Umami Mart Registry

I've been really into harusame (bean thread noodles) ever since my grandma sent me home with some two years ago. With a quick soak in some warm water, these noodles are ready to be fried or boiled, depending on what kind of texture you are in the mood for.

Since opening Umami Mart, Kayoko and I have been tag-teaming with bringing in our bento. My ideal dish for bento will be something that can incorporate a lot of vegetables and be prepared within 30 minutes. I also tend to like a bento with different textures in it and will keep for a few hours just in case I want to have half later in the day.

A magical ingredient that works really well in this dish is fish sauce. I actually can't believe we have not really talked much about fish sauce on Umami Mart since it packs quite an umami punch thanks to its high glutamate content... AND it's made out of fermented fish! I use it often for ground chicken and noodles. But beware, I've spilled some of this stuff on my shoes at a Thai restaurant and those shoes had to be thrown out the next day.

3 bunches of harusame (bean thread noodles), soaked
2 carrots julienned
3 Japanese eggplants cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 lb bok choy leaves separated

4 tbsp of vegetable oil
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar

1. Mix sugar, fish sauce and vinegar in a bowl and set aside.

2. Cut vegetables.

Fine, attractive strips thanks to my mandoline!

3. Soak bean thread noodles in warm tap water. Drain after five minutes.

4. Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil on high. When oil is hot, add eggplants and carrots. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes, then add bok choy and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Set aside.

5. In the same pan, add 2 tbsp of oil on high. Add the noodles and stir fry for 3-5 minutes, then add the vegetables put aside earlier. Mix well.

6. Take the wok off the heat and add fish sauce mixture. Mix well.

7. For bento, let cool and pack in container.

Ready for work!

*Japanify aims to make Japanese cooking at home simple, accessible and affordable. For questions, please email Yoko directly at or simply comment below!
Column: Japanify


  • i made this last night, and for whatever reason my noodles kept clumping together when i added them to the wok. adding just a tbsp or two of water did the trick.

    be on

  • well now I have to come back to buy a mandoline. looks delish!

    dr Leila on

  • I googled “bean thread noodles + bok choy” and this delicious, perfect, simple recipe by someone I KNOW comes up. I had it for lunch today and it was scrumptious, Yoko. Keep up the excellent work. xo Lindsay L from Tokyoooo

    Lindsay on

  • Yes, they tend to clump together. Good tip!

    yoko on

  • Yoko, I am not back in Tokyo, but I mentioned it to give you a frame of reference, in case there are other Lindsays in your life. I’m in Boston, where I have one more year of grad school! Come see me some time.

    Lindsay on

  • Hey Lindsay! Are you back in Tokyo?! I am so glad you enjoyed the recipe. It’s a quick go-to for me.

    yoko on

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published