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Stall 1092 - Mi Quang

bt-mi-quang-stall2

There’s one easy way to hunt down a bowl of Mi Quang on Ben Thanh market in District 1 – look out for the thick yellow noodle-stacks. There are five stalls on Ben Thanh selling this oddity of the soup world. I hesitate to call it a soup as it is more like a classy kitchen leftovers salad with a splash of soup chucked on as an afterthought. So, what does that make it exactly? A stew – no. A soup – well, not really. A watery kind of cross-dressing salad/soup thing – that’s closer, but the truth is this fella has me category-confused.

bt-mi-quang-dish

Like Bun Rieu, there’s a lot to this native Danang dish. If you’re trying to impress a hot date with your exotic cookin’ skills, I wouldn’t bother trying to conjure this number up at home. You’ve got no chance. Best bet, rent a Vietnamese grandmother-come-kitchen-dynamo for the afternoon or do as pieman does and buy it on the market and sling it in a bowl back home.

bt-mi-quang-noodle-closeup

In among that lot I found the following:

Rice crackers, pork slivers, spring onion, peanuts, beansprouts, chinese mushrooms, shrimp. mortadella, stripped morning glory, saw-tooth herb, minced pork balls, yellow noodles, chicken stock.

It is a bit of a jungle in there and I could have missed the odd ingredient. Admittedly I did scoff this one down fairly rapidly. When I asked Phuong Van, the owner of stall no. 1092 about the quality of her four mi quang selling competitors on Ben Thanh, she sniffed disdainfully assuring me that her mi quang was sweeter, more nutritious and tastier than ‘those idiots’. Well, we’ll see about that. I’ll make sure I test them all over the coming weeks and blog up. Come to think of it, I wonder if Phuong Van has ever eaten at her competitors…???

bt-mi-quang-nuoc-sot

The mystery of mi quang is in that pot above. This is ‘nuoc sot mi quang’ or mi quang sauce (I think…). This makes the stock slightly sweet and a smidgen spicy. I didn’t add anything else - didn’t feel it needed anything, tasted great to me - although there is chili sauce, fresh chili and lemon halves on tap if you’re feeling adventurous. A big bowl will set you back 15,000VD, lightweights can try a smaller bowl for 10,000VD. Optional face wipe for 1,000VD. Phuong Van also serves up Bun bo hue , Bun moc and Banh uot thit nuong.

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where can I eat Mi Quang in Southern California

Thanks

just been to the ben thanh market in ho chi minh. it's stall 1092, not 1902. thanks.

Thad - u are absolutely right. I was there yesterday and doublechecked. Thx for the correction. Will go edit.

I eat Mi Quang from Cho Thanh Da in Q.BT several times per week, and in fact I just had a bowl. It's somewhat different than what's shown in the above pics. The broth is redder, they use different pork, there's one shrimp and it's still in the shell, no mushrooms, no onion, and no pork balls.

Here's what I think is in it:

Stock with possibly tomato in it. Just the right combo of salt & grease, whatever it is. Probably chicken-based but rather red compared to the photo.

One slice of very mild blond pork sausage much like mortadello.

Several thin slices of roast pork. Not the cut with the orange outer coating, just plain pork roast.

Peanuts.

One shrimp. Headless, but otherwise intact.

Yellow Mi noodles.

Served with fresh-squeezed lime juice, rice cracker, chopped hot pepper goop, and assorted fresh greens as described by pieman.

I might be forgetting something because I tend to get a bit carried away when eating it. I love the stuff. Anyway check it out when you get a chance. 10,000 dong for a huge portion, & the market's easy to find. Take XVNT and turn right at the only light on Thanh Da island, which is maybe 200m after you cross the bridge over the river. The market will be on your left behind the large, drab apartment building. It's not a big market, and the Mi Quang stall is pretty much dead center. Can't miss it, but you do have to actually go into the middle of the market, not just scooter around the outside.

For those who like the bus, take #44.

They also make a few other dishes, I think Bun Bo Hue and at least one more.

The little kid selling lottery tickets tried to shove his hand into my duffle bag, so no sleepwalking.

