• Stir-fried Mussels with bean-thread vermicelli and black beans (Kylie Kwong: Heart and Soul)

Bean-thread vermicelli is available dried from Asian stores, and needs only a brief soak in boiling water before being added to this stir-fry.






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Bean-thread vermicelli is made from mung-bean flour. Because the noodles become transparent when cooked, they are also called cellophane or glass noodles. They’re available dried from Asian stores, and need only a brief soak in boiling water before being added to this stir-fry.


  • 40 live mussels
  • 1½ cups cold water
  • 90 g (3 oz) bean-thread vermicelli
  • ½ red capsicum (bell pepper)
  • 3 tbsp peanut oil
  • 7 spring onion (scallion) stems, cut into 5 cm (2 in) lengths
  • 4 slices ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 large red chillies, cut in half lengthways and deseeded
  • 1 small red onion, cut in half and then into wedges
  • 2 tbsp salted black beans
  • 3 tbsp shao hsing wine
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • ⅓ cup chicken stock
  • 2 bird’s eye chillies, sliced
  • 2 tsp Chinese black vinegar
  • handful of coriander sprigs

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.


Serve as a starter for 4, or as part of a banquet for 4–6

  1. Scrub, debeard, rinse and drain mussels, then put in a wok with the cold water. Place over high heat, cover and steam until shells open. As mussels begin to open, immediately remove from wok with tongs and place in a bowl; discard any that won’t open. Drain water from wok and wipe clean with kitchen paper.
  2. Soak bean-thread vermicelli in boiling water for 3 minutes, or until softened; drain and set aside.
  3. Remove seeds and membranes from capsicum. Cut into strips 1.5 cm (¾ in) wide, then cut each strip into squares.
  4. Heat peanut oil in a hot wok and stir-fry spring onions, ginger, garlic, halved red chillies, onion, black beans and capsicum for 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Add mussels and drained vermicelli and stir-fry for a further 2 minutes. Pour shao hsing wine around sides of wok in a circular motion, then stir in sugar, oyster sauce, sesame oil, stock and bird’s eye chillies; stir-fry for 3 minutes to create a rich sauce. Finally, add vinegar and coriander and serve immediately.


Kylie Kwong: Heart and Soul premieres on Wednesday 21 November at 8.30pm. The series airs Wednesdays at 8.30pm on SBS Food (Channel 33). After they air, episodes will stream at SBS On Demand