Glass Noodles With No Glass Ceiling

by in Robin's Healthy Take, December 3, 2012

The noodles have multiple names – cellophane, long rice, rice stick, glass – all referring to the same long, gelatinous noodles found in Chinese and Southeast Asian cooking. They start out white and once softened, become almost translucent. Used in soups, stir fry, salads and desserts, cellophane noodles actually have very little flavor of their own, BUT they act as sponges and soak up the flavor of ingredients they’re partnered with. Nutritionally speaking, cellophane noodles are gluten free, fat free and a 1/2 cup serving dishes up 8% of your daily requirement for iron, important for oxygen transport in the body. And although they’re similar in size and texture to angel hair pasta, cellophane noodles have a low glycemic index, meaning they don’t cause a spike in blood sugar, important for maintaining even blood sugar levels.

I adore cellophane noodles and I serve them hot, cold, room temperature — you name it. They don’t need boiling water to soften (just soak them in hot water for 10 minutes), so prep work and clean-up is a snap (for very tender noodles, you can boil them like pasta for 2-3 minutes). I typically partner the noodles with bold Asian ingredients because I like how they soak up the sweet/salty/tangy flavors of soy-based sauces (teriyaki, hoisin, black bean), fresh lemon and lime juice, sesame oil, peanut butter and coconut milk. In this dish, I use a few of those ingredients and then jazz things up with broccoli slaw, which is a super convenient combination of shredded broccoli and carrots. Feel free to make this a heartier meal by adding 2 cups of cooked chicken, shrimp or tofu.

Cellophane Noodles With Broccoli Slaw and Teriyaki

Serves 4

8 ounces cellophane noodles
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
12-ounce package broccoli slaw or rainbow slaw (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots)
1 tablespoon minced or grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth, vegetable broth or water
1/4 cup reduced-sodium teriyaki sauce
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the noodles in a large bowl and pour in enough hot water to cover by about 1 inch (water can be from the tap, just as hot as you can get it). Let stand 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the oils together in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli slaw, ginger and garlic and cook 2-3 minutes, until the vegetables soften, stirring frequently. Add the noodles, broth and teriyaki sauce and cook 1-2 minutes to heat through. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Nutrition Info Per Serving
Calories: 273
Total Fat: 4 grams
Saturated Fat: Total Carbohydrate: 56 grams
Sugars: 3 grams
Protein: 4 grams
Sodium: 301 milligrams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Fiber: 3 grams

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