Thursday, 12 July 2012

Green Bean Sheet Jelly - A Noodle Salad

I have found my New Favourite Thing. I've always been a big fan of big flappy rice noodles and these, these take it to the next level. Labelled 'green bean sheet jelly', I picked them up at a whim at my local Chinese supermarket and when they were cooked they turned into gloriously chewy stretchy noodles that soaked up whatever I cooked them with. 

I've eaten them three times this week; stewed in a spicy stew, stir-fried and in a salad. The salad was probably my favourite. Dressed in a glossy, spicy peanutty sauce, they clung to the vegetables and reminded me of the Liang Pi cold noodles from New York's
Xi'an Famous Foods. Mine weren't quite as good, but nearly there and that's as much as I hoped for.

I used whatever crunchy vegetables I had going. Some Chinese cabbage, finely julienned, some fresh corn, cut off the cob. Iceberg lettuce is my least favourite of the lettuces, but strangely its bland crunchiness works the best in Asian salads. Dressed with a punchy lime, chilli and fish sauce blend, chunks of watermelon added sweetness to an otherwise umami-heavy meal. Pork meatballs made with lemongrass and galangal coud have been deemed superfluous as I was happy with the salad itself, but they made it more a meal than without. 

Pork & Lemongrass Meatballs

Serves 2

150gr minced pork 

2 sticks of lemongrass, tender innards only 

1 inch of galangal (or ginger, if you can't get hold of galangal) 

1 tbsp fish sauce 

1 clove of garlic 

1 tsp cornflour

In a pestle and mortar, smash the lemongrass, galangal and garlic until you get a fine paste. Mix in with the meat and the cornflour; mix this well until you get a paste, as this makes the meatballs firmer in texture with more bounce. Roll into balls about the size of golf balls and fry in a non-stick frying pan with a little oil until nicely browned on all sides and cooked through. This takes about 15 - 20 minutes.

Noodle Salad

60gr green bean sheet jelly noodles - you can also use glass noodles (mung bean) if you can't find the above 

A few leaves of Chinese lettuce and / or iceberg lettuce, julienned. Had I a carrot, I would have julienned this too and added it in 

1 spring onion, julienned 

One ear of corn, kernels shaved off with a knife 

A small handful of mint leaves, finely shredded 

A small handful of coriander, chopped roughly 

A quarter of a small watermelon, cubed - I think pineapple would work too

Cook the noodles in boiling water for 10 minutes. Keep testing them for doneness. In the last 5 minutes, throw in the corn kernels. Drain and run under cold water.  

In a large bowl, add the julienned vegetables, mint, coriander and spring onion. Toss with the noodles and corn, then toss with the dressing (below). Add the watermelon last and mix gently. Leave to stand for 5 minutes, before serving with the meatballs. 

For the dressing: 

Juice of 1 lime 

1 clove of garlic 

2 red birds eye chillis 

1 tsp brown sugar 

2 tbsp fish sauce (or to taste; you want salty, sweet and sour in balance)  

1.5 tbsp chunky peanut butter

In a pestle and mortar, smash up the garlic clove. Add the chillis, sliced, and crush well. Add the sugar and mix well. Add the lime juice and fish sauce, then incorporate the peanut butter mixing well so that it emulsifies. 


Cookers said...

I have never tasted or even seen this green bean sheet jelly noodles. But they look mighty interesting and surprisingly scrummy. I will make sure to keep a look out for this next time a visit a Chinese supermarket.

Shu Han said...

I've had mung (i.e. hulled green) bean noodles, you probably used them in the teochew style chap chye! I love them, they're much more slippery and a lovely translucent compared to rice noodles, think I'll like these fatter green bean sheet jelly versions (: Also if you haven't tried before, there are noodles made of sweet potato starch, even chewier bite.

Su-Lin said...

Ooh! I gotta look for these noodles! I'm only familiar with the mung bean threads.

Mr Noodles said...

I do like the look of these fen-pi noodles! Where did you buy them?

Helen said...

This looks fookin' ace mate! I can just imagine the texture of those noodles. Lush. Will give it a go.

Sharmila said...

Right, buying these today. Still trying to get close to recreating those Xi'an Famous Foods noodles

Chloe said...

Love the sound of those noodles! Will keep an eye out for them next time I'm in town.

The Grubworm said...

Chewy bean jelly noodle? Sounds like a winner to me. Love the thought of them just sucking in all the flavours you mix them with like some sort of blobby alien on a rampage. Will keep an eye out next time i'm in my local Asian grocer.

Vicky @ UrsineCuisine said...

They look delicious! Always excited to see a recipe with a new (to me) noodle!

Thanks for posting.

Hollow Legs said...

Cookers - I hadn't seen them before but they are excellent.

Shu - Ah yes, except I used the wrong type of noodle! Mung bean noodles are a favourite too. Will look out for sweet potato ones.

Su-Lin - yep, these are like a flappier version of them.

Mr Noodles - Loon Fung, Gerrard Street.

Helen - do, DO.

Sharmila - did you find them? I bought them at Loon Fung.

Chloe - yes, do!

Grubworm - Blobby alien on the rampage - ace!