Also called bean threads, these gossamer, translucent threads are not really noodles in the traditional sense, but are made from the starch of green mung beans. Sold dried, cellophane noodles must be soaked briefly in hot water before using in most dishes. Presoaking isn't necessary when they're added to soups. They can also be deep-fried. Cellophane noodles can be found in the ethnic section of many supermarkets and in Asian grocery stores. Other names for cellophane noodles include bean thread vermicelli¯ı, Chinese vermicelli, glass noodles and harusame.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.