Tang Hoon Soup

Tang hoon (cellophane noodles/mung bean vermicelli/glass noodles/dong fen/冬粉) is one of my favourite Chinese noodles. I love cooking with tang hoon not just for its lovely chewy texture, but also for its ease of storage (it is sold in the dried form) and cooking. Being neutral in taste, it also absorbs the delicious broth the soup it is cooked in. In this homely tang hoon soup, I am using home-made ikan bilis broth. 

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tang hoon


This is an small individual sized bundle of glass noodles. My pantry can never be complete without them. You just need to soak the glass noodle until softened and then discard the water. The softened glass noodles cooks within 10 seconds of putting in the boiling water.

tang hoon fish ball soup

One of my favourite one-dish meals using tang hoon is to make this fish ball noodle soup. The all-natural ikan bilis broth only needed 15 minutes to cook – prolonged simmering may result in bitter broth. Tang Hoon Soup (冬粉鱼丸汤) is one recipe I know I can fall back on during busy nights, as I can pull it off in 30 minutes. Don’t forget to add fried shallots oil, fried lard or fried garlic oil as a finishing touch – it makes a world of difference to this humble dish.

Updated recipe on 8 Jun 2020. 

Tang Hoon Soup Recipe

This is a light-tasting and healthy Chinese-style one-dish meal which can be whipped up in under 30 minutes.

As a short-cut you can use a stock cube with water, if you do not wish to make the soup base from scratch in step 1.


  • 50 grams ikan bilis (anchovies/江鱼仔) rinsed and drained
  • 800 ml water
  • 14 fish balls (鱼丸)
  • 4 fish dumplings (魚餃)
  • 100 grams tang hoon (冬粉) soaked in water until softened; drained
  • 50 grams fish cake (鱼饼) sliced thinly
  • salt or light soy sauce to taste, if needed


  • 3 leaves lettuce shredded thinly
  • 1 tsp fried shallots or fried lard
  • 1 tsp dong cai (preserved winter vegetable/冬菜) rinsed
  • 1 tbsp chopped spring onions


  • chilli padi sliced thinly
  • light soy sauce


  1. To make ikan bilis stock, bring water and ikan bilis to boil; reduce heat and simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Strain & discard ikan bilis. Season to taste with salt or light soy sauce, if needed.
  2. With the ikan bilis stock simmering in the pot, add fish balls and fish dumplings; cook until the fish balls float to the surface.
  3. Add fish cake slices to the pot to warm through. Then add tang hoon which will be ready seconds after they are added to the hot boiling soup.
  4. Divide into two serving bowls. Garnish with lettuce, shallot oil, dong cai and spring onions. Serve with a saucer of sliced chilli padi with light soy sauce at the side.