Life Life

11/06/2018 - 15:45

Delicious shrimp noodle soup

Though living in Hue for nearly 10 years, having tasted innumerable Hue delicacies, not until becoming her son's wife did I have a chance to enjoy the shrimp noodle soup "made by mother-in-law."

Seeing my interest and curiosity, she passed down to her daughter-in-law the recipe together with the secret of this special dish.

Sweet and tasty shrimp noodle soup for a change

In reality it is pretty simple to cook with easy-to-find ingredients such as shrimp, pork, green chili, fresh herbs, etc. Shrimps must be well chosen to make sure about the quality of the dish. Big-sized shrimps with lots of flesh, raised naturally are the best; most importantly, they must be alive.

Cleaned shrimps without shells are mixed with spices such as fish sauce, black pepper, shallot, chili and some seasoning powder. Mom's tip is the sweet broth secreted from shrimps' heads and shells.

Cook shrimps in a hot frying pan with some oil, shallot and chili. Pour shrimps into the boiling broth pot then add spices to taste. Sometimes, some tomatoes and ruốc (shrimp paste) are added to enhance the flavor and color.

Another ingredient is pork. Pork is sliced into small pieces then mixed with spices and fried with some oil until hardened. It is served as supplementary, depending on the diner's taste.

The most interesting part of the recipe is how to process chili to accompany. There are three versions: fresh chili, fish sauce plus chili, and chili for color. When cooking shrimps, Mom puts aside a little heated oil in a small bowl, then add chili powder to create the color. Mixed with noodles, it gives flavor as well as color, very eye-pleasing.

Mom is right; "Spicy shrimps, tasty broth, fresh herbs, hot chili; they all make a typical Hue dish."

One of the secrets to this shrimp noodle soup is that the broth must be very hot when adding shrimps so that shrimps would keep their original fresh and sweet taste. Working together, passing tips in the process, finally we treated the whole family to the irresistibly delicious shrimp noodle soup. Soon we finished it up; wanting more though.

Shrimp noodle soup is not as popular as other dishes which can be found everywhere. However, this kind of noodle soup tempts people with its delicious and different taste. Though I am not confident yet about cooking this soup, every weekend when I drop home in the native village, I ask my Mom to make it with me for a change.

In the scorching summer, when your family members feel fed up with too spicy foods, this shrimp noodle soup is a good choice for a change.

Story and photos: Thao Vy

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