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.
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.
- 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
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
- 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.
- Soak bean-thread vermicelli in boiling water for 3 minutes, or until softened; drain and set aside.
- Remove seeds and membranes from capsicum. Cut into strips 1.5 cm (¾ in) wide, then cut each strip into squares.
- 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.