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Thai Pork, Glass Noodle and Herb Salad (Larb Woon Sen)

4 Servings

40 minutes

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The minced-meat salad known as larb is a traditional dish from the Isaan region in northeastern Thailand. The version we make here, known as larb woon sen, features glass noodles (woon sen in Thai) that look almost translucent when cooked. You might find them labeled as bean threads, bean vermicelli or cellophane noodles. Toasted rice powder, or khao kua, is a key ingredient in larb—it contributes unique flavor, absorbs a small amount of the liquid, and brings a bit of crunch and nuttiness to the dish. Larb typically includes Thai ground roasted chilies; to mimic that taste, we toast red pepper flakes. The dish is finished with lots of fresh mint and cilantro. Both the noodles and the ground pork soak up all the contrasting flavors—salty, sour, spicy and herbal.




Don’t skip the step of allowing the noodles to stand in the dressing for 10 to 15 minutes. This gives them time to absorb all the flavors.

40 minutes


  • 4

    ounces glass noodles (see headnote)

  • Boiling water, to soak the noodles


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Allison S.
May 31, 2023
Great dish for leftovers
This dish was really simple to make, even with the toasting and grinding of the rice. I wouldn't skip that step, as it provides a wonderful variation in texture with this dish. I was also really pleased with it the day after and will be making it again as a meal prep for lunches!