Mi Quang- Mì Quảng is a noodle dish that originated in the Quang Nam province of Central Vietnam. It translates as Quang (province) style noodles. Travelling around central Vietnam you will see an abundance of street stalls all offering mi quang for around $1 US.
After 4 months in Hoi An I haven’t seen any mi quang for offer in the restaurants I’ve visited but have tried plenty of different street stalls, all good with some being slightly better than others.
My favourite stall is only a short bike ride away and our mi Quang lady even does a brilliant take away version. What is in a mi Quang? How do they make the noodle dish that tastes so good and has so many ingredients that perfectly match?
What is Mi Quang? – Mì Quảng
Mi quang is a noodle dish from the Quang province of central Vietnam. While there are different versions of mi quang and how to serve it, the dish most commonly comes with pork slices, whole shrimp and peeled quails eggs served atop warm wide white rice noodles with a little amount of strong pork and prawn stock or soup.
Scallion ( spring onion) and chopped coriander are added to the noodles before the broth is ladled on. Crushed peanuts finish the dish but at the table other elements can be added to taste. A lot of locals will say that the best mi quang is the one their mother makes.
Where to Eat Mi Quang
Mi Quang is generally very easy to find at street stalls, it’s one of the most common dishes in this part of Vietnam. You will struggle to find it outside of Central Vietnam. We’ve eaten it constantly for lunch and dinner during our time here and have had no stomach problems. I would, therefore, consider it safe to eat but exercise caution with salads.
What to Expect When You’re Served Mi Quang
When you sit down at a street stall selling Mi Quang the first thing you’ll notice is the condiments on the table. Lime, chilli, fish sauce and chilli vinegar nearly always appear alongside the chopsticks, spoons and hand-cut squares of paper for wiping utensils and fingers. The mi quang is delivered with a fresh plate of herbs, lettuce and sliced banana flower.
Once you have added your ingredients mix the whole bowl up with your chopsticks making sure the sauce coats the whole lot.
Locals will eat the prawn without peeling it but I have to admit to always peeling mine. None of the stall owners seems to mind.
Mi Quang – Mì Quảng Recipe
While mi quang originates in central Vietnam it can be reproduced anywhere, unlike Cau Lau which requires water drawn from the Bale Well. The recipe like the one below can be made at home and Asian markets or supermarkets should sell the ingredients you can’t find in your local supermarket. This recipe should give you an idea of ingredients and methods, it’s not intended as an accurate recipe for you to follow. If you’d like to see one, with video, try here.
Ingredients To Make Mi Quang
1-1.5 kg pork neck bones or spare ribs
1 onion, cut in half
1 head of garlic, peeled
Mi Quang Broth
500 grams pork belly
1 tbsp annatto seeds, for color
1/2 cup of dried shrimps
Blanching the bones for a clear stock. This step is to be done before boiling to remove any impurities from the bones. In a stock pot, cover the pork with cold water, bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 minutes before draining. Remove the pork. Rinse under running cold water. Discard the blanching water.
Cover the pork bones again with cold water. Add onion and garlic, Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until the meat is cooked through, at least an hour. Frequently skimming any additional foam, and debris from the surface. Half way through, place the dried shrimps straight into the stock pot. The dried shrimps add a bit more depth and complexity to the flavor. Add more water if needed. You can make the stock a day ahead to shorten the time on the day.
Assembly of Mi Quang – Mì QuảngIn a bowl, add noodle, pork neck bone, or spare ribs, slices of pork belly and shrimps. Serve this dish with less broth than other kinds of noodle soup. That is why the broth for mi quang needs to be strong. Ladle the hot broth over the noodle bowl (about 1/2 of the bowl). Garnish with green onions, coriander and two peeled quail eggs then top with roasted peanuts. Serve mi quang with shredded banana blossom, lettuce and herbs and black or white sesame rice crackers which you break into small pieces. Mix everything together before you eat it. This is important as it gets all the flavours together and highlights the dish’s different ingredients.
Mi quang is one of my favourite dishes here in Hoi An and I’ll have one at least every few days. Hopefully, you get a chance to taste one on your travels to Vietnam or you can try a recipe to have your own mi quang at home. If you want to find out more about Vietnamese food check out my other post, Vietnamese food for beginners or read our Vietnam travel tips.