The last time my parents-in-law came to visit, they brought us massive quantities of woonsen (known as bean thread or glass thread noodles). So many, in fact, that they overflow from the “noodle” basket to take up the majority of our pantry. After living with this abundance of woonsen noodles for a few months, I decided it was time to regain my pantry space. First up, this glass noodle stir fry known as pad woonsen.
Standard pad woonsen recipes call for glass noodles stir fried with a protein of your choice, egg, and vegetables (cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, onion, green onions) with soy sauce and white pepper seasonings. My father-in-law makes his pad woonsen sans tomatoes and cabbage, but with the addition of pickled garlic. We love this twist on the traditional pad woonsen.
Pickled garlic adds a subtle sour flavor which plays nicely against the inherent sweetness of the carrots and onion. And in addition to soy sauce, I like to use oyster sauce and a little fish sauce for a multi-dimensional salty flavor. I also tend to omit the white pepper for my toddler, but hubby usually adds some form of spice (whether white pepper or nam pla prik) back to his final dish.
The result is a really delicious plate of Thai glass noodles. We have been enjoying this version of pad woonsen at least once a week recently. Perhaps soon we’ll venture out and make some other dishes with woonsen, like yum woonsen, suki haeng, goong ob woonsen, or even pad see ew or pad Thai made with woonsen noodles.
For now, though, I’m just happy that we’re starting to make some headway on our pantry space issue!