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TAKE A PEEK INTO JAPANESE PANTRY: Glass Noodles AND Harusame Salad Recipe

haeusame salad, Japanese glass noodle salad, recipe, Japanese food, noodle salad, Asian dressing Food & Recipes

In Japan, glass noodles are called “Harusame”, which literally means “Spring rain”.

The thin transparent noodles give the image of the relaxing spring rain, and the name is unique to Japan-the aesthetic of four seasons.

Glass noodles, cellophane noodles, or bean thread noodles have existed in China for a long time, and they came to Japan during the Kamakura period (1185–1333). It became common as a vegetarian meal among Buddhism priests.

Harusame noodles are very common in Japan and are served in several ways such as a salad, spring rolls stuffing, and the ingredient in soup.

They are easy to cook and last long which is handy food to stock.

At the end of this post, I am going to introduce the staple Harusame noodle dish in Japan.


Glass noodles are commonly used in Asian countries, but, do you know different types of glass noodles?

Glass noodles have originally rooted in China, but it is widely used in home cooking such as salads, stir-fry dishes, and soups.

However, have you ever had experiences such as glass noodles in stir-fry were melted, soggy, tangled, or those in a salad that was sticky and tangled and difficult to eat?

Today, let’s break down the raw materials of glass noodles and how to choose each type and dish and aim to become a master in glass noodle dishes.

Roughly speaking, glass noodles are made of two different raw materials: one is made from rice, and the other is made from vegetable starch such as beans and potato.

RICE NOODLES (Rice Vermicelli)

In Vietnam, you can see “Bun” signs everywhere.

This is Vietnam’s representative rice noodle called “Bun” “Rice vermicelli made from rice.

Bun is a popular food in Vietnam and can be eaten locally as a salad or stir-fried.

Once you eat it, you will become addicted to it.

Cook the rice noodles in boiling water for about 5 minutes, then rinse with cold water before use.


Glass noodles called “mung bean thread noodles” are commonly used in China and Japan and are made from the starch of mung beans and peas.

It is resistant to heat, so it does not break up and soggy easily even when cooked.

So, mung bean thread noodles are great for hot dishes such as stir-fries, soups, and hot pot dishes.


Korean glass noodles are called ‘Dangmyeon’, which is made from sweet potato starch.

It has a strong sticky chewy texture than those noodles made from bean or potato starch, perfect for stir-fried dishes.

These noodles are used in the famous Korean dish called Japchae.


Since the climate in Japan does not suitable to grow mung beans, Japanese glass noodles called “HARUSAME” became made from a potato and sweet potato starch mixture.

Contrary to Korean sweet potato glass noodles, Japanese Harusame noodles are sensitive to heat and easily become soggy and break up.

Thus, Japanese HARUSAME noodles are not best for stir-fried or soup dishes.

Preferably, use Japanese Harusame noodles for salads, or eat them sooner when you add in the soup.

Despite they are not the best noodles for stir-fried, stew, or hot pot dishes,
Harusame noodles can be cooked and absorb flavors quickly.

Currently, most of the glass noodles available in Japan are produced in China and are made from mung beans.

Some companies that use domestically produced potato and sweet potato starch to manufacture Harusame noodles still continue to produce, yet, it’s hard to find compared with mung bean thread noodles even in Japan.

MALONY HARUSAME noodle is a popular harusame noodle product in Japan, and this is specially made for cooking in heat like stir-fried soup, and hot pot dishes.

Japanese Hot Pot Recipe: Chicken Ball Nabe

This Chicken ball nabe, which my family calls TORIDANGO NABE, is my mom’s specialty and cozy, healthy, savory winter food. Making TORIDANGO is super-easy to make, minced onions give sweet flavor and you can’t miss adding ginger to a delicious hint in the ball and soup.


Glass noodles are essential pantry ingredients in Japan and for Asian food cooking lovers, they are reasonable, long shelf life, and are easy to cook, rice noodles can be substituted noodles for those who look for gluten-free products.

Glass noodles seem like low-carb, low-calories, but, actually, they are not since the raw materials are rice or starches.

100g Rice Noodles (Cooked)109 kcal0.2 g24.9 g
100g Harusame Noodles (Cooked)84 kcal0.1 g20.6 g
100g Mung bean noodles (Cooked)80 kcal19.9 g
100g Spaghetti Pasta (Cooked)157 kcal0.92 g30.68g
100g Udon Noodles (Cooked)105 kcal0.92 g20.8g
100g Soba Noodles (Cooked)99 kcal0.1 g21.44 g

Yet, Glass Noodles Have Lower Calories

If you compare calories among noodles made of wheat flour, glass noodles (Harusame noodles and mung bean noodles) are lower calories.

