Unlike Pho, Mi Quang has not found fame on the international food scene; however, the cuisine is very popular within Vietnam’s border and captures the hearts of many visitors. Mi Quang is an icon of Quang Nam Province as well as the Central Vietnam’s cuisine.
Mi Quang is quite different from the noodles in other regions of Vietnam. It is distinguished by thick yellow noodles, nutritious broth and fresh vegetables. The dish comprises of two main parts: “mi” (mì, meaning noodles) and broth. “Mi” is long, soft and thick rice noodles which sometimes include turmeric giving it yellow color. The broth is quite nutritious with meat or bone simmered in boiled water and intensely flavored with fish sauce, pepper, shallot and garlic. To make the broth of Mi Quang, a chef should choose fresh meat and big bone to stew for several hours. The chef can also add some hard-boiled eggs, shrimps, crushed peanuts, steamed pork sausage (chả), chili sauce and fresh vegetables including water mint, basil, sliced banana flowers, lettuce and especially “banh trang me “(toasted sesame rice crackers.)
To make a bowl of Mi Quang is not easy at all. Follow these steps and you will have a nutritious Mi Quang for your beloved ones:
- Peel the cover of shrimps, then season it with salt, pepper, sugar and monosodium. Wait for about 20 minutes.
- Slice half-lean-half-fat meat and marinate it. Wait for about 30 minutes.
- Make broth by stewing pig bone with water for over 02 hours. When the broth boils, remember to pick the dirty foam on the surface and add some salt, monosodium and pepper.
- Pour little oil on pan, fry sliced onions and then add shrimps into the pan. When the shrimps turn into pink, pick them out. Repeat the same process with meat.
- Add noodles into boiled water, wait for 3 – 5 minutes and pick out. Then soak them into cold water, pick out and let them dry.
- Pour shrimps, meat into the broth and cook for about 10 minutes. Then, season the dish again based on your preference.
- Serve it with vegetables and pieces of toasted sesame rice crackers.
One special thing about Mi Quang is that you can add some sliced cilantro, roasted peanut, sliced banana flowers, toasted sesame rice crackers, along with fish sauce to make fragrant, sweet and spicy broth. Moreover, unlike other kinds of noodles whose broth floods the noodles, the broth of Mi Quang just rises up one third of the noodles.
Mi Quang can be found in many streets in Vietnam, from a simple vender of an old lady to a luxurious restaurant. However, if you have chance to visit Quang Nam province or Da Nang, do not forget to try a bowl of Mi Quang cooked by locals. One recommendation for you is the “Mi Quang Tieng Quy” restaurant at Duy Chau Commune, Duy Xuyên District, Quang Nam Province. The price is quite justified with only VND25,000.
In Saigon, you can enjoy a bowl of Quang Nam delicacy at “Mi Quang 85 food house” at 85D Tran Quang Dieu Street, District 3. Interestingly, the lady owner is not from Quang Nam originally, but has 20-year experience in cooking this special Vietnamese cuisine.