Thai Glass Noodle Salad (Yum Woon Sen)

Combine vibrant, crunchy veggies with peanuts, chewy glass noodles, and a lightly spicy Thai dressing to make this delicious Thai glass noodle salad (Yum Woon Sen)! It’s dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, and ready in just minutes!

top shot of Yum Woon Sen glass noodle salad

When you’re looking for a simple, fresh salad ready in minutes and packed with texture and flavor, go for a veggie quinoa salad or this Thai glass noodle salad. It’s fresh, vibrant, aromatic, and easy to adapt with your choice of veggies and protein. Plus, you don’t have to turn on your oven!

What Is Yum Woon Sen?

Yum Woon Sen, or Thai glass noodle salad, is a staple fresh salad in Thailand. It combines bright and vibrant fresh veggies, crunchy peanuts, and neutral-tasting glass noodles with a spicy-sour-sweet dressing that soaks up into everything to pack a flavor punch. The combination will tantalize your tastebuds, appeal to your senses, and can be enjoyed as an appetizer or light main.

While several versions load up Thai noodle salad with a protein like shrimp (dried or fresh) or minced meat, this version is 100% vegan too. Add that to the fact that it can sit at room temperature for several hours, plus it’s also perfect for serving as an appetizer at potlucks, dinner parties, BBQs, and any occasion when you’ll be serving a large crowd.

Even better, yum woon sen is versatile. You can tweak the dressing to your liking (more/less spice, sweetness, sourness, etc.) and add to it with extra veggies and/or plant-based protein sources. Either way, this cold Thai noodle salad is the perfect salad for warm summer days or any day you want something bright, refreshing, and not calorie-laden.

Best of all, as well as looking and tasting incredible, this veggie noodle salad is also loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, with a healthy dose of fiber and heart-healthy fats. And, if you’re looking for more inexpensive and versatile Asian noodle dishes, you might also enjoy vegetable lo mein or spicy sriracha noodles!

horizontal shot of Yum Woon Sen glass noodle salad

The Ingredients

Glass Noodle Salad:

This fresh Thai glass noodle recipe relies on just a few pantry ingredients and fresh elements.

  • Glass noodles: I used cellophane noodles (aka glass noodles, silver noodles, bean thread noodles). These slippery, clear noodles are the traditional choice for Yum Woon Sen. Vermicelli noodles would also work (prepared according to their package instructions).
  • Sprouts: Mung bean sprouts
  • Vegetables: This glass noodle Thai salad uses a combination of veggies, including:
    • Cucumber (English or Persian cucumber work best as they’re low-seed)
    • Carrot
    • Bell pepper (orange, yellow, or red bell peppers)
    • Red cabbage
  • Fresh herbs: I use a combination of scallions and cilantro (or parsley). Thai basil and/or mint leaves also work well in this Thai glass noodles salad.
  • Peanuts: Cashews would also work. You could also omit the peanuts entirely or use more sesame seeds.
  • Sesame seeds: To garnish.

ingredients glass noodle salad

Thai Dressing:

The dressing for this Thai peanut noodle salad is sweet, spicy, sour, savory, and umami-rich, made with just a few simple ingredients!

  • Tamari: Tamari is a gluten-free alternative to soy sauce. Coconut amino also works for a soy-free version!
  • Aromatics: This Thai dressing relies on a combination of ginger and garlic to pack in flavor.
  • Sesame oil: Use a good-quality toasted oil for delicious flavor.
  • Maple syrup: Or another liquid sweetener like agave. Adjust the amount to taste. Brown sugar also works if you don’t mind refined sugars.
  • Lime juice: Use fresh lime juice for the best flavor.
  • Chili: You could use either red pepper flakes or Thai chili, sliced. Adjust the amount to taste.

For the full ingredients list, measurements, complete recipe method, and nutritional information, read the recipe card below.

ingredients dressing

Optional Ingredients and Recipe Variations

The simplicity of this Thai noodle salad makes it highly versatile. Here are just a few ways to add to yum woon sen.

  • Celery (regular or Chinese celery, thinly sliced)
  • Red onion/ yellow onion or shallots (thinly sliced)
  • Edamame
  • Bean sprouts
  • Radish (thinly sliced)
  • Tomatoes (cherry tomatoes, halved or sliced)
  • Sugar snap peas (thinly sliced)
  • Broccoli (blanched and shredded)
  • Mango (cubes or slices)
  • Green papaya (shredded)
  • Marinated firm tofu, chickpea tofu, or tempeh
  • Peanut butter (to make a creamy Thai peanut dressing)
  • Sriracha (to drizzle over the Thai glass noodle salad for those who like it spicier)

glass noodle salad in wooden bowl

How to Make Thai Glass Noodle Salad?

The prep for this Thai glass noodle recipe really is minimal, with just a handful of fuss-free steps.

How To Cook Glass Noodles?

Preparing these noodles is incredibly simple and doesn’t even require stovetop cooking.

  • First, add the glass noodles to a bowl and pour hot water over them.
  • Cover and set them aside to soak for several minutes (about 4-5) to soften and turn from white to clear noodles.
  • Once ready, drain the mung bean noodles well.

soaking glass noodles

How To Prepare the Thai Noodle Salad?

