There are many variations on yum woonsen, with the most common ones featuring minced pork or seafood. Some street food vendors use wood ear fungus, which makes for a great vegetarian take on this salad.






Skill level

Average: 5 (1 vote)


  • 250 g (9 oz) dried glass noodles
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil, for frying
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 25 g (1 oz) dried shrimp
  • 100 g (3½ oz) minced (ground) pork
  • 3½ tbsp fish sauce
  • ¼ red onion, finely sliced
  • 3½ tbsp lime juice
  • 1½ tsp caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 tbsp sliced red bird’s eye chillies
  • small handful roughly chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves and stalks
  • small handful roughly chopped spring onion (scallion)
  • 25 g (1 oz) roasted peanuts

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. Fill a large bowl with cold water and soak the glass noodles until softened. Drain in a colander and fill the bowl with iced water. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil over high heat and blanch the noodles for 10–20 seconds. Using tongs, transfer the noodles to the iced water to shock. Once cool, drain in a colander and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and sauté the garlic for 4–5 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on paper towel. Fry the dried shrimp in the same oil for 2–3 minutes, until crisp. Remove from the oil and set aside to drain on paper towel. Reserve the oil and allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil over high heat and cook the pork, stirring constantly to break it apart, for 2–3 minutes, until no more pink remains. Drain most of the water off, return the saucepan to the stove and reduce the heat to medium. Add 1 tablespoon of fish sauce and sauté the pork for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  4. Combine the noodles, fried garlic, reserved oil, fried shrimp, red onion and pork mince in a large non-reactive bowl and mix well. Season with the remaining fish sauce, lime juice, caster sugar and chillies, adjusting the balance of flavours to your liking, if necessary.
  5. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with coriander, spring onion and toasted peanuts.


Recipe and images from Bangkok Local by Sareen Rojanametin and Jean Thamthanakorn, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99