The noodles in Glass Noodles with Lemon Garlic and Cilantro are also called bean thread noodles or cellophane vermicelli, these noodles can be found in any Asian market.
They are made of green beans, mung beans, broad beans, or peas and are gluten-free and much lighter than wheat noodles.
In Morocco, this Asian “breakthrough” has been used for the last couple of decades and has made its way into many traditional dishes.
Glass noodles are commonly used to stuff birds, b’stillas, and squid, but my favorite way to savor them is as a side dish.
I especially like them lemony, with capers or chopped preserved lemons, and often add sliced green olives or mushrooms.
Julienned carrots, lightly sautéed, also go really well with glass noodles and blend in beautifully as you’re twisting your fork in a ballet pirouette motion to gather a mouthful.
If you wish to add protein and transform Glass Noodles with Lemon Garlic and Cilantro into a main dish, opt for an aliment that matches glass noodles in lightness.
Shrimp or clams would complete them to perfection.
Anything heavier—say, for example, beef or chicken—would yield a mismatch made in heaven. This is one of those dishes where you want to keep all the ingredients soft, and adding a crunch or a contrast is not desirable.
These “angel food” vermicelli are white and opaque, but become transparent when cooked.
I wish I had taken a picture of the package and the before-and-after picture of noodles, but of course, I was in a hurry to cook, eat, and be done.
The noodles I used this time are the ones my mother brought on her last visit from Morocco. It’s an item I always request from her that she started bringing it without being asked.
The brand she’s always used is the only one that probably makes it all the way to Morocco—it’s called Longkou. Other brands that I’ve seen here in the US are just as good and readily available.
Glass Noodles with Lemon Garlic and Cilantro
- 8 ounces glass noodles
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 24 sprigs cilantro, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 lemon, freshly squeezed
Soak the glass noodles in hot water until soft and transparent, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the noodles.
In a medium skillet, sauté the garlic in olive oil over low heat until golden but not brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the noodles, cilantro, salt, and pepper and cook, turning constantly, 3 to 4 minutes. Mix in the lemon juice.
Transfer to a plate and serve warm.