This week I go back to my childhood again with this Vietnamese classic. Much like what I did with Pho (which you can see here), this post will only be part one of my exploration of Hu Tieu Mi. In this first instalment I will be looking at what makes this classic so delicious in order to understand how to approach modernizing the dish.
Much like Pho, the secret to this soup is in the broth. It is made with pork bones, carrots, radishes, dried roasted squid, rock sugar, oyster sauce, and fish sauce. In the soup are some egg noodles, barbecue pork, pork liver, quail eggs, scored squid, and shrimp. Unlike Pho, this dish as quite a lot of components. This is where I think most of the problems arise. In traditional pho, beef is the very obvious focus. Everything about the dish is made in a way that enhances the flavour of the beef. In mi however, there are many delicious elements and it is challenging to bring the best out of all of them without overshadowing anything.
You would not think that all of these different types of meat would actually go together but it all tastes quite delicious. I usually only use one type of meat per dish and therefore the various types of meat in this dish is a bit unique to me. I suppose it is no different than my eating different types of vegetables in a stir fry.
Classically, one dips the various types of meat in hoisin sauce (or at least that is what I did growing up). However, in the second picture I decide to add a brush of spicy hoisin to the plate before spooning over some broth. I actually enjoyed this method because it mitigated the often overly sweet characteristics of hoisin sauce.
I finish the dish with some deep fried onions and some fresh chives from the garden as well as some black pepper.