Cyrus Todiwala's Burmese Glass Noodle Salad and Chazaan


I am not and cannot be sure of the name or the correct spelling for this. Our neighbour who was a 2nd World War refugee from Burma called this Chazaan, but then as I learnt later chazaan is cooked with chicken in coconut milk and pureed onions. Therefore this is purely based on the dish my neighbour used to prepare and we used to get invited often to eat and very much looked forward to it. The original noodle or vermicelli we used to be given is the Mung Bean thread noodle but here I am using Rice Vermicelli but you can use either. A chicken curry with coconut milk can be served alongside. A recipe, which has Burmese roots, is below. The pre preparation below might seem a lot & might take some time but once done the rest is easy and also, do remember that all of that can be retained and used again to season other foods. 



1. Wash the peanuts in a strainer and drain well. Heat your oven to roughly 130*C and when peanuts have drained well, place on a tray in the middle shelf. Stir every ten minutes or so until lightly toasted and coloured. DO not over cook. Cool and chop into small-tiny pieces. Place in a bowl.

2. Take half the oil in a saucepan and when hot add the sliced onions! Whilst adding the onions gently break up the slices into the thin layers, by rubbing the slices. Fry by stirring regularly and bringing in from the edges to colour evenly and when golden remove the oil and the onions into a bowl. Keep the bowl ready well before the onions brown as otherwise they tend to carry on cooking and go very dark.

3. Divide the remaining oil in two and in one half fry the red chilli and when slightly coloured remove

4. Do the same for the garlic and remove when slightly golden in colour

5. Chop the green chillies and add into the soy sauce stir and remove in a bowl

6. Chop the spring onions and remove to a bowl

7. Do the same with the coriander

8. Your garnish and flavourings are all now ready

9. To eat just as noodles now, boil some water enough to steep the noodles into and add the noodles. DO not boil just soak and then drain in four or five minutes.

10. You are now ready to eat this

11. Take noodles in each bowl and every person has the liberty to take as much or as little of the garnishes sprinkled on top.


Prep time:

Cook time:

Serves: 4

  • 250g glass or rice vermicelli

  • 2 medium onions, cored, halved and sliced thinly

  • 2 tbsp crushed red chilli

  • 4-5 garlic cloves, halved lengthways and sliced thinly

  • 2-3 spring onions, slit into four lengthways and then chopped

  • 100g raw peanuts (or more if you like them)

  • 2-3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

  • 2-3 green chilli, slit into four lengthways and then chopped

  • 100ml light soy sauce

  • 300-400ml rapeseed or sunflower oil

  • 1-3 limes, cut into wedges