XO Marks the Spot: Chinese Restaurant Quality Glass Noodle Vermicelli

Glass Noodles Vermicelli

These Chinese XO glass noodles or vermicelli are the most delicious Chinese restaurant noodle dish! If you love noodle hot pots or stir fried noodles then you will absolutely love this dish. But did you know that is VERY easy to make these noodles at home at half the price? I promise this will taste ever better than the prawn XO hot pot that you order at a Chinese restaurant because we won't skimp on the XO sauce. Celebrate Lunar New Year with this festive noodle dish! Gong Hei Fat Choy! This is a definite pushy recipe.

These glass noodles are our go-to noodle dish when we go out to a Chinese restaurant. While lobster and mud crab from the tank is very nice, it's usually reserved for birthdays as they can cost upwards of $150-$200 depending on the season. But I had no idea how good this would be and so easy! It uses up a surprisingly small amount of ingredients for the flavour and I know you'll love it. I'm always impressed by how well you all pick up Chinese recipes!

Vermicelli or glass noodles are thin, cellophane style noodles. They are usually made with mung bean flour or rice flour sometimes mixed with cornflour. Both types are gluten free.

Why This Glass Noodle Recipe is SO good!

1 - This recipe is easily made once all of the ingredients are prepared in a mise en place. It takes 10 minutes cooking tops!

Glass Noodles Vermicelli

2 - You don't actually need a special hot pot. A small cast iron pot with a lid will do. I did buy myself a hot pot because after the first time I made it in my small Le Creuset pot I loved it so much and knew that I'd make it again so I bought a banko ware pot. This is now going to be my signature dish (previously it was my biang biang noodles which I'll probably alternate this with).

3 - It is versatile - I used prawns and scallops but you can use a mix of whatever seafood you like. Or even chicken or beef if you don't like seafood. Minced pork or seasoned tofu also work really well! I personally prefer scallops above everything else because they feel like a special treat but they're less expensive than prawns and require no prep.

4 - XO is a delicious sauce made using dried scallops and bacon; a little goes a long way and it can be a bit pricier than other sauces which is why sometimes restaurants skimp on the XO sauce. But in this recipe, we don't skimp on a thing. Everyone thought that this sauce was even better than what you get at a Chinese restaurant!

Glass Noodles Vermicelli

5 - Buying XO sauce: a lot of jars of it come in little boxes so you can't see how much of the dried scallop is used. I bought this jar for $9.99 and it was 180g and I could see that it had a lot of dried scallops and bits in it and wasn't all oil.

6 - You can make your own XO Sauce and if you want to, here is my recipe for XO sauce. I think it's the best one and from feedback from readers, you agree too! :)

7 - To prep the prawns, remove the heads and the intestinal tract should come with the head if they're very fresh. Cut the legs off with kitchen scissors. You can reserve the head to make prawn stock or even use the prawn stock instead of chicken stock in this recipe. Or peel the prawns and butterfly them.

8 - It's Lunar New Year and the Year of the Dragon and that means that you have two weeks to celebrate and eat some good luck foods. Try items like dumplings (that resemble gold ingots for good fortune,) noodles and pork (for progress as pigs walk forward when foraging for food). These noodles are perfect for a Lunar New Year celebration. The year of the Dragon is supposed to be a lucky year all round and the whole world could definitely use a lucky year (birth rates rise during dragon years!).

Glass Noodles Vermicelli

I know that a lot of people are watching their pennies at the moment and I was reminded of a meme that I saw the other day that said "Why would I buy takeaway for $40 when I can buy the ingredients and make a worse dish for $80?". I wondered if this was going to be the case bearing in mind that this dish is around $40 at a Chinese restaurant.

I decided to keep a track of the costs of this dish and I am assuming a basic pantry with soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sugar and chicken stock.

My first batch had:

80g/3ozs XO sauce $5 ($9.99 for 180g/6oz jar)

8 XL Scallops $8

6 XL king prawns $20

Noodles $2

So obviously this is $35 which isn't saving you much but I felt like there were easy ways to get it under budget. I'd suggest medium sized king prawns because the extra large ones I bought were $50/kg whereas medium king prawns are $35/kg and you never really get the XL prawns in a restaurant hot pot unless you pay extra and prawns this size would be very expensive in a restaurant.

I love a challenge and this is what I decided would trim the fat so to speak.

80g/3ozs XO sauce $5 ($9.99 for 180g/6oz jar)

6 XL Scallops $6

6 medium king prawns $10

Noodles $2

Glass Noodles Vermicelli

And the ingredients will cost you around $23! Plus if you make this twice (and I promise you're going to want to), you've already got the XO sauce and you just have to buy the seafood and noodles again. And if you are superstitious please avoid cutting the noodles because long noodles means long life and cutting them means cutting your life short in Chinese superstition. I wish a long, happy life Dear Reader!

So tell me Dear Reader, are you celebrating Lunar New Year this year? Is this a dish you order at Chinese restaurants? And are you watching your pennies at the moment?

Glass Noodles Vermicelli

XO Glass Noodles With Seafood

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Rated 5 out of 5 by 55 lovely readers. Share your rating:

An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2

For Noodles

  • 160g/5.6ozs soaked for 20-30 minutes in water from the tap
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 6 medium sized king prawns, intestinal track, head and legs removed
  • 6 scallops
  • 2 green onions, sliced into 2 inch lengths

For Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons/80g XO sauce
  • 45ml/1.6flozs light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce (for colour)
  • 7 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 6 slices fresh ginger
  • 1 cup/250ml/8.8flozs chicken or prawn stock
  • 1 tablespoons cornflour/fine cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water to form a slurry

Glass Noodles Vermicelli

Step 1 - First cover and soak the noodles in cold water for 15 minutes and then drain. Prep the seafood. Mix all of the sauce ingredients (XO sauce, light soy, dark soy, sugar, garlic, ginger and stock) together in a bowl except for the cornflour slurry.

Glass Noodles Vermicelli

Step 2 - Heat a pot with a lid on medium heat and add a teaspoon of oil. Fry the seafood for a couple of minutes on each side until 80% cooked and then set aside for later. Pour all of the sauce ingredients in the pot and bring to a simmer. Once simmering add the cornflour slurry and allow to thicken.

Step 3 - Add the drained noodles and turn to cover with the sauce and cook for a minute or two. Add the seafood and the green onions on top and put the lid on and cook for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and serve immediately.

Glass Noodles Vermicelli

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