Vietnamese chicken glass noodle soup, and a family story
April 30, 1975 marked the end of the prolonged Vietnam War. Here's how one father remembered finding his way to the United States – and a new life – fueled by a sweet family reunion and miến gà, a chicken glass noodle soup.
(Page 3 of 3)
However, life during the last six months in the camp could not have been better. We were all together and I was able to get more food. My wife began to cook meals for the family again. One of the first family meals together was a simple dish she cooked called miến gà, a chicken glass noodle soup. Even though I ate this dish hundreds of times in the past, this time with our family reunited and free, I felt immensely blessed and grateful. Reflecting on what could have been and the remote odds of seeing my family together so soon, I ate this simple dish with such happiness. It was the most satisfying and unforgettable meal I’ve ever experienced.Skip to next paragraph
A couple that cooks together stays together, says Hong and Kim Pham. They love to cook and believe good food not only brings people together, but also strengthens bonds and forges wonderful memories. Hong and Kim specialize in Asian, specifically Vietnamese cuisine, and love to share not only our food but also their culture.
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Thirty-three years later, Kim was able to recreated this dish for my dad to celebrate the anniversary of April 30. For more information about the Vietnamese Boat People experience, check out Boat People: Personal Stories From the Vietnamese Exodus 1975-1996 by Carina Hoang and and the UC Irvine Vietnamese American Oral History Project and in DVD or Netflix, Journey from the Fall.
Chicken glass noodle soup (miến gà)
Serves 4 to 6
1 free range chicken
5 quarts water
1/4 lb. chicken gizzards, trimmed
1/4 lb. chicken hearts
1 large yellow onion, charred
1 large knob of ginger, charred
1 can of sliced bamboo shoots, drained and rinsed (optional)
1/2 cup of sliced shiitake mushrooms (optional)
1 package of glass(bean thread) noodles
Rau răm [substitute coriander]
1. Char the onion and ginger over flame of your stove or broiler. In large stock pot, make the chicken stock by adding charred onion and ginger, chicken, gizzards, and hearts to the water and bringing to boil. Reduce to simmer until chicken is tender and cooked, roughly 30-40 minutes. Check by piercing the chicken at the thickest point with knife and see if any blood oozes out.
2. Remove the chicken and wrap in plastic wrap and allow to cool. Season the stock to your personal taste with salt/fish sauce, and pinch of sugar. Add the shiitake or bamboo shoots at this point if you like.
3. Soak the bean thread noodles in hot water for about 15 minutes. Shred the chicken by hand, leaving drumsticks and wings intact. Prepare each bowl with bean thread noodles and shredded chicken and bring the broth back to boil. Ladle broth into bowls and top generously with chopped scallions, fried shallots and ground black pepper. Serve immediately with side of rau răm.
Related post on The Ravenous Couple: Canh Chua Vietnamese Sour Tamarind Soup and Life in the Mekong Delta
The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of food bloggers. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by The Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own and they are responsible for the content of their blogs and their recipes. All readers are free to make ingredient substitutions to satisfy their dietary preferences, including not using wine (or substituting cooking wine) when a recipe calls for it. To contact us about a blogger, click here.