Summer Noodle Salad with Cilantro, Ground Pork and Black Trumpet Mushrooms or Yum Wun Sen

| June 24, 2010 | 0 Comments

With their earthy flavors and aroma, mushrooms, either dried or fresh, are a common way to enhance the flavors of savory dishes like patés, pork or beef stews or even savory pasta dishes or egg dishes. 

I was thinking of how well pork and mushrooms go together the other day, while musing about a novel way to use black trumpet mushrooms we received from Marx Foods, a purveyor of bulk fine foods. I remembered a favorite Thai dish that Mom occasionally makes that is a salad from stir-fried ground pork and mung bean noodles in a lime and fish sauce dressing, topped with lots of cilantro and shallots. Collaborating, Mom and I decided to make this dish with the addition of black trumpet mushrooms. 

Black trumpet mushrooms are fragile and trumpet-shaped with a waxy grey surface. It is a very rich and buttery mushroom, popular in French cuisine because of their unique flavor and texture. Wild black trumpet mushrooms grow in the Pacific Northwest, typically between January and March. 

It turned out that the salad, with its bright flavors of cilantro, lime and fish sauce, contrasted wonderfully with the more earthy accents of the ground pork cooked with sliced black trumpet mushrooms that had been reconstituted by soaking in hot water. It was like having the best of both worlds, light and savory, in a wonderfully refreshing dish that could be served cold or at room temperature for a summer meal. 

Noodle salad with ground pork and black trumpet mushrooms.


The Thai word for this type of salad, Yum, is commonly used to describe many dishes that originate in the northern part of Thailand, which incorporates a lot of lime juice, lemongrass and mint in salad-type dishes like papaya salad or Som Tham, Larb, Nam or cured pork sausage salad, and squid salad or Yum Pla Muk

Mung bean noodles are easy to use. You can purchase them at most Asian grocery stores in sacks of multiple rolls of dried noodles, bound together with a plastic netting or wrap. To cook, you simply add them to boiling water and boil until their color changes from white to transparent. These noodles are also nicknamed cellophane noodles because they turn transparent when cooked. They should not be confused with rice noodles, which retain their white color when cooked. 

If you’d like to try this dish, or want to try using black trumpet mushrooms, we recommend ordering them from Marx Foods. These mushrooms are hard to find, sourced from the Pacific Northwest, and sustainably hand-foraged by an outfit in Eugene, Oregon. When you order them from Marx Foods, they will come dried in a 2-oz re-sealable plastic bag and shipped via FedEx ground. 

The mushrooms will arrive with a sheet describing them and offering suggestions for their use, as well as instructions on how to reconstitute them. 


This dish takes little prep work and is easy and quick to make.


Summer Noodle Salad with Cilantro, Ground Pork and Black Trumpet Mushrooms or Yum Wun Sen

  1. 3 rolls of mung bean (or cellophane) noodles
  2. ½ pound (225 g.) ground pork
  3. 2 tablespoons (30 ml.) fish sauce
  4. Juice from 1 lime
  5. ¼ cup (60 ml.) finely chopped cilantro leaves and young stems
  6. ¼ cup (60 ml.) thinly sliced shallots
  7. ¼ cup (60 ml.) spring onions, thinly sliced
  8. 10-12 dried wild black trumpet mushrooms, reconstituted by soaking in hot water for several minutes, and then sliced into small pieces
  9. 1 tablespoon (15 ml.) garlic, finely chopped
  10. 1 teaspoon (5 ml.) ground dried red chilis (omit if you don’t want this dish to be spicy)
  11. 2 tablespoons (30 ml.) oil
  • Heat oil in a wok over high heat and brown the ground pork, stirring with a spoon or spatula to break up the pieces.
  • Add garlic and mushrooms and cook a few more minutes until mushrooms are tender.
  • Turn off heat and empty into a heat-proof mixing bowl.
  • In a saucepan, bring enough water to a boil so that it completely covers the noodles, and add noodles and cook until they turn transparent (about 4 or 5 minutes). Test for doneness by tasting. They should give when you bite on them and not be chewy. If they’re chewy like rubber bands, cook a few minutes longer.
  • Drain into a colander and rinse with cold water. Drain and add to the mixing bowl.
  • Add lime juice, fish sauce, spring onions, cilantro, shallots and ground chili to the mixing bowl and thoroughly mix to incorporate all ingredients. Cover and let cool a few minutes and serve at room temperature. Garnish with some cilantro sprigs or lettuce leaves.


— Vic

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Category: Salad, Thai

About the Author (Author Profile)

Victor Panichkul is a journalist and writer by training; a cook, wine lover and photographer by passion; and a lover of the outdoors since moving to Oregon more than 10 years ago. He is a native of Bangkok, Thailand.

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