Come, Lets Have A “Soaked” Rice Vermicelli Dish–Vegetarian Fried Tom Yam Bee Hoon (素炒东炎炒米粉)


Being a Chinese, I have been eating fried noodles since I was young. It is usually a one pot noodle dish and a comfort food. There are many types of noodles that can be fried.  It can yellow noodles like spaghettis or rice stripes like kuay teow or rice vermicelli aka bee hoon. Therefore, for me, there is really nothing much to blog about this type of noodles preparation. In essence, I have no recipe since this dish has full flexibility in terms of both ingredients and cooking spices or herbs used.


This picture shows the various type of noodles that we used for frying in a typical Chinese household kitchen cabinet and the “main actor” today is rice vermicelli or bee hoon which is the white stringy noodles on the top right hand corner.

However,  I have decided to have a short post on fried bee hoon after reading some posts in Facebook and queries on how to fry noodles and especially rice vermicelli. I thought it might be a good idea to share with international readers on how I fried my bee hoon.


I used to have “arguments” with my mother in law with regards to the ways we fried bee hoon or rice vermicelli and I witnessed the changes in my cooking method over the years. When I was young, I have never like to eat fried bee hoon. One of the reasons was that it was very dry and I always got choked if I ate it in a rush. The way my late mum cooked was also the same as what my mother in law was cooking now.


Traditionally, rice vermicelli was blanched in hot water or soaked in cold water (or some even do not soak in the water). The cook will then stir fried the garlics until fragrant, add in rice vermicelli, put part of condiments, scoop out and set aside. They will then stir fried the meat and vegetable ingredients with garlics and shallots again, until almost cooked, add in the partly fried bee hoon earlier, “bits” of water, stir until well mixed, add in condiments and the dish preparation is considered as done.  The result of this type of fried bee hoon is rather aromatic but the rice vermicelli is very dry and most of the condiments have no time to “penetrate” the rice vermicelli due to the lack of liquids. The rice vermicelli can be rather tasteless.


Since I started cooking on my own, fried rice vermicelli is always not in my menu though I missed what my mum have cooked. For me, fried bee hoon is always dried and tasteless.

When my kids reach aged 3, I have to introduce them more varieties of noodle dishes. Initially, it was always soupy type of noodles preparation. Then I chanced upon  a Taiwanese Food Program that demonstrate  the cooking of the famous Taiwan Pumpkin Rice Vermicelli (南瓜米粉)using the Xinzhu rice vermicelli (新竹米粉), after that 1 hour program, I have changed my method of cooking rice vermicelli and the rice vermicelli that was cooked will usually be moist and tasty.

The aim of this post is not really to provide a recipe but more to share my method of cooking rice vermicelli. As I am on a vegetarian diet, in this illustration, I have used vegetarian Tom Yam paste to prepare “Vegetarian Tom Yam Fried Bee Hoon”. Of course meat was not included and as I said earlier, the noodle dish is with full flexibility and you can add in any ingredients suitable to your family taste buds.



All ingredients here are substitutable. I am frying vegetarian rice vermicelli and you can definitely add in prawns, meat stripes (like chicken fillets, pork bellies slices and etc.) if you wish.

Quantities are intentionally omitted as I have raid my fridge to come out with these ingredients. Use some less fresh vegetables if you want to. For me, the ingredients of fried bee hoon is based on what you have in fridge and what suits your family’s taste buds.  As the taste of the  ready made pastes can vary considerably, therefore, you will have to “test” your fried rice vermicelli after you have fried it and readjust the taste, if necessary. Therefore all ingredients and quantities here are for references only.


  • Some black fungus, soaked and cut in stripes

  • Some dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked and cut in stripes

  • Some dried bean curd cut in stripes

  • Some dried tofu puff cut in small cubes

  • Some bean sprouts or cabbage cut in stripes

  • Some green chillies cut in small pieces (optional)

  • Some ginger slices (note that you can always add in slices of shallots and garlics)

  • Some red carrots, julienned into thin stripes.


  • Some enoki mushrooms

  • Some rice vermicelli (soaked in cold water) and I have use half a standard package of dried rice vermicelli.

  • Few tablespoons of vegetarian Tom Yam paste. (You can always substitute to normal Tom Yam paste)


You can don’t soak your rice vermicelli if you prefer. If you don’t soak, in subsequent steps, your broth will need to have more. For me, we prefer to soak the rice vermicelli because it will wash away dirt that we can’t see. In addition, it will soften the rice vermicelli.


Preparing the Egg Stripes For Garnishes


  • Lightly beat 2-3 eggs.

  • In a big non stick frying pan, pour the beaten eggs to the non stick frying pan to prepare a thin omelette.

  • As long as there are no runny yolks, it is considered as cooked.

  • Cut the egg omelette into thin stripes.


  • In a big frying pan, have 1-2 tablespoon of cooking oil. Stir fry your garlics and/or shallots and/or gingers until fragrant. If you have dried mushroom, you can fried at the same time.

  • Add in your ingredients . The order of adding ingredients are as follows: Meat followed by vegetables that are difficult to cook followed by leafy vegetables. Any vegetables that can withstand long periods of cooking shall be added first. Vegetables that cannot withstand long periods of cooking such as bean sprouts shall be added just before you off the heat.

  • Add in  1-2 tablespoons of vegetarian Tom Yam paste, adequate water to cover your ingredients (adequate water means: about 1 cm above all your ingredients). Stir well and bring to boil under high heat for 1-2 minutes.


  • Add in the Enoki mushrooms (or beansprouts), rice vermicelli, stir well and let it simmer under medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Off the heat.

  • Add in your choice of condiments such as light soya sauce, flavour enhancers like mushrooms concentrate, salt, pepper and etc..  Note: Taste before you add because different brands will have different concentration and some can be extremely sour or salty.

  • If you find that your rice vermicelli is a bit dry, add in some more water. Remember that the rice vermicelli will continue absorbing the water after you off the heat. So let it rest at least 5-10 minutes before your serving.

  • You may want to use a kitchen scissor to roughly cut the rice vermicelli as some rice vermicelli are rather long. However the step is optional.


  • Preferably serve hot garnished with egg stripes, chopped Chinese celeries, coriander leaves or any other garnishes you deemed suitable. Seaweed stripes and meat floss are two great alternatives.


Is it not this is a simple one pot noodle dish and a comfort food? Don’t worry to add in water in this stir fried rice process. The water had the role to blend the ingredients and sauces into a Tom Yam soup. This will help the rice vermicelli to absorb the Tom Yam broth. Whether you want to call it a fried rice vermicelli or a “soaked” rice vermicelli is irrelevant to me. Do you concur with me? What is important is that it is delicious and can wake up the palates of my guests or family members.

Hope you like the post today. Thanks and have and have a nice day.



4 thoughts on “Come, Lets Have A “Soaked” Rice Vermicelli Dish–Vegetarian Fried Tom Yam Bee Hoon (素炒东炎炒米粉)

  1. Just tried this, worked beautifully and I ended up with beehoon that was flavourful but also very moist! Thank you 🙂

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