Cabbage Glass Noodles Stir Fry & What We Eat in China #2

Crispy cabbage and tender mung bean noodles fried in a savory sauce. The dish takes five minutes to cook and is super versatile—a perfect healthy side for your dinner or to serve as a main dish when cooking for one. {Vegan, Gluten-free adaptable}

Cabbage Glass Noodles stir Fry | Chinese | Recipe | Vegan | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Vermicelli | Vegetables | Green | Healthy

Last week I introduced an easy northern Chinese dish: Stir Fried Choy Sum with Dried Shrimp, and what we serve on a dinner table back in China. Today I want to continue this topic and introduce another fast home-cook style dish (家常菜, jia chang cai): Cabbage Vermicelli Noodle Stir Fry.

What we eat in China

More accurately, this is more of what we eat in Northern China. And I want to emphasize again that every region and every person has their unique way of serving dinner. So this is only a representation of my family tradition.

In the picture below is a typical weekday lunch at my grandma’s place. The food was super simple—homemade pork and cabbage steamed dumplings, stir fried greens, and millet congee. You can only see three plates of dumplings on the table, but there were more cooking in the kitchen. The dumplings are cooked in small batches and served hot, so we usually start eating when a few plates are ready.

What We Eat in China - On our lunch table

The advantage of serving lunch this way is, you only need to prepare one main dish in a large quantity. In my family, it is either steamed dumplings or steamed buns with a meat and vegetable filling, or boiled noodles served with sauce (like noodles with fried pork sauce or with northern style gravy). Sometimes the stir fry is replaced with a cold appetizer such as cucumber salad and wood ear mushroom salad.

In the picture below you’ll see a typical weekday dinner at my parents’ place, serving for three. We had—leftover steamed dumplings, millet and red bean congee, and cabbage vermicelli noodle stir fry.

What We Eat in China - On our dinner table

You might be surprised that you didn’t see rice in either of the pictures. That’s right! Different from Southern Chinese food where rice is served with every meal, northern Chinese families prefer dumplings and noodles. We call it Mian Shi (面食), which can be directly translated into “dough food”. It represent staples that are made with wheat flour—dumplings, buns, bread, meat pie, savory pancakes, and noodles all belong to this genre.

What are glass noodles?

Glass noodles (粉丝, fen si) also called cellophane noodles, mung bean noodles, bean thread noodles, or Chinese vermicelli. They are different from regular vermicelli noodles that are made with rice, as glass noodles are made with mung beans and have a more transparent color.

Cabbage Glass Noodles stir Fry | Chinese | Recipe | Vegan | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Vermicelli | Vegetables | Green | Healthy

Glass noodles are usually sold in dried form. You need to boil them to reconstitute, so they become tender. Then you can use them in soups, stir fried dishes, or spring rolls. Because glass noodles soak up whatever sauce you cook them in and become very flavorful, it is a great way to add texture and volume to a dish and make it even more delicious.

In the recipe below, I demonstrate one of the most popular home-cook style stir fry using cabbage and glass noodles. I introduced two flavors: a garlic flavor and a spicy flavor. Both are equally delicious so I’ll leave it to you to choose which one to cook 🙂

Cabbage Glass Noodles stir Fry | Chinese | Recipe | Vegan | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Vermicelli | Vegetables | Green | Healthy

The cabbage glass noodle stir fry is usually served as a side in a multi-course meal. However, the dish is highly versatile and you can easily make it into a more significant one-pan meal for one person. For example, you can scramble some eggs or brown some ground pork (lightly seasoned with salt) first, and add them back to the cabbage and glass noodles at the end. Serve it with a small bowl of steamed rice (or without), then you’ll have a healthy mix of greens, protein and carbs.

Cooking video

I’ve created this short video for you, so you can easily get an idea of the workflow. For more Chinese cooking videos, follow my YouTube channel!

More delicious Northern Chinese Veggie recipes

Cabbage Glass Noodles stir Fry | Chinese | Recipe | Vegan | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Vermicelli | Vegetables | Green | Healthy

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

Print
Cabbage Glass Noodles stir Fry | Chinese | Recipe | Vegan | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Vermicelli | Vegetables | Green | Healthy

Cabbage Glass Noodles stir Fry & What We Eat in China #2


  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 to 4
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Description

Crispy cabbage and tender mung bean noodles fried in a savory sauce. The dish takes five minutes to cook and is super versatile—a perfect healthy side for your dinner or to serve as a main dish when cooking for one.


Ingredients

  • 1 batch glass noodles (yields 2 cups after soaking)

Option 1

Option 2

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

Stir Fry

  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1/2 head small cabbage, sliced (yield 4 cups after cutting)
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • (Optional) 1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce (*footnote 1)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Pinch of salt or to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the dry glass noodles. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until al-dente. Rinse with tap water to stop cooking and drain. Cut into 3-inch strands.
  2. Heat a wok (or a large skillet) over medium-high heat until hot. Add oil and swirl to coat the bottom.

Option 1

  1. Add the Sichuan peppercorns. Cook and stir until the color turns from red to dark brown, but not burned. Remove and discard the peppercorns by scooping them out with your spatula.
  2. Snip the chili peppers into 3 to 4 pieces, add into the wok, and stir a few times until the color turns dark.

Option 2

  1. Add the garlic and stir a few times, until you can smell a strong fragrance.

Stir fry

  1. Add the cabbage. Stir and cook for 1 minute, to coat evenly with oil.
  2. Add the glass noodles. Stir for another 1 minute.
  3. Add the soy sauce, dark soy sauce, chicken bouillon powder (or salt), and sugar. Immediately cook and stir, until the cabbage turns tender but retains some crunchiness.
  4. Turn to medium-low heat and carefully taste the cabbage. Sprinkle with a bit more salt and stir again, if needed.
  5. Transfer to a plate immediately and serve hot.

Notes

Using dark soy sauce adds a beautiful brown color to the dish. You can use soy sauce to replace dark soy sauce as well.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 serving of the 4 servings
  • Calories: 110cal
  • Sugar: 2.9g
  • Sodium: 273mg
  • Fat: 7g
  • Carbohydrates: 10.7g
  • Fiber: 2.1g
  • Protein: 2.1g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Disclosure

Omnivore's Cookbook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Share:

Never Miss a Recipe!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 thoughts on “Cabbage Glass Noodles Stir Fry & What We Eat in China #2

  1. Lifeng

    Hi Maggie,
    I have eaten a similar delicious dish in a restaurant in northern China in Shijiazhuang 石家庄 and again in a hostel in Sanya 三亚. Both times it was made with sweet potato noodles, sour cabbage and ground pork. I have been looking for a recipe for this dish, but I don’t know the Chinese name in Chinese characters for it. I would appreciate it if you could you please tell me the Chinese name for the dish. If I substitute Chinese sour cabbage 酸白菜, do I need to wash or rinse the cabbage first? Does your recipe use napa cabbage 白菜 or the usual western cabbage 洋白菜?Could you give me a weight for the dry noodles please. I plan to use sweet potato noodles 粉条.

    Reply