Whoever came up with the idea for mi quang, thank you! Mi quang originated from Quang Nam province in central Vietnam, hence the name mi quang. According to my dad mi quang was created during tough times when food were very scarce. People made the most out of whatever ingredients they have at home. For that reason, there are many different ways you can make mi quang. I guess that’s why I love this dish so much because you can can throw whatever you want in the pot.
Mi quang is eaten with a lot of fresh vegetables another reason why it appeals to me because i’m a veggie lover. It is not exactly a soup but it’s not like hu tieu kho either. You add just enough broth to the bowl so you can easily mix all the ingredients together and slurp that thick noodle. Because you add very little broth, it is important that you season your broth and meat very well. That’s the one thing I notice when I eat a bowl of mi quang from Vietnam versus a bowl from the states. Mi quang from Vietnam is seasoned very well and I find the mi quang I’ve had from the states to be too bland. You almost want to over salt your broth and meat because the vegetables and noodles will balanced everything out.
The most common version of mi quang contain shrimp and pork belly. Chicken mi quang is a close second. I’ve tried it with king crab and beef as well. Honestly, anything will work! One day i’m going to have to experiment with fish. To me the most important part about mi quang is the broth. It doesn’t matter to me if you use pork or chicken to make the broth, the deal breaker is the shrimp head. I always use shrimp with the head to make mi quang because it gives the broth so much flavor. I also like using fresh pineapples to give the broth a very subtle tart.
1 lb of pork bones
2 lb of pork belly
1 lb of shrimp w/ head
1 can of quail egg
sesame rice cracker
dry mi quang noodles
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 tablespoon of minced shallots
8-10 green onion head ( optional for sweetness)
minced green onions/cilantro (garnish)
1. Par boil your pork bones with plenty of salt. Rinse with cool water.
2. Fill a 6 quart pot with water. Add the clean pork bones to the pot. Let simmer meat on the bone begin to fall apart and remove scum when necessary.
3. Add the yellow onions, 4 tablespoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of rock sugar, and 1 tablespoon of mushroom seasoning.
4. Thinly slice the pork belly. Marinade with a little bit of sugar, 4 tablespoon fish sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, 1/2 of the shallots, 1/2 of the minced garlic, and 1 tablespoon of paprika, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon of onion powder.
6. Trim your shrimp, you can peel the shell or leave the shell on your preference.
7. Now it’s time to cook all the proteins.
8. Heat up 1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil in a pan, add the shrimp season with just a dash of fish sauce, a pinch of paprika and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Cook shrimp all the way through.
9. Drain any extra liquid from cooking the shrimp to the broth. Set shrimp aside for later.
10. Repeat step #9 with the marinaded pork belly. You can sprinkle additional paprika for more color. Don’t forget to drain left over liquid to the broth.
11. Add pineapple chunk to to the broth.
12. Heat up 1/8 cup of oil and cook the rest of the garlic and shallots until fragrance. Lower your heat source and then add two tablespoon of paprika. Let the paprika dissolve into the oil. This will be the coloring of the broth, add the oil mixture to the broth.
13. Remove pork bones (you can munch on this) and onions from the pot. You are left with only the liquid and pineapple chunk.
14. Taste your broth, remember it’s ok to over salt the broth slightly. Add additional sugar and fish sauce if needed.
15. Your broth is done! Prepare green onions, cilantro, lime, quail eggs, roasted peanuts, and fresh greens for eating.
How to Serve
1. At the bottom of the bowl add your lettuce and bean sprouts.
2. Add noodles.
3. Add the pork belly, shrimp, and quail eggs.
4. Add the sesame cracker and roasted peanuts.
5. Add herbs, green onions, and cilantro.
6. Ladle enough broth to the bowl.
7. Squeeze some lime and add chili to your liking.
8. Mix and enjoy!