Thai Food, Veggie mains

Shitake & sesame baked glass noodles ‘op woonsen’


This is a veggie take on the classic Thai dish ‘op woonesn’ which is usually made with prawns and is a favourite at the seaside. The non-veggie version also includes pork rind / fat to give it flavour. I find sesame oil is a good alternative as it adds a good flavour to the dish.

Start by crushing 4 gloves of garlic, 2 or 3 coriander roots (or a tsp. of coriander seeds) and a couple of tsp. of fresh peppercorns (or a tsp. of dry peppercorns). Then heat 3 tsp of sesame oil in a wok and add the garlic mix and fry until the garlic begins to cook then add 100g oyster mushrooms. I use fresh ones and score a cross in the top to help them cook. You can used dried ones and soak them beforehand. Add a tbsp. of light soy sauce half a tsp. of dark soy sauce, and a couple of tbsp. of mushroom (oyster) sauce, and a couple of tsp. of sesame seeds (I use a mix of black and white) and fry for a minute or so. Next add some water (if you’ve soaked dry shitake mushrooms use the soaking water) to create a sauce and turn off the heat. Add a small bunch / handful of chopped Chinese celery. You can also add a handful or two of cooked chestnuts at this stage, or some fried cubed tofu, if you want.

In a thick bottomed container / saucepan (that has a lid) place about 10 thin discs of sliced garlic. Cover this is about 200g of fresh glass noodles (or around 100 g of dry glass noodles that have been soaked) cut into manageable lengths. Put the mushroom mix on top and rinse any extra sauce out of the wok with 3 or 4 tbsp. of water and pour this over. Then put the lid on and cook over a low – medium heat for about 15 minutes. You want the noodles and mushrooms to steam for most of the time and just slightly brown at the end. Be careful not to overcook once the liquid has absorbed as you don’t want the noodles to burn. You can take it off the heat and let it stand while you cook any other quick stir fried dishes. A great aroma is released when you take the lid off the pot so do this at the table so everyone enjoys it. You can garnish the dish with some fresh coriander leaves if you like.



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