Saturday, July 30, 2011

Satisfy a Pasta Craving

After posting a gluten-free pancake recipe yesterday, I thought about other areas of my diet where I’ve reduced gluten. One biggie for me is pasta. I very rarely eat pasta anymore but when I do crave it, I’ll look for wheat-free alternatives. I’ve tried rice pasta, quinoa-corn pasta, or compromised with soba, which is buckwheat and wheat. I’ve decided, though, that my favorite type is bean threads. I fell in love with them years ago when I had them for the first time in a noodle soup.

Bean threads are an Asian noodle that’s typically made with mung bean and sweet potato or potato starch. They are transparent, thin angel-hair like noodles. They’re easy to prepare; simply cover them in boiling water and let them stand for about 20 minutes. And unlike regular wheat pasta, the noodles do not get mushy or starchy, nor do they stick together. They’re light and maintain a nice texture. I haven’t tried serving them with a typical tomato-based pasta sauce, but this time of year, I often prepare them with mixed vegetables and in the autumn and winter, I use them in soups.

The brand I’m using now is called Saifun from Dynasty. They’re made with mung bean and potato and come with three very generous dried bunches of noodles that can be prepared individually. Where can you find bean threads? They are sometimes found in the Asian section of big grocers, Whole Foods (where I bought the noodles in the photo), or Asian grocery stores.

If you’re having a craving for pasta, try them, they do the trick for me…

If you’ve bean threads before, what types of dishes do you prepare with them?

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