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Aug 15, 2007 10:42 AM

Quest for the best Chinese glass noodle dish, and questions about purchasing.

Who has the best glass noodle dish in the GTA?
Maple Yip, has excellent glassnoodle with Lobster, and we love this little gem that Charles Yu had suggested.
Reviewed the old posts, and someone had suggested that Hot spicy spicy had such a dish, but when we ordered it, last week, it was rice vermicelli.
For whatever reason Hubbie is on a glass noodle kick.
Don't require the lobster, or care what it is served with.

Also, although I have been purchasing glass noodles forever, I never read a label, or think about quality, as they all look about the same to me.
I am very specific with pasta, and like certain brands only.
Is there such a thing as a better quality glass noodle?
What is the proper Chinese name Longkou Fensi, Harkusame, Chap Chae, or none of these?

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  1. In the cantonese dialect it is know as fun si. In english it can be called vermicelli, bean thread, glass noodle.... Chap chae is made from sweet potatoes so it is a different creature all together. I love fun si! I eat it in soup, stir fried, put it in braised dishes.....I will eat it in almost any preparation.

    1. I prefer the Fun Si that is sold in the packets surrounded by pink netting -- esp the ones that come in 6 small packages together.

      Has your husband had Pad Won Sen? It's the standard thai version of a glass noodle dish.

      1. Longkou is a district in China famous for its Fensi.
        Chap Chae is Korean, I usually find it prepared with too much oil.
        Harusame - "spring rain" is the Japanase version, I think they mostly use it in soups.

        1. Hi erly, I think fun si usually does not play a main role in Chinese dishes, even the Lobster one you talked about, the main role is Loster. But it is usually used in casual home cooking either fried and in soup.
          There is a popular casual chuan dish with fun si as the main ingradient called "Ant climbing the wall".
          Probably you have tried it before, if not, give it a try next time, it can usually be found in cantonese chinese restaurant even it is a chuan dish.
          It is kind of like "Chap Chae" with a more tasty sauce base which eats with rice. I personally find it a good dish to eat with rice.

          Or I can think of the fake shark fin used in Mandarin's shark fin soup ??

          9 Replies
          1. re: skylineR33

            I am so impressed with the knowledge here.
            Thanks all.
            I will buy the one with the pink netting.
            I will wait until our next trip to Thailand in Jan. to try the Thai version, as I find most of the Thai restaurants in T.O. so disappointing.
            We don't have the population, or multi layers of Thai cuisine as we do Chinese, which is why I was leaning towards Chinese.
            Had forgotten all about "Ant climbing wall",
            It isn't on as many restaurant menus as it used to be.
            Will find it.
            I don't know how many of you go on food kicks, as my husband does.
            Right now it is clams... glass noodles.

            1. re: erly

              My favorite Thai dish with mung bean noodles is Goong Ob Wun Sen (กุ้งอบวุ้นเส้น) - the English spelling varies widely. It's noodles and shrimp baked in a clay pot. The good versions use a lot of crushed coriander root which gives it the distinct taste.

              Here's the recipe from "The Elegant Taste of Thailand, Cha Am Cuisine", arguably the greatest Thai cookbook, and the only one I've used since 1993.


              1. re: koknia

                oh that sounds fantastic. Is it availalble in a restaurant in Toronto anywhere?

              2. re: erly

                It's actually "Ants on a tree", as the sauce on the funsi makes it look like tree bark, supposedly.

                1. re: Teep

                  I was introduced to this dish as "ants climbing tree", so doesn't matter which name, "ants on tree, ants climbing wall,"it is the same dish, with different English translations..

                  1. re: Teep

                    Hi Teep,

                    Opps, I mean "tree, not "wall" in my post, type too fast ... But anyway, I think we are talking about the same dish...螞蟻上樹...umm..just for your info, the meaning of the chinese word "上" here means climbing, not "on". It can be found in some of the restaurants in Toronto.

                    1. re: skylineR33

                      Skyline, yes I know the Chinese name has the verb "climbing", but instead of a direct translation, I felt that if you are naming this dish in English, you would not use the verb, e.g. "Toad in a hole" not "Toad sitting in a hole", so that's why I left the verb out.

                      BTW, I subsequently read on a Chinese website that the original version called for deep frying the funsi first. That makes perfect sense as the funsi would be all straight and textured due to the deep frying, making it really bark-like after being coloured by the sauce, as opposed to the modern version which does not look like bark at all.

                      1. re: Teep

                        There are lots of dishes that is originated from another one ...

                        I think you are familiar with Wiki and know chinese, or ask a chinese on the word in the chinese wiki for the meaning it says there. I kind of agree on what they said, but may be you can submit a correction ?



                        1. re: skylineR33

                          I wouldn't say it's "wrong" to say it one way or another, just a matter of choice of words. For me personally, the meat is not moving at on the funsi, and the word "climbing" gives a much stronger sense of movement then just "上". Maybe "Ants climbed on a tree"? :)

                          (I think the Chow Police may tell us to Move it if we carry on with this :)

              3. Not sure if there's any difference in quality or grade as I'm not aware of great variances in the quality of mung beans. However they do come in various widths, and in my opinion the wider the better. The wider ones, however, are more likely to be found in Korean meals rather than Chinese. At least in Los Angeles you can even find them in sheets if you look hard enough.