Start to Finish: 30 minutes Servings: 4 Difficulty: Easy
Use glass noodles to add texture and toothiness to soups, stir-fries and salads. As close to effortless as cooking gets, these vegetable-based noodles need only a brief soaking and quick warming to serve.
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- One 8-ounce package of glass noodles
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cups sliced protein, such as chicken or beef
- 4 cups vegetables, such as sliced sugar snaps, scallions and peppers
- Secondary flavoring ingredients, such as soy sauce and mirin
Cooking the Noodles
Soak the noodles in a bowl of hot water until they're pliable, about 10 minutes.
Drain the noodles. Cut the noodles into 4- to 6-inch pieces using kitchen shears.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until transparent and tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain the noodles.
Adding to Stir-Fry
Set the noodles aside after cutting them. In stir-fry, glass noodles finish cooking in the moisture released by the other ingredients.
Heat a few tablespoons of peanut oil using medium-high heat in a wok or large nonstick skillet with sloped sides. A slope-sided pan is a must for the quick tossing required for stir-frying.
Add a sliced protein, such as chicken or beef, to the pan. Cook the protein until browned, moving it around the pan frequently, about 2 minutes.
Next, add the vegetables. Fry the vegetables until browned on the outside but still crunchy, about 2 minutes.
Add the glass noodles to the pan along with secondary flavorings, such as rice wine vinegar, mirin and soy sauce. Cook the noodles until transparent and tender, about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
**Need to bolster a broth-based soup with some substantial but light chewiness?** Add soaked glass noodles to the soup as you finish cooking it. The noodles will finish cooking by the time you place the soup on the table.
- **Use glass noodles for an Asian take on pasta salad.** After cooking the noodles in boiling water, drain them and add them to a mixing bowl. While the noodles are still warm, add a simple [Asian-inspired dressing](http://www.ehow.com/how_5640533_make-oriental-dressing.html) along with the secondary ingredients -- sliced chicken, mandarin oranges, peanuts, scallions -- anything works here. Chill the salad for 30 minutes in the fridge before serving.