They are generally sold in dried form, boiled to reconstitute, then used in soups, stir fried dishes, or spring rolls. They are called "cellophane noodles" or "glass noodles" because of their appearance when dried, resembling cellophane, a clear material or a translucent light gray or brownish-gray color. photo
Cellophane noodles are generally round, and are available in various thicknesses. Wide, flat cellophane noodle sheets called mung bean sheets are also produced in China.
They are also marketed under the name saifun, the Cantonese pronunciation of the Mandarin xì fěn (細粉; literally "slender noodle"), though the name fan2 si1 (粉絲) is the term most often used in Cantonese.
In China, cellophane noodles are usually made of mung bean starch and are a popular ingredient used in stir fries, soups, and particularly hot pots. They can also be used as an ingredient in fillings for a variety of Chinese jiaozi (dumplings) and bing (flatbreads), especially in vegetarian versions of these dishes. Thicker cellophane noodles are also commonly used to imitate the appearance and texture of shark's fin in vegetarian soups. Thicker varieties, most popular in China's northeast, are used in stir fries as well as cold salad-like dishes. A popular soup using the ingredient is fried tofu with thin noodles (油豆腐线粉汤; pinyin: yóudòufu-xiànfěntāng). A popular Sichuan dish called ants climbing a tree (蚂蚁上树; mayishangshu) consists of stewed cellophane noodles with a spicy ground pork meat sauce.
In Japanese cuisine, they are called harusame (春雨), literally "spring rain." Unlike Chinese glass noodles, they are usually made from potato starch. They are commonly used to make salads, or as an ingredient in hot pot dishes. They are also often used to make Japanese adaptations of Chinese and Korean dishes.
In Pakistan, glass noodles are called saewiyan, and are always used in desserts. They are usually boiled with sweetened milk (and cream) with dried nuts and are sometimes coated with chandi varak (edible silver leaf) usually served on religious occasions. They are also eaten with falooda, which could be bought from numerous food stalls throughout Pakistan.
In Korean cuisine, glass noodles are usually made from sweet potato starch and are called dangmyeon (hangul: 당면; hanja: 唐麵; literally "Tang noodles"; also spelled dang myun, dangmyun, tang myun, or tangmyun). They are commonly stir-fried in sesame oil with beef and vegetables, and flavoured with soy and sugar, in a popular dish called japchae They are usually thick, and are a brownish-gray color when in their uncooked form. photo
In Vietnamese, cellophane noodles are called bún tàu, bún tào, or miến''.
In Filipino cuisine, the noodles are called sotanghon because of the popular dish of the same name made from them using chicken and wood ears. These noodles are often confused with rice vermicelli, which are called bihon in the Philippines.
In Thai cuisine, glass noodles are called woon sen (วุ้นเส้น). They are commonly mixed with pork and shrimp in a spicy salad called yum woon sen (ยำวุ้นเส้น), or stir-fried as pad woon sen (ผัดวุ้นเส้น).
In Hawaii, where cuisine is heavily influenced by Asian cultures, cellophane noodles are known locally as long rice, supposedly because the process of making the noodles involves extruding the starch through a potato ricer. They are used most often in chicken long rice, a dish of cellophane noodles in chicken broth that is often served at luaus.