  • Meanwhile, as the noodles soak, prepare the vegetables. I like to cut matchstick slices of cucumber, thinly slice the pepper, and either shred or thinly slice the red cabbage and carrots.

You can save time by using a mandoline or a food processor slicing disk to do the chopping in no time.

  • Prepare the dressing by whisking all the ingredients in a bowl/jar or shaking the lidded jar.

preparing dressing

  • To assemble the glass noodle Thai salad, arrange the noodles (drained and squeezed to remove excess liquid) and prepared vegetables in a large bowl, add the dressing and toss to combine.
  • Then serve in bowls optionally garnished with sesame seeds, and enjoy!

veggies and cellophane noodles in wooden bowl

How to Store?

Make ahead: The dressing will taste even better when it’s given time to meld, so making it a few hours (or even a day or two) in advance works amazingly. You can also prepare the rest of the cold Thai noodle salad, but store it separately from the dressing until you’re ready to serve. Only add the peanuts and fresh herbs just before serving.

Serve: Once assembled, store any leftover glass noodle salad in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days, as it will soften and become soggy. However, the noodles are best when made fresh.

Serving Recommendations

You can enjoy this Thai glass noodles salad as an appetizer or light main alongside:

tossing Yum Woon Sen in wooden bowl

FAQs

What are glass noodles?

Glass noodles, also called cellophane noodles, silver noodles, and bean thread noodles, are a type of very thin noodle made from mung bean starch and sometimes additional starches like sweet potato starch or pea starch. They’re naturally gluten-free, fairly low-carb, and low-calorie, too. You can find them in any Asian grocery store and in several large grocery chains.

Can I eat yum woon sen warm?

I don’t recommend heating the Thai glass noodle salad, as it will cause the fresh veggies to wilt and lose their crisp texture.

Yum Woon Sen in bowl with chopsticks

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • Tweak the dressing ingredients: I recommend tasting it after you prepare it and tweaking any of the ingredients to your liking.
  • Toast the nuts: For more flavor, lightly toast the peanuts in a dry pan until golden brown and fragrant.
  • To save time: You can purchase some veggies, like carrots, pre-shredded/sliced. However, they often won’t taste as fresh.
  • If the noodles are very long: Use some scissors to slice the glass noodles into shorter pieces after soaking them.

More Vegan Salad Recipes

If you try this Thai glass noodle salad recipe (yum woon sen), I’d love a comment and ★★★★★ recipe rating below. Also, please don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan and #elavegan—I love seeing them.

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top shot of Yum Woon Sen glass noodle salad

Glass Noodle Salad (Yum Woon Sen)

Combine vibrant, crunchy veggies with peanuts, chewy glass noodles, and a lightly spicy Thai dressing to make this delicious Thai glass noodle salad (Yum Woon Sen)! It’s dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, and ready in just minutes!

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 25 mins

Course Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine Asian, Thai

Servings 4
Calories 297 kcal

Ingredients

 

  • 2 (2 oz) packs (112 g) glass noodles (see notes)
  • 1 medium cucumber julienned
  • 1 medium carrot julienned
  • 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup red cabbage thinly sliced
  • 2 sprigs scallions chopped
  • 1/3 cup peanuts chopped
  • 1/3 cup cilantro or parsley, chopped
  • Sesame seeds to garnish

Dressing:

  • 2 1/2-3 Tbsp tamari or coconut aminos
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2-2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger grated
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil (I used toasted)
  • Red pepper flakes to taste or 1 Thai chili, sliced

Instructions

 

  • You can watch the video in the post for visual instructions.

    Add the glass noodles to a bowl and pour hot water over them. Cover and set them aside to soak for several minutes (about 4-5) to soften and turn from white to clear noodles. Once ready, drain the mung bean noodles well.

    If the noodles are very long, use some scissors to slice them into shorter pieces after soaking them.

  • Meanwhile, as the noodles soak, prepare the vegetables. I like to cut matchstick slices of cucumber, thinly slice the pepper, and either shred or thinly slice the red cabbage and carrots.

    You can save time by using a mandoline or a food processor slicing disk to do the chopping in no time.

  • Prepare the dressing by whisking all the ingredients in a bowl/jar or shaking the lidded jar.
  • Arrange the noodles (drained and squeezed to remove excess liquid) and prepared vegetables in a large bowl, add the dressing and toss to combine.
  • Then serve in bowls optionally garnished with sesame seeds, and enjoy!




Notes

  • I used cellophane (glass) noodles. You could use vermicelli noodles and prepare them according to package instructions.

Nutrition Facts
Glass Noodle Salad (Yum Woon Sen)
Amount per Serving
Calories
297
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
13
g
20
%
Saturated Fat
 
2
g
10
%
Sodium
 
654
mg
27
%
Potassium
 
433
mg
12
%
Carbohydrates
 
41
g
14
%
Fiber
 
4
g
16
%
Sugar
 
9
g
10
%
Protein
 
6
g
12
%
Vitamin A
 
3799
IU
76
%
Vitamin C
 
55
mg
67
%
Calcium
 
62
mg
6
%
Iron
 
2
mg
11
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically

Tried this recipe?Mention @elavegan and tag #elavegan

Pinterest Collage Yum Woon Sen Glass Noodle Salad

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