Mi Do Bien Recipe (Seafood Noodle Soup Recipe)
It's been windy and cloudy in the Bay Area and we just changed all the comforters and blankets, so everyone is comfy and cozy in their beds. Having hearty, warm meals helps out a lot during the rest of the day, and being Vietnamese, I can’t think of anything heartier than soup. Soup is probably the quintessential comfort food in Vietnamese cuisine. I’ve made many types in the past, and today I created a Vietnamese egg noodle soup with seafood, called mì đồ biển.
The soup consists of flavorful fish stock with fresh egg noodles, shrimp, quail eggs, baby squid and halibut (or any white fish). It is completed with Chinese chives (called hẹ in Vietnamese) and green onions.
Yields: 6 servings1 quart fish stock (or chicken stock)
1 (16-ounce) package fresh thin egg noodles (see tips)
2 teaspoons salt, to taste
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 shallots, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons freshly grated palm sugar, to taste
1 red Thai bird chile, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
10 ounces raw medium shrimp, thawed
½ pound pre-cleaned baby squid, thawed
1 pound halibut, diced
1-½ teaspoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoons Chinese chives (see tips), cut into 3"-pieces
1 dozen quail eggs
2 tablespoons green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
Prepping the mì đồ biển broth:
In a 5-quart stockpot, bring 1-¼ quarts of water and the fish stock to a boil. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add salt. Taste again. Finish with about 2 tablespoons of palm sugar (if necessary). The secret is to balance the sweetness and the saltiness. Be sure not to over-salt! Cook for about 5 minutes. Set aside.
For the shrimp: Remove and discard the head of the shrimp if it's still attached. Carefully shell and de-vein the black part of the shrimp using a sharp hook-like paring knife. Make sure to remove the tip of the tail as well; this part is very delicate. Rinse the shrimp under cold running water and pat dry using a paper towel. There should be as little water as possible. Repeat the same procedure for each shrimp. This step is tedious but essential for good results. Add the chopped red Thai chile, 1 clove of garlic and 1 teaspoon to the shrimp. Mix well.
Hard cooked quail eggs: Place the eggs in a saucepan. Cover them with water. As soon as the water reaches a full boil, add ½ teaspoon of salt. Lower the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat. Cover with a lid and let the quail eggs sit for about 10-12 minutes. Transfer to an ice bath. Cool the eggs completely. Peel and set them aside.
For the egg noodles:
On a large platter, untangle and separate the egg noodles. Form individual servings.
When you're ready to serve, fill a medium-sized pan with about 2 quarts of water. Bring to a boil.Place a deep bouillon strainer (or a large strainer that can fit in the pan) and add an individual serving of the egg noodles. Wait for the water to come back to a boil (about 1-2 minutes) then cook for about 30-45 more seconds. Lift the strainer, drain the liquid and transfer the noodles to a serving bowl. Repeat for each individual bowl.
In the same pan, add the rest of the oil and the shallots and cook until caramelized. Transfer the shallots to the broth, leaving as much oil as possible in the pan.
Add the remaining garlic to the pan. Cook until slightly golden. Make sure the pan in hot, then add the shrimp. Stir fry for about 2 minutes. Do not over-cook as the seafood as it will finish cooking in the broth. Add the fish. Sprinkle with black pepper. Add about a ladle or two of boiling broth. Turn off the heat.
Bring the broth from the main pot back to a boil, then add the seafood and baby squid. Add the Chinese chives, green onions and cilantro. Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes.
The broth should be fragrant and properly seasoned.
Be organized. Line up the serving bowls. Add the boiled egg noodles. Add 2 quail eggs and a few pieces of seafood along with the boiling broth you have prepared.
Serve immediately with Sriracha sauce on the side.
Call your gang as soon as each bowl is ready and dig in!
You can find Chinese chives in most Asian markets. Chinese chives (hẹ) are flat-leaf herbs that taste similar to leeks when boiled.
The addition of caramelized shallots to the broth prevents the soup from being tanh ("fishy") when the seafood is added. It's a great trick when cooking seafood or meat in broth.
My favorite egg noodle brand is New Hong Kong Noodle Company (they carry all sorts of noodle dough products). But this week, I couldn't find any so I used Lucky K.T. Co. brand egg noodles. Whichever ones you use, try to choose the thin variety.
You can find quail eggs in most Asian markets. 10 eggs cost $0.99.November 16, 2011.