Rice noodles in pork broth with chicken, prawns and omelette

Rice noodles in pork broth with chicken, prawns and omelette

By
From
Vietnamese Street Food
Serves
6
Photographer
Michael Fountoulakis

Thang, meaning broth, is a word borrowed from the Chinese, which points to the Chinese culinary influence on this northern noodle soup. This is considered a very sophisticated, subtle dish, often prepared on special occasions such as lunar New Year (Tet), weddings and anniversaries. Traditionally, the qualities of a good bun thang have been likened to characteristics attributed to Vietnamese women: beauty, modesty and intelligence.

Cha lua is a pork paste with fish sauce, which has been steamed in banana leaf. It is available in most Asian supermarkets.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
6 red asian shallots
3kg pork bones
1 teaspoon salt
6 dried shrimp
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 chicken breast on the bone
4 eggs
oil, for frying
600g rice vermicelli
12 cooked prawns, peeled and deveined
200g cha lua or ham, sliced
4 spring onions, sliced
1 handful coriander, roughly chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons * fried shallots [rid:7731]
1 lime, cut into 6 wedges

Method

  1. Chargrill the shallots over a barbecue or gas burner for about 5 minutes, or until fragrant.
  2. Wash the pork bones under cold water, then place in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Add the salt and slowly bring to simmering point, removing any scum that rises to the surface. Add the shallots, dried shrimp, sugar and fish sauce to the broth and simmer for 2 hours, regularly skimming the surface. Add the chicken breast and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove the bone from the chicken and cut the meat into thin slices. Strain the broth and discard the solids. Pour into a clean saucepan and heat until simmering.
  3. Break 2 eggs into a bowl and whisk to combine. Heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan. Pour the egg into the pan, gently stir for 5 seconds, spreading the egg to cover the base of the pan, then cook until set. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Cut the omelettes into 5 mm wide strips.
  4. Soak the rice vermicelli in boiling water for 4–5 minutes. Stir to separate the noodles, then drain and refresh in cold water. Use scissors to cut the vermicelli into easy-to-manage lengths.
  5. Divide the vermicelli among six bowls and top with the chicken, omelette, prawns, cha lua, spring onions and coriander. Ladle the hot broth over the top and sprinkle with the fried shallots. Serve with lime wedges.
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