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13/09/2020 - 11:12

Old Lady Du - A lifetime sticking to Nam Pho noodle soup 

Hue people are always proud of a famous delicious dish, with a great reputation from the past to the present; that is Nam Pho noodle soup (bánh canh Nam Phổ). The dish is simple but delicate, like the soul of Hue people.

Nam Pho noodle soup is an heirloom dish of Nam Pho Village (Phu Vang District, Thua Thien Hue Province), about 10 kilometers from the city center. There is no idea when this delicious dish appeared, but many families in Nam Pho Village have been sticking to the noodle soup for three to four generations. Many women peddlers sell the dish from their maiden, and then pass down the profession to their daughters-in-law, and daughters.

Hue News would like to introduce the photo series of Trung Phan, the photographer, of Old lady Du, a woman who spends a lifetime sticking to the Nam Pho noodle soup.

Old lady Du, who started selling Nam Pho noodle soup from the age of 16, is now 81 years old. She has spend more than 65 years sticking to the profession, working hard with the noodle soup for a lifetime to take care of her family and well-educated children.

Old lady Du is the fourth generation of the Nam Pho noodle soup profession, which was passed down from her Great Grandmother, Grandmother, and Mother.

Going to market from the early morning to select fresh shrimps to make the paste, and ingredients for the dish

Fresh shrimps are cleaned, peeled, added purple onions, salt and sugar; then grind smoothly, and add a little pork. In the past, fresh crab meat was also added into the paste. The step of making the noodle soup’s paste is very sophisticated, which creates a unique character to the dish.

After being ground smoothly, the paste is made into small balls; then put into a pot of boiling water; a little rice flour is added to have a sticky mixture. The red color of the paste is made of a little bit of roucou powder and fresh shrimps, so as to create a beautiful color.

The step of making the noodle dough is also very special. First, mixing rice flour with water and stirring well, then gradually adding more rice flour and stirring well; then, the mixture is cooked in a bain-marie instead of slicing the dough into stripes like the noodle soup of other regions.

It is also very different when making the noodle threads, which is the retained old way. Putting a long wooden stick to the rice flour dough after being cooked and then moving the stick to a hot water pot and rotating the stick above the pot so as to let the dough flow down, making small and chewy noodle threads. This step requires experience so that the threads are not overcooked and are sticky moderately.

The broth for the Nam Pho noodle soup is made from fresh shrimp broth, creating the natural sweetness; especially, the “ruốc” (fermented shrimp paste) with the taste of Hue is needed. When the broth is boiled, add the rice flour just enough to make the broth sticky; and then pour the broth into the ready noodle threads.

The flavor of the shrimp paste, the sticky broth and noodle threads are the features that can be found nowhere. It must be after 11 a.m. when the pot of Nam Pho noodle soup is completed; thus, that’s why the dish is often sold in the afternoon.

Firstly, the noodle threads are put into the bowl of Nam Pho noodle soup, then the paste will be added later, creating the distinctive red color of the dish.

Adding a some green chili, and fish sauce to create the aroma to the dish

Old lady Du opens her stall at 1 p.m. in Hamlet 1, Trung Dong Village, Phu Thuong Commune (Phu Vang District, Thua Thien Hue Province), you can visit and try the dish.

A long time patron of Old lady Du.

By Hue News