glass noodles, bean threads, crystal noodles, bean vermicelli
Cellophane noodles are very thin, white, semi-translucent dried noodles made from mung bean starch and water. They can be found dried in Asian specialty markets or in the Asian foods section of the supermarket. Cooked cellophane noodles have a gelatinous texture, and though they don't have much flavor of their own, they absorb sauces and broths extremely well.
Don't confuse cellophane noodles with rice vermicelli, which are made from rice.
Cellophane noodles can be prepared two ways: For crunchy noodles, deep-fry them until they puff up. Use them as a crispy garnish, a bed for meats, or a crumbled coating for shrimp or fish.
For soft noodles, rehydrate them with hot water until they are pliable, then drain and cool with cold running water. Use them in salads, stir-fries, and soups.