Mì Quảng, pronounced ‘me wang’, is a noodle dish from Central Vietnam which is less well known than Vietnam’s most famous noodle dish, pho, but highly regarded in Vietnam and by people familiar with Vietnamese cuisine.
About Mì Quảng
Mì Quảng literally translated means ‘Quang style noodles’. The Quang part of the name refers to the Central Vietnamese province of Quang Nam. Quang Nam lies just to the south of Da Nang and stretches from the coast west to the border with Laos. You may not have heard of Quang Nam province but you are more likely to have heard of the province’s two most famous tourist attractions, Hoi An and the My Son Sanctuary. Hoi An, and the provincial capital of Tam Ky, are generally considered the two best places to eat Mì Quảng although it is served in most other parts of Vietnam in one form or another. Mì Quảng is mostly available from street food stalls although there some some formal restaurants, particularly in Hoi An, which serve notably good Mì Quảng. See below for a map of the location of one such restaurant.
Mì Quảng, like pho, is one of those dishes which is assembled just before it is eaten, although the preparations of the constituent parts takes many hours (if the dish is served properly). Like many traditional Vietnamese dishes, Mì Quảng comes in countless varieties, although they generally involve four parts normally placed in the bowl in the following order:
- Herbs and vegetables: Salad leaves, banana flowers, sliced carrots, coriander leaves, mint, and pea leaves are amongst the vegetables and herbs which are typically placed at the bottom of the dish.
- Noodles: Mì Quảng is traditionally made with a flat rice noodle coloured yellow with an infusion of turmeric.
- Broth: The way the broth is made varies a lot and how successful the dish is depends largely on the taste of the broth which is laddled sparingly over the noodles and vegetables. The broth is made from bone soup (bones boiled in water) which is added to fried pork or another type of meat (coloured red by oil infused with annato seeds), which is prepared by adding water along with sugar, salt, soy sauce, dried shrimp and a wide range of other ingredients. Tomato and pineapple is often reduced in the liquid to thicken it up. The pork (or other meat) in the broth goes on top of the noodles as well as the liquid from the broth.
- Toppings: Rice crackers, crushed peanuts and cooked shrimp are typically placed on top on the very top of the bowl. Spring onions, boiled quailed eggs and chopped fresh chilli are also frequently added as toppings.
Location of Mì Quảng Ông Hai
Mì Quảng Ông Hai Restaurant in Hoi An is one of the best places to try authentic Central Vietnamese style Mì Quảng.