Broccoli and woonsen stirfry


Woonsen is the Thai name for bean vermicelli. Here in Thailand, woonsen is typically used in salads and you will call the dish yam woonsen. A typical yam woonsen would have shrimps, also call kung in Thai. So you can order yam woonsen kung and get a refreshingly sweet-sour-salty salad with vermicelli and shrimps. In noodle shops, you can also select woonsen as your choice of noodles.  In the Philippines, we call these noodles sotanghon and is usually cook stir fried with vegetables and chicken meat. I love to cook stir fried woonsen and add vegetables, usually whatever is at hand. Broccoli is a staple vegetable in my basket each, along with mushrooms and cilantro.

How to cook broccoli and woonsen stir fry:

1. Heat oil in a pan and stir fry the garlic, chili flakes and meat at the same time.

2. When meat has turn white, add the broccoli and stir fry for a minute.

3. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce and add half of it to the broccoli stir fry to cook the broccoli.

4. When broccoli is half cooked, add the woonsen and the rest of the sauce and cook till woonsen is al dente.

Notes: If using dried woonsen, lukewarm water first for about 10 mins. Woonsen cooks very fast so make sure to check that it is still firm to the bite when you remove from.

For more pasta and noodles recipes this week, check out Presto Pasta Nights hosted this week by Tandy of Lavender & Lime.



  1. […] There’s a food shop in front of our office that cooks different Thai dishes to order. In the mornings, the mae-ban or housekeeper would go around and ask us if we want to order anything for lunch, and she’d phone the shop for us. Before noon, she picks our orders and delivers them to our desk. I usually bring lunch from home, especially now that I’m watching what I eat. But sometimes, I crave for noodles so I order from shop in front of the office. Nope, I don’t call beforehand. I go to the food shop and order myself, and take the time to watch how the cook prepares my order. How’s that for a free cooking lesson? This week, I was craving for pad Thai, and off I went to the shop. Since I love to put a lot of vegetables in my noodles, I began to point out what vegetables I want in my noodles (my Thai is still limited). And I wanted lots of fresh chilis. But, in gestures, she told, no… Pad Thai mainly has mungbean sprouts (as she points at the sprouts). I got an impromptu lesson in Thai noodles – mostly mungbean sprouts and cilantro, it’s Pad Thai. If with a mixed with kale and soy sauce, and with wide flat noodles called sen yai, it’s pad siew. And if I want different vegetables (cabbage, carrots, young corn, kale) and fresh chilis, it is call pad kee mao. Now, this is my kind of noodle! I must confessed, I have ordered the same noodles since Monday and tonight, I finally cooked it here at home, with linguine instead of woonsen. […]

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