Traditional Vietnamese Recipe - MÌ QUẢNG ( QUANG-STYLE NOODLES WITH PORK AND SHRIMP)
500 g pork belly finely sliced
500 g white shrimps shell-on, legs, heads and tails trimmed
1 tbsp shallot minced
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt
1 piece banana blossom
2 tbsp vinegar/lime juice
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp garlic minced
500 g tomatoes diced
1.2 L chicken/pork broth
2 limes cut into wedges
3 green chili
Fresh greens mint leaves, lettuce, coriander, bean sprouts etc.
800 g flat rice noodle (5mm thick)
2 rice crackers
1/2 cup roasted peanuts crushed
Season the pork with the minced shallot, turmeric powder, salt, and fish sauce. Season the shrimps with salt and pepper. Mix well set aside for 30 minutes.
To prepare the banana blossom, add 2 tbsp vinegar or lime juice in a large bowl of cold water. Remove and discard the outer thick layers of the banana blossom and any flowers inbetween. Use a sharp knife (or a mandolin) to slice it crosswise into paper-thin rings. Place the rings immediately into the water to prevent discoloring. After that, rinse 2 times under cold water and drain.
Heat cooking oil in a medium stock pot/ saucepan, then add the minced garlic and fry till fragrant. Then add the diced tomatoes and 1 tbsp fish sauce. Cover the lid and cook the tomatoes for 20 minutes until thickend like a sauce.
Meanwhile, in a separate pan, heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil and sautée the pork for about 5 minutes. Then transfer it to a bowl. Add another 1 tbsp oil in the same pan, then sautée the shrimps for 1 minute, add 1 tbsp sugar, stir for another 1 minute. Then add 1 tbsp fish sauce and simmer under low heat, uncovered, until the sauce dries out (about 8-10 minutes).
When the tomato sauce thickens, add chicken/pork broth to the pot. If you don’t have chicken or pork broth, it is fine to just use water. Bring to a boil and add the sauteed pork belly.
Adjust the broth to your taste. (I add 2 tbsp fish sauce, 2 tsp chicken stock, and 1 tsp salt). The broth should be saltier than a soup, but less salty than a sauce. Unlike Pho or Bun Bo Hue, we use a lot less broth for each bowl of Mi Quang.)
Cook the noodles following package instructions. Add some vegetable oil to the boiling water to prevent the noodles from sticking. If you want to dye the noodles yellow, add ¼ tsp turmeric powder 1 minute before the noodles are fully cooked.
To assemble the dish, fill a serving bowl half-full with fresh greens and place some noodles on top of the greens. Top with a few shrimps, and ladle the broth over. Remember the broth level should be lower than the noodles. Garnish with chopped spring onion and coriander, some crushed peanuts, and a piece of rice cracker. It will be served with a lime wedge, a green chili, and an extra plate of fresh greens. Mix well with chopsticks before serving and enjoy.