This Easy Thai Glass Noodle Salad with Shrimp is a popular Thai salad recipe using glass noodles, fresh herbs, shrimp, and the simple seasoning of fish sauce and lime juice. This simple version of Yum Woon Sen is a perfect dish for those wanting to eat healthier Thai food.
Why this recipe works
- Quick and easy to put together (20 mins).
- Healthy and refreshing.
- Easily substitute other vegetables.
- You can substitute protein too, but make sure to cook until the meat is thoroughly cooked.
- Can be used as a meal prep salad and it’s good the next day. You can separate the sauces by making them ahead of time. Separate herbs from meat and sauce, then just throw everything together right before eating. This is just like how you’d order your salad with dressing on the side.
- Glass noodles are easy to find at most mainstream grocery stores. Check the international section. Look for “glass noodles”, “bean thread noodles”, “cellophane noodles”, or “mung bean noodles”. It has sometimes been called vermicelli but that’s not the same thing.
- All the ingredients can also be found at most American grocery stores.
HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
Thai glass noodle salad with shrimp is a very adaptable recipe, taking the same bold and refreshing flavor inspiration from the more traditional taste of this Chicken Yum Woon Sen recipe. Instead of using three different types of protein, poached chicken, ground meat, and dried shrimp, I simply used frozen shrimp. I added extra shrimp so as not to take away the meaty taste from the salad. My recipe also gives options to jazz up your salad or keep it as simple as you like. Read on to see what options you’d prefer!
How do you make glass noodle salad?
Since this is an easier and healthier option for the Thai glass noodle salad, the steps to put this dish together are also quick. Bonus all around for this Thai recipe! Here are the steps to making easy Thai glass noodle salad with shrimp:
- Boil a pot of water in a stockpot. Once the water boils, add the raw shrimp. Peel the shells and veins if necessary. Leaving the tails on is fine. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the shrimp turn light salmon color. Remove with a strainer, rinse in cold water and set aside on a plate until ready.
- Next, soak the glass noodles in the same shrimp water for between 4-8 minutes until the noodles soften. Please note, you are essentially soaking the glass noodles in the simple shrimp stock giving this recipe that little extra something special! A little tasty kitchen tip for ya! Once the noodles are soft, use a strainer to scoop out the noodles then rinse them in cold water for a minute, set aside while you prep the other ingredients.
- Chop up all the herbs and vegetables and squeeze your lime for fresh juice. Grab your fish sauce. I used the 3 Crab brand for this recipe but anything you have is fine, just add a little bit at a time to see how the flavor suits you. Add more if need be.
- In a medium bowl, combine the fish sauce, lime juice, chili flakes (optional). Stir those ingredients together then add the shrimp, herbs, and vegetables and mix well. Then add the glass noodles last and mix it all together again. Taste your delicious creation, adjust with more fish sauce, lime juice, fresh and ground chilis as needed. Let the salad rest for 5-10 minutes while you set the table.
- Serve this delicious and easy Thai glass noodle salad cold. Garnish with peanuts, a dash of sugar, and or chilis. Again, these are optional. ENJOY and don’t eat too much. Or do so with guilt-free pleasure. (:
How many calories are in a Thai glass noodle salad?
First off, when I’m trying to eat healthily, I naturally want to know about the calories in my food. Luckily, this easy Thai glass noodles salad with shrimp is one of the healthier salads to choose from. I omit the sugar, peanuts, and extra meat so this salad has a lower calorie count per serving. There are about 155 calories/serving. Check my nutrition guide below to get the exact amount of macro and micronutrients.
What do you put in glass noodle salad?
Traditionally, glass noodles salad, or Yum Woon Sen LINK, are made with glass noodles, ground pork, dried and precooked shrimp, and a few herbs like cilantro, shallots, green onion, and peanuts. Mint is a great addition to this salad as it adds a most refreshing flavor to the already tangy and salty taste. Vegetable options are available using celery, shredded carrots, bell peppers, and tomatoes. You can add all or only what you have available to you. Adjust the amount used accordingly and also adjust the lime juice, fish sauce to add more flavors. Chilis, sugar, peanuts are purely optional, or use a garnish at the end for more flavors.
What are Thai glass noodles made of?
Glass noodles are made of mung bean flour or from root starch of various types of potatoes. So then is Yum Woon Sen gluten-free? You bet it is. And it is lower in calories too, making this Thai salad a lighter meal to eat for dinner that won’t feel heavy in your belly. Unless you can’t stop eating the entire bowl by yourself. Which I’ve come close to many times when making this salad. It’s dangerously good!
Can you make this glass noodle salad vegetarian?
Absolutely. You can use firm tofu tempeh or hard-boiled eggs-if eating eggs- for this but cut the pieces on the larger side to help prevent it from breaking apart when stirring in with the rest of the ingredients. Poach it lightly using a strainer to hold the tofu pieces in the hot water, the same way the shrimp is cooked above. That’s it. Very adaptable!
Great vegetable options to use or substitute are
- Bell peppers
- Shredded carrots
- Chinese celery
- Use hot water by either boiling a pot of hot water or microwaving a bowl of water for 2-3 minutes until the water is hot.
- Mini stock: Boil/poach the shrimp first then use the same water to cook the noodles. Turn the heat off and pour water over the glass noodles. There you have a mini shrimp stock for extra flavor! It just adds that little something extra.
- Celery: Use celery leaves. If they are not available, use Chinese parsley instead.
- Mint: When prepping the mint, keep the leaves large or whole as the leaves wilt very easily into tiny pieces when mixing the salad together. The larger pieces add an extra bold and fresh taste to each bite of the salad.
- Let the salad rest 5-10 minutes before serving to let the flavor seep into the ingredients.
- When blending the salad, try to bruise up the ingredients just a bit to help soften up the vegetables and let the sauces soak in quicker.
- Shrimp: Use fresh or frozen shrimp for this recipe. I’ve more often than not used frozen shrimp. Try to aim for the larger pieces of shrimp if possible for this dish. They just add a very nice balance of meatiness but without the heavy feeling of eating other types of protein.
- You can also use pre-cooked frozen shrimp. Soak the frozen shrimp in warm water, then blanch it in the same hot water that you used to soften the noodles.
- Glass noodles. You can soak the noodles in warm water for 15-20 minutes or you can use hot boiling water and soak it for 5 minutes, until soft. Then drain it in a large strainer and run it through cold water and let the noodles drain.
- Noodles tip: Loosely cut the noodles into 4-6 inch pieces with kitchen scissors before mixing them in with the rest of the ingredients. The shorter pieces are easier to blend in with the herbs in a bow. They are also easier to eat when the pieces are not too long.