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.
- Types of Grass Noodles
- Japanese Harusame Noodles
- Are Harusame Noodles Healthy?
- How To Cook Harusame Noodle
- What’s Harusame Salad?
- Japanese Glass Noodle “Harusame” Salad With Savory Sesame Dressing
- Salt Cucumber & Carrot
- How To Draw Excess Water From Vegetables
- Topping For Harusame Salad
Types of Grass Noodles
Glass noodles are commonly used in Asian countries, but, do you know different types of glass noodles?
Glass noodles are categorized by raw materials and thicknesses, and The difference between raw materials gives characteristics to the quality and texture of glass noodles.
Roughly speaking, glass noodles have two types-Rice noodles and Cellophane noodles.
- Rice noodles are made of rice
- Cellophane noodles are made of vegetable starch.
Japanese glass noodles are made from potato/ sweet potato starch, which is in the Cellophane noodle family.
Japanese Harusame Noodles
Since the climate in Japan is not suitable for farming mung beans, Japanese cellophane noodles called Harusame noodles are made of potato and sweet potato starch.
Japanese Harusame noodles are softer than other types of cellophane noodles since potato/ sweet potato starch is not strong for heat.
The noodles are easily over-cooked and mushy, so they are not suitable for stir-fry or soup.
Preferably, Japanese Harusame noodles are used for fresh dishes such as a salad.
Besides, Harusame noodles are easily cooked and soft, and the sauce or dressing is transferred easily into the noodles.
However, domestic Harusame noodles are rarely founded, and you can see mostly Chinese bean thread noodles even in stores in Japan.
Are Harusame Noodles Healthy?
Harusame Salad is a convenient food that can be both a main dish and a side dish.
Glass noodles (rice noodles and cellphone noodles) are looks like low-carb, low-calories, but, actually, they are not since raw materials are rice or starches.
|100g Harusame Noodles (Dried)||356 kcal||0.4 g||87.5 g||83.4 g|
|100g Harusame Noodles (Cooked)||84 kcal||0.1 g||20.6 g||19.1 g|
|100g Mung bean noodles (Dried)||350 kcal||0.2 g||86.6 g||85.4 g|
|100g Mung bean noodles (Cooked)||80 kcal||—||19.9 g||19.1 g|
Dried Harusame noodles are about 350 Kcal and about 84.0 g of sugar.
When Harusame noodles are cooked, the volume goes up to 4 times, so the number of nutrients per 100g goes down to around 80Kcal (sugar 19.1g.)
Cellophane Noodles Have Lower Calories Than Pasta
If you compare calories when the noodles are dried before cooking, the calories sound quite high, however, the average serving amount is around 20 g, so it has lower calories than noodles made from wheat flour.
Therefore, assuming that you eat about 200g of cooked Harusame noodles/ Mung bean noodles, the calories are around 178Kcal.
This means the calories are about half that of other dried noodles, and it can be seen that Harusame noodles have lower calories than pasta, udon, soba, and somen noodles.
Harusame noodles/ Mung bean noodles are a carbohydrate food. Although it has lower calories than other carbohydrate food, when you eat too much of them may cause gain-weight.
How To Cook Harusame Noodle
Basically, you can follow the direction on the package.
Sometimes, there is no English direction when you get from a local oriental store.
Here are basic preps for Harusame or bean thread noodles.
Boil the noodles in a pot for 2-3 minutes until they are transparent and soft enough to eat.
Drain well and rinse with cold running water. If the noodles are cooked too shortly, they will remain hard texture.
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.
Soak the noodles in boiled water for 4 minutes, drain, and rinse well.
- 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.
What’s Harusame Salad?
If you are “midnight diner” fan, you may know “Harusame salad” in the show. It often is called “Chuka salad” which means “Chinese-style salad”.
“Harusame salad” (春雨サラダ) is the staple side dish in Japan like potato salad, macaroni salad, and Harusame salad. (chicken salad is not so common in Japan. )
It is light, refreshing, and crisp veggies with a savory Asian sesame oil dressing.
I make my Harusame salad recipe with easy steps.
The key is julienning carrots and cucumber first and combining them with dressing while cooking Harusame noodles. So, the flavor transfers into them and gives the salad more flavorful.
I highly recommend using Persian (mini) cucumbers for this recipe. If you can’t find them, Sprinkle salt over julienned regular cucumber in a bowl, mix, and leave for 5 minutes. Squeeze water.
As an optional ingredient, the Japanese thin egg omelet adds uniqueness.
Japanese Glass Noodle “Harusame” Salad With Savory Sesame Dressing
- 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
- In a bowl, combine dressing ingredients and mix them.*Or make All-purpose basic Asian Sesame Dressing.
- Julienne carrots and cucumbers.
- Salt the carrots and cucumbers to draw excess water if desired.See another recipe about hot draw excess water from vegetables on the same page.
- 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 or soak the noodles in boiled water.
- Drain the noodles into a colander, and rinse them under cool water. Remove excess water thoughtfully after rinsing.
- Use kitchen scissors or a knife to cut the noodles apart into roughly 6-inch lengths.
- Mix the dressing, vegetables, proteins, and noodles together. Transfer the salad to a serving plate/bowl.
- Top with roasted sesame seeds and chopped cilantro.
Salt Cucumber & Carrot
Salting vegetables to remove excess water is a common cooking technics in Japanese cuisine.
When it comes to making the best fresh salads, you take this extra step, which is salt, and drain the vegetables, let not the dish end up watery, limp, and less than tasty.
Moreover, you can add a double amount of vegetables since the vegetables are semi-dehydrated and reduce the volume.
How To Draw Excess Water From Vegetables
- Your Choice of vegetables, Sliced, Julienne, shredded
- 1.5 % sea slat of the total weight of vegetables
- Combine vegetables and salt well in a bowl.
- Let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Squeeze a handful of vegetables with your hands. Repeat this for the rest of the vegetables.
- Taste the vegetable. If you feel salty, rinse and drain to remove saltiness.