Since rice noodles are made from rice flour, its calorie goes up among glass noodles, but still, their calories are lower.

Moreover, glass noodles are gluten-free.

Yet, it is difficult to say “low-carb food” since they are made from starch or rice.

When I lived in Japan, these soup harusame products were life savers for those on a diet or those who wanted an extra side dish or for a midnight snack since we don’t feel guilty eating compared with pasta and ramen noodles.

Many kinds of Harusame soup are always around at convenience stores.

They have a long shelf life, actually, they’re tasty which ingredients are freeze-dried and simply pour boiled water.

How To Cook Harusame Noodle

Basically, you can follow the instructions on the package.

Yet, sometimes, you may get one that doesn’t have them in English when purchasing at local small Asian grocery stores.

Here are basic preps for glass noodles.

  1. Boil the noodles in boiling water OR soak the noodles in boiled water
  2. Rinse well while changing the water and drain.
  3. Chop the noodles for easy-eat.


Boil the noodles in boiling water or soak them in boiled water for the cooking time on the instructions. (or 1 minute shorter than the instructions.)

Drain and rinse with cold running water.

Rincing the cooked noodles with cold water plays a role to stop cooking the noodles.

This is to prevent the noodles from becoming mushy due to excess water and heat.

Also, it is better to drain the water well and wrap it in a kitchen towel or kitchen paper to remove the moisture.

Removing the excess water and drying the noodles well improves that the noodles absorb the flavor.

They will not stick together like pasta if they are rinsed well with running water 2-3 times.

But, toss the noodles with a small amount of oil if you are concerned.


  • After cooking the noodles, rinse through with running water and drain them thoroughly. This will remove the starch and prevent sticking together.
  • The watery noodles can distract the taste of the dish. Press a paper towel on the surface.
  • If the noodles are still sticky after rinsing and draining, toss the noodles with a small amount of oil. Or, rinse them again.
  • Find your favorite glass noodles. Mung bean noodles give a texture, and Harusame noodles are soft and well-combined seasonings. Boiling time varies depending on the product, follow the instructions on the bag until getting used to it.
  • Harusame noodles are different from vermicelli rice noodles. It can be used instead of Harusame noodles but increases calories.

Should I Rehydrate Glass Noodles When Making Soup?

The glass noodles (thread rice noodles, mung bean noodles, harusame noodles) to use for simmered dishes or soups, they can be cooked without rehydration.

However, it is better to use rehydrated noodles to reduce cooking time and the texture will be better.

The dish tastes better the more effort you put into it! Indeed, it takes only about 5 minutes to prepare the noodles.


If you watched “midnight diner” on NETFLIX, you may know “Harusame salad” in the show.

It often is called “Chuka salad” which means “Chinese-style salad” in Japan, made of glass noodles (harusame noodles or mung bean noodles) with savory refreshing Asisan dressing.

Harusame Salad is one of the popular salads as well as potato salad and macaroni salad in Japanese home cooking-light, refreshing, sweet and sour, aromatic toasted sesame oil…the perfect side dish for juicy meaty grilling in the summer.

It is also the popular meal prep salad since it’ll last for 5 days in a fridge.


  • Mung bean glass noodles/ Harusame noodles/ Rice vermicelli
  • cucumber, carrots, smoked ham or grilled (boiled) chicken, dried seaweeds
  • easy Asian dressing


Commonly in Japan, we use mung bean or harusame glass noodles to make HARUSAME SALAD.

Yet, you can use rice vermicelli to make a delicious salad.

1. Boil the noodles in boiling water or soak them in boiled water while following the instruction on the package or cook them a 1-minute shorter than the instruction.

2. Rinse the cooked noodles under tap water, and drain well.

3. Place the noodles on a cutting board, and roughly chop them with about 4 inches to eat easily.


I highly recommend using Persian (mini) cucumbers for a crisp texture with the noodles.

Salting and draining sliced cucumber brings a crunchy texture and can consume more cucumbers.

In Japanese cooking, this process is often used for vegetable dishes with cucumbers, carrots, onions, eggplants, and more.

Removing the excess moisture can also prevent a soft and watery dish.

In this HARUSAME SALAD (glass noodles salad) recipe also use carrots.

To add a crunchy texture, remove the moisture together with the cucumbers.

It’s simply salting and squeezing out excess moisture from veggies.

Use 2% salt of the total weight.

For more details, jump to another post.


