Life’s a Feast: Thai glass noodle salad


I learnt to make this dish about 15 years ago on Koh Tao, a little island near its big sister Koh Samui. We found a cheap, but picture-perfect, secluded spot to stay right on the water which had a very basic shack as its restaurant. To our surprise, they served up the most glorious Thai food we ate on our four-month stint. Being the only place to eat in our vicinity, we got to know the staff well and the owner asked if I would like to learn how to make the glass noodle salad. Not surprising given I ordered it every other day! I jumped at the chance. This is a versatile dish that can use a variety of proteins, and because they are poached it makes for a healthier option. Enjoy!



150g pork mince
150g raw prawns tails on and sliced 3/4 way through along
centre line from tail to top
150g dry glass noodle (from New World’s international section)
Good handful of celery leaves chopped (Chinese parsley preferable, but hard to find)
Good handful fresh coriander chopped
1 chilli sliced
4 tomatoes each cut into eight
2 spring onions chopped in 2cm pieces
Small handful mint sliced (optional)
1/2 onion thinly sliced
1 tsp stock

1/3 cup of lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons palm sugar (or brown sugar)
1 teaspoon minced garlic (optional)
2 red chillis chopped (less for less heat)
2 teaspoons coriander roots crushed (this is the very bottom of the coriander, and the tastiest part. If you do not have a whole plant to obtain the root, use the stalks and crush)


1. Combine all dressing ingredients and set aside in the fridge till ready to serve.

2. There are two ways to cook the glass noodle (otherwise known as mung bean or cellophane noodle). Either soak in warm water for 15-20 mins, or boil for 3-4 mins then dunk straight into cold running water.

3. Meanwhile, boil a small pot of water and poach the prawns for 2-3 mins until cooked. Run under cold water.

4. Bring another pot to the boil and pop some stock in it (I use chicken). Just before it boils, tip in your pork mince and break up with a fork. This will prevent large clumps forming. Once boiling cook for 1-2 mins until cooked through and no clumps. Drain and set aside.

5. Combine all the salad ingredients into a large bowl and pour over the dressing. Combine thoroughly and serve immediately. If you are going to serve later, do not pour the dressing over until just before serving.

N.B. Make sure you taste before serving that you have enough of the four s’s _ sweet, sour, salty and spice for your palate!