and wait until it’s boiling. Then, drop mung bean noodles and leave it for 3 seconds. Next, drain and leave it in a bowl.
4. Prepare the sauce, mix chopped red chili pepper, pickled garlic and its juice, lemon juice, fish sauce, crushed coriander roots and sugar altogether.
5. In the pot with minced pork, add the sauce from number 4 and mung bean noodle. Put Chinese celery, scallion, onion, tomato and carrot. Mix well.
6. Dress with lettuce, sliced cucumber and tomato.
Today at lunch, I made our Thai food favorite at our office, Yum Woon Sen, for the first time after a long time. I like to add a lot of vegetables and make it more sour and spicy than usual. The color is so red because I crushed the pepper real good. To make it red like in the picture but keep the same spicy level, you should cut the red pepper in half and then throw away the seed. Some restaurants in Thailand use hot sauce to make it red, but I never try it. I think the hot sauce make Yum Woon Sen taste strange.
Note from Vern
I first had yum woon sen in Tampa, Florida at a Thai restaurant. I wanted to try something new because I had already bought my one-way ticket to fly to Thailand and I knew I was going to have to get used to the food. All I knew at the time was tom yum soup and pad Thai noodles! Well, the cook at the Thai restaurant knew to dumb it down for me a bit and take the spice out. They also made it a bit sweet for me, and not so sour. There was only like 1 chili cut up in mine.
I liked yum woon sen immediately. I was in for somewhat of a shock once I arrived in Thailand and got my first true Thai version of the dish. It was very spicy, very wet, and the vegetables were so perfectly done. It was so much better than it was in the USA. I love spicy food, and this was definitely spicy, but eventually I got used to it. If you’re afraid you might not get used to the level of spice in the country, I would say that you shouldn’t worry. Just tell everyone NO chilis. Mai ow prik na krup (na ka, if you’re a woman). It will STILL be spicy, because Thais just don’t know how to make anything that is supposed to have chilis – with at LEAST one chili in it, but you’ll get used to it and soon you’ll be eating it like me.
I like it so hot, that when they ask, I say, “Pedt silop suh lai.” It means, make it so hot that I fall into a coma. Sometimes they actually do make it that hot! Be careful what you ask for.
Come to Thailand and taste authentic Thai food! I’m trying to get Joy to teach classes to visitors that want to learn how to make a couple of dishes during their vacation. I hope she goes for it and quits her other job!