Just had another bowl of Mi Quang from Cho Thanh Da. Yeah, I'm hooked. Anyway I did forget to mention a few ingredients. Minced garlic and chives. They were much too skinny for scallions and didn't have any white bulb. But I've been wrong before, so why stop now?

I should also warn everyone that the market tends to flood. Badly. I make it in on my motorbike without getting my feet wet, but if you take the bus be prepared to roll up your pants and carry your shoes if the tide's high or it rained recently.

I really find this page great in order to introduce some foreign friends who will come to stay in Vietnam for a long time. However, I found MI QUANG at the Ben Thanh Market is somehow changed in comparison with the real one in my hometown. I come from Quang Nam province. The name Quang in Mi Quang comes from the first word in the name of the province. The noodle is also different.Ours are softer, white and are mixed with a bit oil. MI QUANG never comes with CHA CA.Sometimes we serve with CA TRAU or Ca loc
and there MUST have BUP CHUOI ( banana flower) with other kinds of vegetable.MI QUANG is very special in my province.
People say if you travel to Quang Nam but dont taste the real Mi Quang, it means you never been to Quang Nam.

I was born in Quang Nam and moved to Danang when I was about 10 y.o and I am 46 y.o now, anyway, my mom used to make Mi quang with crab meat, chicken,shrimp and fish too.
When we moved to the states, she only uses whatever avilable. Now she only uses shrimp and chicken, tumeric powder instead of fresh tumeric. I've learned how to make a lot of stuff from her over the years. So if you would like to know how to make Mi Quang, send me an email: 91300zx@gmail.com

Where's a good place to get mi quang in Houston? I've tried a few but wasn't very satisfied like I was in Viet Nam.

I just found your blog and it's wonderful. Your photos of Mi Quang have made me hungry. Luckily, we have many good Vietnamese restaurants here in Chicago. Keep it up.

I know one guy from Quang Nam, very successful and very rich, proud owner of Banh Mi Nam son in NKKNghia Street (near Ng.Dinh Chieu Crossroads) who would ride his old bicycle (he owns 3 villas, mind you) to go to a small shop that sells Mi Quang on Dien Bien Phu St, No 611.
He says it's the original Mi Quang, no variations,and it reminds him of home. So if you want to try out the original flavour... I've tried it. I've been to Quang Nam, and yeah, it's the original taste. In QN they do the Mi quang sometimes with chicken too.

Oops. Sorry, the address of the Mi Quang Shop is "Xu Quang", 611/14A Dien Bien Phu, District 3, and it's on the right, near the end of the Alley.

Hi,
I was talking with a friend and telling her that I am going to cook Mi Quang tomorrow. Since she's not Vietnamese, she does not know about it. So I did a search and found your site. It's interesting how people share opinions here.

I am also from Danang, which used to belong to Quang Nam province, now is an independent/ governmental city. I agree with some that one of the picture above does not show the right Mi Quang. It will never have mushroom in there. But these days, people are very creative and just add whatever they like. So it's not a big deal. For me, I like Mi Quang with thin slices of pork, young pork ribs, shrimp and probably squid. So I have them ready. Also, banana flower definitely cannot be missed. I am lucky to live in Southern California when most of the Vietnamese ingredients and herbs are available.

Usually, I would make the soup first by cooking pork bones for a while (probably 30 minutes or an hour). Then just make the sauce separately with a little oil first, then add sliced pork, shrimp and squid. To make it look red and "attractive", I put some oil on a pan and add annatto seeds but for just a few second. Otherwise, they get burn easily. Please make sure you only use the red oil, not the seeds in the soup.

Here we don't have fresh rice noodles so I used the dried ones, then add tumeric powder to make them look yellow. In Danang, they mix the yellow ones with somewhat red ones (made by wild rice or "red" rice, I guess).

Like many Vietnamese dishes, vegetables cannot be ignored. I would use some lettuce, herbs including mints and basils, banana flowers and some bean sprouts.

In Danang, people use little soup and think sauce. But in Saigon (Hochiminh City), they add a lot of soup to the bowl. Anyway, it's up to you to have as much as you want. I would also add a slice of lemon, some rice crackers, roasted peanuts and fried onions. Oh, don't forget some fresh chillis! Wow, sounds yummy already! I can't wait to have my Mi Quang tomorrow. :-))

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