Bean Thread Salad

I found a huge package of bean threads for ridiculously cheap at a market in San Francisco, and knew there would be many of these salads in my future.  Tonight I found everything I needed to create this recipe already in my refrigerator, so this was easy to throw together.  It’s a beautiful mix of colors and has the quintessential Thai flavors I love so much: fish sauce, lime, mint, cilantro, and peanuts.  YUM!

4 oz bean threads
1 small carrot
1 red bell pepper
a few handfuls of lettuce, cut into thin strips
1 tbsp thinly sliced green onions
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 tsp chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp chopped peanuts
4 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar
Drop the bean threads into boiling water for about 40 seconds, then drain and rinse with cold water.
Cut the bell pepper into thin strips and put into a serving bowl with the lettuce.
Using a vegetable peeler, create 2″ long curls of carrot, and put these in the serving bowl as well.
Stir together the lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar.  
Put the bean threads in their own bowl and add about half the lime juice mixture.  Toss well.
Put the noodles on top of the vegetables and sprinkle the green onions, mint, cilantro, and peanuts over them.  Add a little more dressing and toss well.  Taste, and add the rest of the dressing if desired.  

NOTE: Bean threads look like thin white noodles.  Here is an example of what they look like:
photo from


8 Responses to “Bean Thread Salad”

  1. 1 That Girl October 18, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    I don’t think I would ever recognize beanthreads if I saw them.

  2. 2 Erica October 20, 2008 at 12:17 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever had bean threads before but they look like the perfect addition to a salad. This looks really yummy!

  3. 3 Cara October 20, 2008 at 2:33 am

    Wouldn’t you know I have a package of those in my pantry, I bought and used to make summer rolls once… I’ve got a ton more I could use up!

  4. 4 Katie October 20, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Oh YUM! This looks sooooo colorful and delicious!! 🙂

  5. 5 Biz October 20, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    I’ll have to give those a second try with your recipe.

    The first time I had them, they were a chewy mess – maybe I overcooked them?

    Looks delish though!

  6. 6 Maria October 20, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    Your salad looks so fresh! The bean threads are a nice addition!

  7. 7 Colleen October 20, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    You are always opening up my “culinary eyes” to things I would never have come across!

  8. 8 Cara January 15, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    I am looking for a recipe for green papaya salad, which I understand to be a Thai dish, so I thought you might have some suggestions! I saw this recipe, and many of the ingredients are just like one of the recipes I found. Could I do papaya in this salad? Or, do you have a recipe for green papaya salad that you wouldn’t mind sharing? Thanks!

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