The name of this dish is derived from Quang Nam (the place where this dish is invented). ‘Mi’ means noodle. ( I think somehow, it sounds very close to ‘Mee’, also means noodle in Malaysian). Given the fact that I come from Da Nang, which used to belong to Quang Nam, the dish, as you can trust is the same.
I rarely had this dish since I was at home since my mother comes from the North of Vietnam while this dish is from the central part. If we want to have it, we just go outside to enjoy the dish. Also, each place in Vietnam normally serves only 1-2 typical dish that are their specialty so they are always good.) Food in a restaurant is even not as good as this one since a restaurant rarely specialises on any specific dish. But I just cooked this myself since sometimes I miss this dish when I’m abroad. My Catalan (not Spanish) housemate said that it was the best one among other types of noodle like ‘pho’, ‘bun bo Hue’,… that he had so far.
There are two types of this dish, one uses chicken and another one uses shrimp and pork. I will introduce the shrimp and pork version another type. The difference this dish compared to other kinds of noodle dishes in Vietnam is that the soup is only up to 1/3-1/2 the noodle (not covering all the noodle like ‘pho’ or ‘bun’. Thus, the soup base is a bit more tastier or saltier than in other types. Roasted peanuts and/ or roasted rice paper (‘banh trang’) is put on top which is not seen in other kinds of noodle.
The rest of the ingredients can be varied across families. So this is how I make the dish.
– Noodle (rice noodle, the big, flat type, one bag, 400g)
– Chicken (500g, buy the thigh with bone, don’t use chicken filet)
– Turmeric powder (2-3 tbsp.)
– 2 Shallots (chopped)
– Garlic chopped or garlic powder (1/2 tsp.)
– Fish sauce (1 tbsp, if not, then use 2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of sugar)
– Salt (1/2-1 tsp.), sugar (1/4 tsp.)
– Corn starch (1/2 tsp.)
– To serve with: Peanut (roasted), rice cracker (microwave for 2 mins), lime, chilli (Thai bird-eye), hard-boiled egg
– Greens: lettuce, sprout, herbs like cilantro (coriander), Thai basilicum, Vietnamese perrilla…
How to make:
1. Chicken: cut into square pieces (3-4cm each side). Put the chicken pieces into a big sauce pan to marinate. Put in chopped shallots, chopped garlic, fish sauce, 1 tbsp of turmeric powder, 1/4 tsp of sugar (optional). No need to have oil since if there is chicken skin, the dish is fat is enough. Mix all well so that the chicken are all covered by all of the ingredients above. Let the pan there for 20-40 minutes.
2. In the mean time, cook the noodle. Boil about 2l water in a large pan. Put noodle in. Put a little of oil (1 tsp) into the boiling water and noodle. This is to make sure that noodle won’t by sticky. If there is no instruction on the package, check the noodle regularly. You can use a fork or chopsticks to try if the noodle is done. It’s not supposed to be well done but still has the shape. The water is not supposed to be very white or cloudy. Normally, boiling noodle takes about 10-13 minutes. Transfer cooked noodle into a colander (just pour everything from the pan into the colander is fine. Water will drain away.) Let cold water run through the noodle so the hotness goes away. Put1 tbsp of turmeric powder into the drained noodle and stir them well so that the noodle are all dyed yellow. You can use a bit more powder if you like the taste and the colour.
3. Turn the heat on and put the pan of marinated chicken on it. Stir well till the meat of the chicken turns white (this takes about 5-7 minutes). Pour in about 1l of boiling water. Normally, the water will be about 2cm above the chicken. Put salt and sugar in. Using a cube of chicken broth (bouillon) is also good. I use 1 tbsp of this Knorr, which I bought in Vietnam. Put corn starch in. Add some more fish sauce if you like.
Cook for 15-20 minutes with the lid covering the pan until the chicken is soft (you can call it stewed). Taste the soup. If it’s more salty than you want, add in a bit of water and sugar. If you want more tastier, add in more salt.
4. To serve: put a layer of fresh vegetables like lettuce, sprouts, cilantro,… in a bowl. The next layer is noodle. Put half a hard-boiled egg on top. Add in the chicken and the soup base (the soup base only reaches 1/3-1/2 of the noodle). Have a dash of lime juice, chopped Thai chilli and roasted peanuts on top. Mix everything over with the soup, serve warm!
– Một gói phở khô (loại to bản, 400g)
– Đùi gà (500g, chặt thành miếng vừa ăn)
– Bột nghệ (2 thìa canh)
– 2 củ hành tím băm nhỏ
– Tỏi băm (1/2 thìa cà phê)
– Nước mắm (1 thìa canh), bột nêm Knorr (1 thìa cà phê)
– Bột bắp (1/2 thìa cà phê)
– Dọn cùng: lạc rang, bánh tráng (bánh đa) nướng, chanh, ớt, nửa quả trứng
– Rau sống: xà lách, giá, bắp chuối, các loại rau thơm
1. Ướp gà với nước mắm, bột nêm, tỏi, hành băm nhỏ. Cho một thìa bột nghệ vào và trộn đều. Để khoảng 20-40 phút. Không cần cho thêm dầu ăn vì da gà đã cho đủ lượng mỡ cần thiết.
2. Luộc mì/ bánh phở (nếu là bánh khô). Cho dầu ăn vào lúc luộc bánh để bánh không bị dính. Xối qua nước lạnh và chờ bánh ráo nước thì sóc đều một thìa bột nghệ. Nếu muốn bánh có cả màu trắng lẫn vàng thì chỉ cho bột nghê vào một nửa phần bánh.
3. Bắc nồi gà đã ướp lên bếp. Đảo đều khoảng 5-7 phút cho gà chín. Cho vào khoảng một lít nước sôi. Lượng nước có thể thay đổi miễn là không quá nhiều nước. Nước chỉ xâm xấp, trên khoảng 2-3cm phần gà là được. Cho bột bắp vào (nước dùng sẽ hơi sánh). Nêm thêm bột canh và nước mắm cho đủ mặn. Đậy nắp và đun khoảng 15-20 phút cho thịt mềm.
4. Xếp rau sống, mì, trứng vào bát. Chan nước dùng khoảng 1/3-1/2 lượng mì. Ăn cùng lạc (đậu phộng), bánh tráng/ bánh đa nướng, chanh và ớt quả.
Chú ý: Thìa cà phê ngang bằng với tsp. (tea spoon). Thìa canh ngang bằng với tbsp. (table spoon).