Spicy Bean Thread Noodles with Preserved Vegetables

These noodles have a smooth, light texture that readily absorbs the surrounding flavours. Because most of the work involved can be done the day before and because the dish re-heats so well, this may be called gourmet fast food. But take care when cooking the noodles because if they overcook they tend to lump together. Although the bean thread are known as noodles, the dish is delicious served with rice also.


  • 25 g (1 oz) Chinese dried mushrooms
  • 175 g (6 oz) bean thread (transparent) noodles
  • 2 tablespoons oil, preferably groundnut
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 2 teaspoons chilli bean sauce
  • 50 g (2 oz) Sichuan preserved vegetables, rinsed and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons chilli oil


Soak the dried mushrooms in warm water for 20 minutes. Drain them, squeeze out any excess liquid, cut off and discard the stalks and coarsely chop the mushrooms caps. Soak the noodles in a large bowl of warm water for 15 minutes. When soft, drain the noodles well. Cut into 7.5 cm (3 in) lengths, using scissors or a knife.

Heat a wok or pan and add the oil. Put in the garlic, ginger, shallot and chilli bean sauce and stir-fry quickly for a few seconds. Add the vegetables, mushrooms and noodles and stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce, sugar, rice wine and chilli oil and continue to cook the mixture over a gentle heat for about 5 minutes. Ladle the noodles into a large serving bowl, garnish with the spring onions and serve at once.


  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions, green part only