Archive for the 'Hu Tieu My Tho' Category

Hủ Tiếu Mì – Vietnamese Pork Noodle Soup

Hu Tieu Mi - Vietnamese Pork Noodle Soup

One of my culinary goals this year was to stop being such a wuss about preparing Vietnamese noodle soups at home. Four months and some change into 2012, I’m stoked to have mastered Bò Kho (Vietnamese beef stew), Bún Riêu Cua (Vietnamese crab and tomato soup), and most recently, Hủ Tiếu Mì (Vietnamese Pork Noodle Soup).

This most recent accomplishment coincided with my eldest cousin moving into town. Hủ Tiếu Mì is his absolute favorite noodle soup, and he requested that I make a huge vat of it just as soon as he arrived. He also asked for wontons to go with it, but that will be for another time. I need to concentrate on and conquer one dish at a time.

To learn the ins and outs of this Chinese-influenced noodle soup, I sought assistance from my aunt Thao. Something that she mentioned more than once was the importance of having a clear soup. To achieve this, the pork bones used to make the broth needs to boiled and cleaned, and one has to be diligent about skimming off any fat or foam that rises to the surface. Clear broth. Full bellies. Can’t lose.

This recipe makes about a dozen bowls worth, which is just about perfect in my mind. My cousin came over twice for dinner along with his fiancee and took leftovers for breakfast the following morning. Making a tremendous amount of food and having family over to enjoy it made me feel like I was continuing our family’s great tradition of nourishing and over-stuffing. This is what Vietnamese food is all about.

For broth

  • 6 pounds pork bones (neck or spine—Grandma says that spine is tastiest)
  • 1 daikon, peeled, trimmed, and cut in half or thirds
  • 1 cup dried shrimp or 2 dried cuttlefish
  • 7 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon monosodium glutamate (optional)

For toppings and garnish

  • 1.5 pounds ground pork
  • 1.5 pounds pork shoulder/butt
  • 2 bunch scallions, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper

For noodles

Make broth

Hu Tieu Mi - Vietnamese Pork Noodle Soup

Place the pork bones in a large stockpot. Fill the stockpot with enough water to cover the surface of the bones and bring to a boil. The pork bones will have some impurities that need to be washed away, so once the water comes to a boil, discard it and collect the bones in a colander.

Hu Tieu Mi - Vietnamese Pork Noodle Soup

One by one, rinse the bones to remove any scum. The cleaner the bones, the clearer the broth will be.

Continue reading ‘Hủ Tiếu Mì – Vietnamese Pork Noodle Soup’

Family Obsession: Hủ Tiếu Mỹ Tho at Phở King

Hu Tieu My Tho at Pho King - San Diego

How silly of me to order a bowl of phở when I dined at Phở King about a year ago. In spite of the restaurant’s name, I’ve since learned that phở doesn’t actually reign supreme here. The specialty at this El Cajon Boulevard shop is hủ tiếu, a slightly sweet and thoroughly porky variety of noodle soups. I guess Hủ Tiếu King doesn’t have as nice (or racy) a ring to it as Phở King does.

My uncle Thanh and aunt Phuong were the first to venture to the hủ tiếu side of the menu. Once it received their seal of approval, word quickly spread to my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and mother. I love how news of good eats travels very quickly in my food-loving family.

Hu Tieu My Tho at Pho King - San Diego

The Astronomer and I sat down for a proper hủ tiếu introduction during our previous trip to San Diego. Even though my mother had already downed twelve or so bowls in the span of a few months, she was down for another go with us.

Taking my mother’s expert lead, The Astronomer and I both ordered the hủ tiếu Mỹ Tho with clear tapioca noodles (hủ tiếu dai) and with the broth served on the side. Originally from the Mekong Delta city of Mỹ Tho, the noodle soup contained everything under the sun. Atop the tangle of chewy noodles were bits of liver, chives, barbecued pork, ground pork, shrimp, fried shallots, Vietnamese celery leaves (rau cần), fried fish balls, meat balls, squid, pork stomach, scallions, and pork hearts. Whew!

Hu Tieu My Tho at Pho King - San Diego

As requested, the pork broth was served on the side, along with a red-tinged ground pork sauce that is unique to this restaurant’s interpretation of the dish.

Continue reading ‘Family Obsession: Hủ Tiếu Mỹ Tho at Phở King’

Vietnam House – San Gabriel

When longtime reader and fellow Pasadena resident Danielle discovered that The Astronomer and I were moving into her backyard, she was quick with a dinner invite. We enthusiastically accepted, of course, because there ain’t nothing better than having a local show us the town.

Our dinner destination was Vietnam House, the epicenter of drama in the San Gabriel Valley. Danielle informed us that the brother-in-law who managed the restaurant was somehow pushed out of the family business. In retaliation, he and his wife left Vietnam House and opened up their own Vietnamese eatery a half mile down the street—Vietnam Restaurant. And get this, both restaurants’ menus are exactly the same. Scandalous, right? Even though Danielle favors Vietnam Restaurant over Vietnam House, she wanted to introduce us to the original shop.

We dined on a Saturday night and the place was packed. The majority of the guests were partaking in the house specialty—bo bay mon (seven courses of beef). Since we all agreed that bo la lot was the only reason to order seven courses of beef, we opted to go a la carte.

Danielle highly recommended an order of cha gio ($4.95) to start. The golden cha gio were served with heaps of greenery and individual bowls of nuoc mam. My first cha gio was excellent, tasty meaty filling and crisp wrapper, but the ones after it were bogged down by too much oil.

With thoughts of bo la lot dancing in his head, The Astronomer ordered the banh hoi bo la lot ($6.95)—sheets of thin rice noodles topped with seasoned ground beef wrapped in betel leaves, crushed peanuts and scallion oil, and served with nuoc mam on the side. This dish was decently portioned and full of bold flavors. Thanks to a la carte, putting up with six mostly mediocre meats can now be avoided.

I ordered broken rice with the works for my entree. The com tam (broken rice) included bi (sliced pork skin and pork), cha (pork loaf), thit nuong (grilled meat), truong opla (fried egg), peanuts, cucumber slices, and scallion oil ($6.50).

Unlike The Astronomer’s modestly portioned banh hoi, my broken rice plate could have fed a small village. My favorite components were the bi and cha. The thit nuong was disappointingly chewy and dry. However, it must be noted that everything tastes fantastic doused in lots of fish sauce.

Danielle ordered Hu Tieu My Tho ($4.95) for her main course. Hu Tieu My Tho comes from the Mekong Delta city of Mỹ Tho. The dish is comprised of a clear pork-based broth, translucent tapioca noodles, sliced barbecued and plain pork, and garnished with shrimps and chives.

Thank you, Danielle, for showing two new kids on the block a little drama and a lot of hospitality.

Vietnam House
710 W Las Tunas Drive
San Gabriel, CA 91776
Phone: 626-282-6327

Vietnam House on Urbanspoon

Vietnam House in Los Angeles

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