Cellophane Noodle Salad

James Beard

Author and Educator

"Cellophane noodles are bouncy and fun. They are made from powdered mung beans instead of wheat flour, and the Chinese consider them a vegetable instead of a starch. They’re thin and white and transparent, and you don’t cook them at all. You just soak them in hot water for about 15 minutes, and they’re ready to use."


  • 4 ounces cellophane noodles
  • 2 1/2 cups diced poached chicken
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onions or scallions
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1 head watercress, washed and trimmed
  • Parsley, chopped


Cover the cellophane noodles with hot water and soak for 10 to 15 minutes, until “glassy.” Drain.

Combine noodles, chicken, scallions, celery, mayonnaise, yogurt, soy sauce, and Tabasco sauce in a bowl. Toss well to combine and serve on a bed of watercress, garnished with chopped parsley.

You can vary the recipe by adding peanuts, mint, or cilantro.


4 servings