Generally, in Japan, smoked ham, canned tuna, or cooked chicken is added as protein.

You can choose your favorite protein if desired.

Shrimp is one of the options to upgrade glass noodle salad.

Moreover, the shrimp glass noodle salad could be the main dish for a healthy lunch or dinner!

If you want to know preparation tips for shrimp when you often get fishy shrimp, read this post for the next time.

My Tender Moist Chicken Breast can amaze you with how tender and moist the chicken breast is ever got!

This recipe tells you to roll up the breast, but, you don’t need to do it to make glass noodle salad.

(It may be better to reduce the cooking time when you are not rolling the meat.)

This very tender and moist chicken breast recipe is inspired by the Japanese home cooking recipe which is using the low-temperature slow-cooking method (Sous Vide). Marinating with sugar and salt overnight to help the chicken breast tender and moist, I’ll tell you two ways to use Instant Pot: “Pressure Cook” and “Sous Vide”.

Optionally, but it’s better, to add the Japanese thin egg omelet for adding savory flavor and vivid yellow color to the salad.

LEARN THE JAPANESE TAMAGO RECIPE. When you enjoy a Japanese home cooking recipe, you will have opportunities to make “Usuyaki-Tamago”/ “Kinshi-Tamago”- a paper-thin egg omelet and egg threads, which are the Japanese basic home cooking and are commonly used as a wrap/ a garnish adding brilliant yellow color to the dish. You don’t need a Tamagoyaki pan for this dish, however, you may need a little technique and practice.

Japanese Tamago Recipe: Paper-Thin Egg Omelet, ‘Usuyaki Tamago”


Although I provide the easy dressing recipe for the glass noodle salad (shown in the recipe below), it is not a bad idea to make my Asian sesame dressing for all purposes including salad dressing, marinade sauce, and even as stir-fry sauce!

The all-purpose basic Asian Sesame dressing can easily bring authentic Asian (Japanese) flavor to your daily vivid salad. By using Japanese / Korean toasted sesame oil and high-quality toasted sesame seeds, you can easily upgrade your dressing. Adding fresh garlic & ginger can be an Asian restaurant-grade flavor, and adding wasabi paste or powder, it’ll be Japanese Wasabi dressing to kick your nose.

haeusame salad, Japanese glass noodle salad, recipe, Japanese food, noodle salad, Asian dressing

Japanese Glass Noodle “Harusame” Salad With Asian Sesame Dressing

Rico McConnellRico McConnell
Japanese Glass Noodle Salad (Harusame Salad) is a simple, refreshing, savory glass noodle dish that can bring a unique side dish to your summer dinner or party, and as a healthy nibble with your cocktail. Quick-cooking of glass noodles, add your favorite protein and vegetables. Great served chilled.
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 4 servings


  • 1.8 oz bean thread noodles (Harusame noodles)
  • 1-2 Persian cucumbers (mini cucumbers)
  • ½-1 carrot
  • Your desired Protein Sliced ham/ Chicken breast/ Boiled Shrimp
  • chopped cilantro
  • Roasted sesame seeds
  • Kinshi Tamago *optional

Glass Noodle Salad Dressing

  • 3 tbsp Japanese Dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Japanese/ Korean toasted sesame oil
  • 1-2 tbsp Sugar
  • ½ tsp Chinese chicken stock powder/ Chicken bouillon powder


Make Dressing

Prepare Veggies

  • Julienne carrots and cucumbers, or slice them as you like.
  • Salt the carrots and cucumbers to draw excess water.
    Salt (use 2% salt of the total weight of the veggies) and gently ombine them. Let drain for 5 minutes and squeeze out the moisture with your hands.
    *See more details.

Prepare Protein

  • Cut your desired protein if needed.
    Do you want my perfect boiled shrimp? Click here to get the perfect boiled shrimp without a fishy taste.

Make Kinshi Tamago

  • Make Kinshi Tamago if desired.


  • Cook Harusame noodles following the package instruction while boiling the noodles or soaking them in boiled water.
  • Drain and rinse the noodles under tap water.
    Remove excess water thoughtfully after rinsing.
  • Use kitchen scissors or a knife to chop the noodles into roughly 4-6 inches long.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the dressing, vegetables, proteins, and noodles together.
    Refrigerate the salad until serving.
    Transfer the salad to a serving plate/bowl.
  • Top with roasted sesame seeds and chopped cilantro.



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Keyword cold, cucumber, dressing, Easy, Holiday, Nibbles, Party, Pasta & Noodles, sesame oil, sesame seeds, Traditional, Vegetables, Vegetarian
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