Recipe for cooking tasty Stir-fried Bean Starch Noodles [Pad Woon Sen]

While bean starch noodles may appear in cold dishes such as salads, they are also served hot and highly seasoned. This is one of the quickest ways to get a tasty meal on the table, relying on the jar of Red Curry Paste or Charmaine Solomon’s Thai Red Curry Paste I always have in the refrigerator.

Thai Room - Carlton - Regular menu

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Serves 4

  • 200 g (7 oz) bean starch noodles
  • 100 g (3½ oz) cooked meat, e.g. barbecued pork, chicken or Chinese sausage (lap cheong)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons Red Curry Paste (see page 173) or Charmaine Solomon’s Thai Red Curry Paste
  • 100 g (3½ oz) small cooked prawns, peeled
  • 6 spring onions, sliced
  • 50 g (1½ oz) roasted peanuts, coarsely crushed
  • salt or fish sauce
  • a few sprigs of fresh coriander, chopped
  • lime or lemon wedges for serving


Soak the noodles in a bowl of hot water for 10 minutes. Drain. Depending on the thickness of the noodles, cook them in a pan of lightly salted boiling water for 3-4 minutes if using the fine bean threads, or 8 minutes for the 3 mm (J in) wide noodles. Drain well. Slice the meat you are using. If using Chinese sausage, steam over boiling water for 5Ð8 minutes until swollen and soft. Slice diagonally.

Heat the oil in a wok. On medium heat fry the curry paste, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the noodles and toss until the curry paste is evenly distributed over the noodles. Toss in the cooked meat and prawns, spring onions and half the peanuts. Stir-fry until the noodles are well mixed. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding a little salt or fish sauce if required. Serve sprinkled with the remaining peanuts and the coriander. Lime or lemon wedges may be offered for squeezing over individual servings.

Note: I advise buying bean starch noodles in plastic net bags containing 8 small bundles of 50 g (1½ oz) each. If purchased in 500 g (1 lb) hanks, they are fiddly to separate and have to be cut with scissors.

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