Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Hủ Tiếu Bà Năm Sa Đéc | Mrs. Five's Noodle Dish from Sa Dec Recipe

Pork Hủ Tiếu Bà Năm Sà Đẹc no broth
This noodle dish is one of my favorite dishes which harkens from vùng Cửu Long the land of the 9 dragons (aka Mekong Delta) of Hokkien-Khmer origin.  It is a specialty attributed to Bà Năm Sa Đéc|Mrs. Five of Sa Dec.  Who this mythical Bà Năm|Mrs. Five  is, I don't know; it's very common in the South to call people by their birth order rather than their personal/intimate name and when they're married by their spouse's birth order depending on which one you are related to or know (VN is a relational language so the pronouns are not fixed but based on one's relationship).

When I was in my first trimester with my daughter and nothing appealed to me, my parents made Hủ Tiếu Bà Năm Sà Đẹc and my appetite restored.  My stepdad is from the Mekong and was raised in a Buddhist monastery where he learned to cook as a trade.  This is the recipe my parents taught me.  The glass noodles are served with ground pork in a tomato paste base with shrimp and served with a side of pork broth, though chicken or beef broth could be substituted. This is my quickie version without the battered shrimp cakes.  I made two versions in the last few months, one with chicken legs since I was out of my organic hog share and one when I picked up my organic, pasture raised hog share for the year.  I added zucchini to one because we just harvested it from the garden and I'm always looking to boost the veggie content.  Also, my lifelong allergy to onions was recently cured (!!!) by my chiropractor (not just for bad backs, yo!), so onions are back in my pantry for the first time since I moved away from home and started cooking for myself (almost two decades).

Hủ Tiếu Bà Năm Sa Đéc

  • 1 lb of sustainably-raised ground pork or 3 chicken leg quarters, deboned & ground
  • 1/2 cup of dried shrimp soaked in hot water for 20 minutes and minced in food processor
  • 3 tbs of tomato paste
  • 1 shallot, minced (or substitute with 1/2 sweet onion)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Black pepper
  • Red Boat fish sauce
  • Organic greens of choice
  • Zucchini, julienned (optionally added to stir fry or to broth)
  • Tiger shrimp, squid or other seafood (frozen without preservatives)
  • Korean sweet potato noodles (dang myun)
  • pork broth (can substitute chicken or beef broth) served as a side
  • chopped green onions for garnish
Boil water and make noodles according to directions.  Usually about 10 minutes.  Warm up your broth of choice.

Blend ground meat and shrimp in a food processor until just mixed.

Stir fry ground meat & shrimp mixture, add shallots & garlic, several dashes of fish sauce and pepper.  Cook for until the meat starts to brown but is still pink.  Add tomato paste and saute for a few minutes until cooked.  Remove from heat.

If you wanted additional seafood, poach them in the broth at this time.

Serve the glass noodles with the pork-tomato paste, any seafood, and greens and a side of broth garnished with chopped green onions.  The broth can be used to moisten the noodles to taste/consistency you prefer and/or sipped during the meal.

Ăn Ngon Lành|Eat Delectably!

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