Magic Noodles From Hong Thaimee

June  4, 2021
0 Ratings
  • Prep time 6 hours 15 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

In Thailand, you will see this dish on almost every restaurant menu by its official name: Yum Woon Sen. The noodles will naturally change color and become translucent when cooked, but I like to make it much more magical by “dyeing” them with butterfly pea flowers to create a "wow" effect. The flowers are native to Thailand and are a natural way to infuse a stunning blue/purple color (but no flavor) to the dish. Not to mention, this salad is refreshing and great for summer, and perfect for those who enjoy spicy and tangy flavors! It also happens to be gluten free, as long as you use a GF fish sauce. —Food52

What You'll Need
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Magic Noodles From Hong Thaimee
  • Noodles & Salad
  • 3 tablespoons dried butterfly pea flowers
  • 3 ounces glass noodles (also called cellophane noodles)
  • 5 to 6 (21 to 25 count) shrimp
  • 3 ounces ground pork
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 shallot or small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup peanuts (or cashews), dry-roasted and crushed
  • 1 tablespoon dried shrimp (optional)
  • 1 sprig fresh cilantro, leaves and stems roughly chopped (to garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice (to serve)
  • Dressing
  • 3 to 5 Thai chiles, or to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, left whole
  • 1/4 cup palm sugar (can also use coconut sugar or light brown sugar)
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  1. Fill a mixing bowl with water, and to this bowl, add the glass noodles. Put the butterfly pea flowers in a sachet (such as one you would use for loose tea) and add to the bowl. Allow to soak overnight (or at least 6 hours) at room temperature. Once the noodles are done soaking, strain and set aside.
  2. In a small sauté pan, add the ground pork and 1/4 cup water. Cook over medium-high heat until the pork is thoroughly cooked (approximately 3 minutes, or until it is no longer pink). Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan over high heat, bring water to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, set up an ice bath by filling a medium-size mixing bowl with ice and water and set aside. Once the water boils, blanch the shrimp until pink, approximately 2 minutes, and use a strainer to immediately remove them and place in the ice bath. In the same pot, add the noodles. Cook until translucent and in deep blue in color, about 4 minutes (note: the intensity of the color will depend on how long the noodles soaked, and the and water-to-flowers ratio). Once cooked, strain the noodles and immediately place into the ice bath with the shrimp to stop the cooking process. Let the noodles cool fully while you make the dressing.
  4. Using a stone mortar and pestle, pound chiles and garlic until the aromatic oils are released and they break up into small pieces but don't become a paste. Add in sugar and pound until the well-mixed. Add fish sauce and fresh lime juice. Mix well with the pestle.
  5. Place the noodles on a serving platter. Add in cooked pork, shrimp, shallots, tomatoes, peanuts, and dried shrimp. Once ready to serve, toss with the dressing and garnish with cilantro. Add an extra squeeze of lime juice tableside, which will create an even more dramatic color change for the noodles!

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