Qinggua Fenpi

Bean Starch Noodles with Cucumbers

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    4

    as Part of a Chinese Meal, or 2 as a Single Dish.

Appears in

Although we rely on dried bean starch noodles in the West, in food markets around Beijing, fresh bean starch noodles can be bought to assemble a quick dish at home. My friends, the Qu family, made this refreshing vegetarian dish on one of my visits. So delicious and quickly made, the bean starch noodles provide a firm texture that contrasts beautifully with the thin, crisp slivers of cucumbers. The seasoning is inspired: soy sauce and vinegar with just a touch of sugar and sesame oil.

Ingredients

  • 125 g/4 oz dried bean starch noodle sheets or dried bean thread noodles
  • 450 g/1 lb cucumbers
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons white rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Method

Soak the bean starch sheets or bean thread noodles in warm water for 15 minutes, then cut them into 12-mm/½-in strips. If you are using noodles, leave them whole.

Peel the cucumbers and discard the skin peelings. Then peel strips from each side of the cucumber, stopping when you reach the seeded center. You should have a pile of cucumber shavings.

Blanch the bean starch strips or noodles in boiling water for 2 minutes, remove and drain well. Toss immediately with sesame oil and place inside a large bowl. Add the cucumber strips, the dark and light soy sauces, vinegar, and sugar. Mix well and serve.

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