Korean Bean Thread Sesame Noodles with Vegetables

Bean thread noodles are made from the starch of the mung bean and, when cooked, they are almost transparent. This simple to prepare recipe is my version of a popular Korean dish. What makes it memorable is the combination of lace-like noodles and exotic mushrooms, an unusual mixture of tastes and textures. The dried mushrooms and cloud ears are available at Chinese grocers and it is well worth the effort to obtain them.


  • 25 g (1 oz) Chinese dried mushrooms
  • 15 g (½ oz) Chinese dried cloud ears (black fungus)
  • 100 g (4 oz) bean thread (transparent) noodles
  • 50 g (2 oz) carrot
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 tablespoons oil, preferably groundnut
  • 120 ml (4 fl oz) water


  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1½ tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Soak the dried mushrooms in warm water for 20 minutes until soft. Squeeze the excess liquid from the mushrooms and remove and discard the stalks. Cut the caps into shreds. Soak the cloud ears in warm water for about 20 minutes or until soft. Rinse them well in cold water and drain thoroughly in a colander.

Soak the noodles in a large bowl of very hot water for 15 minutes. When soft, drain well. Cut the noodles into 7.5 cm (3 in) lengths, using scissors or a knife.

Peel and finely shred the carrot. Finely shred the pepper and onion.

Heat a wok or large frying-pan and add the oil. When moderately hot, add the mushrooms, cloud ears, carrot, onion, green pepper and water and stir-fry for 5 minutes or until the carrots are cooked.

Combine the sauce ingredients and add them to the vegetables. Give the mixture a good stir, then add the noodles. Stir-fry the mixture for 2 minutes until well heated through. Serve at once or at room temperature.