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Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup (Mien Ga)

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Vietnamese Chicken and Glass Noodle Soup (Miến Gà)
INGREDIENTS:

4 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on

1 medium onion, charred

1.5 to 2 quarts water

2 tablespoons fish sauce (nước mắm)

Salt & pepper, to taste

3 50g bundles of bean thread noodles (bún tàu)

3 to 4 tablespoons prepared fish sauce (nước chấm, recipe below)

1 lime

* Optional: about 2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and charred


INSTRUCTIONS:

In a large pot, brown the chicken thighs (sprinkled with salt and pepper) skin side down on high heat to render the fat.

Meanwhile, char the onion. Turn on the burner to high heat. Hold the peeled onion using a pair of metal tongs, gripping firmly. Lower the onion as close to the burner as you can stand it, letting the flames envelope the outer layers. Rotate the angle to evenly toast up the whole onion, setting it down and re-gripping as needed.

Toss into the pot with the chicken along with the charred ginger, if using. Pour in about 1.5 to 2 quarts of water and bring to a boil.

Season with fish sauce (nuoc mam). Let simmer for about 45 minutes to one hour or until the chicken has cooked through and the broth is fatty and flavorful.

Remove the chicken to a plate and shred into bite-sized pieces. Drizzle with prepared fish sauce (nuoc cham) and squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Turn off the heat and add the bean thread noodles to the broth (or to a separate pot of boiling water, if desired). The bundles will expand and soften within minutes.

To serve, grab a bowl. build a nest of noodles, pile on the shredded chicken, and ladle in the broth.

Serve with a wedge of lime and, if you like a spicy kick, add a dollop of sambal oelek (chili garlic paste).

YIELDS: 4 servings


NUOC CHAM INGREDIENTS:

2 cups water

1/4 cup white granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons fish sauce (nước mắm)

1 teaspoon white cane vinegar (sukang maasim)

1 clove of garlic, sliced


NUOC CHAM INSTRUCTIONS:

In a small sauce pan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil.

Stir in the sugar. When completely dissolved, add 1 cup of cold water to cool the solution down.

Add salt, nuoc mam, and vinegar. Taste and adjust as needed. It should be a balance of sweet, salty, and tart.

Pour into a jar and add the garlic slices. Store refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.