Mi quang noodle soup – authentic Vietnamese recipe
For the broth
- 2 pounds of pork neck bones (or St Louis style spareribs)
- 4 cups water
- salt, to taste
For the aromatic topping
- 6–8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 pound pork belly, sliced into 1/4 inch crosswise (see image below for reference)
- 4–6 ounces of dried shrimp (on Amazon), roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup soup stock
- 1 shallot, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce (on Amazon)
- 2 packages of Mi Quang noodles
- 3 large sesame rice crackers, broken in large pieces
- peanuts, roasted and roughly chopped
- 16 ounces of bean sprouts
- shredded lettuce
- (optional) if you can find it – shredded banana blossoms (aka banana flowers)
- (optional) garnish with cilantro sprigs and chopped scallions
For the simple broth:
- Rinse the pork neck bones in cold water thoroughly
- In a large stockpot, add the pork neck bones and enough water to slightly cover it, and bring to a boil. Let it go to a rolling boil for about 3 minutes – then immediately discard this water. (I find that this is the best way to get rid of all the impurities that comes from boiling pork neck bones)
- Add bones back to the empty stockpot, add 8 cups of water, bring to a boil and lower immediately to a simmer. Let it simmer covered for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Add salt to taste, and discard the pork neck bones, reserving the broth for later
For the aromatic topping
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium high heat, add garlic and shallots. Stir fry for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant.
- Add pork belly, dried shrimp (on Amazon), and fresh shrimp. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until cooked all the way through.
- Add 3 tablespoons fish sauce (on Amazon) and lower the heat for 30 seconds.
Prep the noodle, rice cracker, and beansprout
- Cook the noodles according to package directions
- Immediately remove and rinse under cold water (this prevents the noodle from sticking together like a large glump)
- Optional – add 1/2 teaspoon olive oil and massage it into the noodle – this prevents further sticking once it cools completely.
- Microwave the rice cracker for 1minute in the microwave, turning halfway through. Break into large pieces.
- Cook the beansprouts by boiling it for 1 minute and immediately remove from water.
- Make your bowl of mi quang by adding a layer of 1/2 cup cooked beansprouts, a handful of shredded lettuce, and banana blossom (if you have it!)
- Add the mi quang noodles on top of the veggies.
- Top with desired amount of meat!
- Spoon a ladle of stock broth from step 1 into the bowl
- Top with roasted peanuts and rice cracker and optional garnishings such as cilantro and chopped scallions.
1. You can substitute the pork neck bones for other thick cuts of pork such as st. louis style spareribs, but I find that it’s much cheaper to use pork neck bones. Typically you can find these for $1.49-$2/lb at a oriental market. Save spareribs for a yummy barbecue instead!
2. You can substitute the broth with store-bought chicken, pork, or beef broth, or even make your own batch of bone broth (see recipe here)
3. If you can help it, I would not substitute the noodle for anything else since it’s one of the main attraction of this dish. However, I understand it’s hard to find – I couldn’t even find it on Amazon. If you must, look for wide flat rice noodles (think noodles that look like “chow mein”).
4. You might wonder why we boil the pork neck bones and immediately discard the water – if you’ve never cooked pork neck bones before, this is a valid curiosity! I find that there’s a lot of gray impurities when you boil pork neck bones for the first time. By discarding this first, what you end up with is a clearer broth that’s nice and sweet and flavorful – and no “grayish” looking broth!
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Cuisine: vietnamese
Keywords: mi quang, vietnamese noodle soup, authentic vietnamese dishes