Rice Noodles in Curried Chicken Broth with Roasted Peanuts and Crispy Sesame Crackers

Mì Quảng

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    4 to 6

    bowls as a one-dish meal

Appears in

This authentic recipe calls for making the chicken broth from a whole chicken, and using some of the meat for the noodles. To streamline the process, you may choose to buy the chicken broth and meat separately and skip step one. The shaved banana blossom’s astringent bite can be substituted by shaved green bananas or omitted completely without a detriment to the final flavor. Ground annatto seeds give the dish an attractive red hue without the heat of red chilies.

Another, lesser-known traditional element of the dish is a special noodle made specifically for this recipe. Ash or slaked lime is added to the rice flour batter for these noodles, turning them slightly yellow. This is why bright yellow colored noodles are often used in American Vietnamese restaurants (nice try, poor execution). I simply revel in the pure white noodles floating in the golden broth instead.

Ingredients

Chicken Broth

  • 2 lb. (.9 kg) Pork bones
  • 1 Medium Whole chicken (3 to 4 lbs. or 1.4 to 1.8 kg.), or 1 lb. (454 g.) thigh meat and 3 lbs. (1.4 kg.) chicken bones
  • 2-inch (5 cm.) piece Ginger, lightly smashed
  • 1 lg. Yellow onion, cut in quartersd
  • 4 cloves Garlic, smashed
  • 10 Black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1-inch (2.5 cm.) piece Rock sugar, about 1 oz. (28 gm.)
  • 2 tbsp. Fish sauce (nước mắm)

Method

  1. Make Chicken Broth: In a soup pot over high heat, cover pork bones with water, and bring to a boil. Drain and discard liquid, rinse bones and wash pan to remove residual impurities. Remove thigh and legs from chicken, de-bone, and cut skinless thigh and leg meat into bite size strips, about ¼ inch (0.6 cm.) thick (you’ll need 1 lb. (454 g.) of total meat; use breast meat to make up the difference). Reserve these chicken strips in the refrigerator. Cut remaining chicken carcass, meat and all, into large pieces (3 to 4 inches each (7.6 to 10 cm.): the smaller the pieces the richer the broth). Place cut up chicken carcass and blanched pork bones in a 2-gallon (8 L.) pot; add just enough water to cover bones. Bring to a vigorous boil, lower to simmer, and skim off impurities that float to the surface. Add ginger, onion, garlic, peppercorns, salt, sugar, and fish sauce; simmer 1½ hours to make a broth. Strain through fine wire mesh sieve.

Assembly of Noodle Bowls

  1. Bring chicken and broth to a simmer.
  2. Reheat noodles in boiling water, drain well, and divide among 4 to 6 bowls. Ladle simmering broth (with enough chicken for each serving) over the noodles.
  3. Sprinkle with scallions, peanuts and shallots.
  4. Serve with three side plates: chilies and limes; mixed mint and lettuce mixture; and a stack of fried crackers.
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