Ultimate Mì Hoành Thánh Xá Xíu Guide: Prep, Serve, Store

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Written By Hot Thai Restaurant

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Diving into the heart of Vietnamese cuisine, we’re thrilled to share a dish that’s a symphony of flavors and textures: mì hoành thánh xá xíu. This delightful bowl combines the tender, aromatic slices of char siu pork with the silky smoothness of wonton noodles, creating a comfort food experience that’s hard to beat. It’s a dish that tells a story of culinary fusion, marrying Chinese influences with Vietnamese flair.

We’ve always been fascinated by how food can transport us to different places, and mì hoành thánh xá xíu does just that. It takes you on a journey through bustling street markets and serene landscapes, all within a single bite. Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or new to Vietnamese cuisine, this recipe is bound to captivate your palate and leave you craving more. So, let’s embark on this culinary adventure together and discover the magic of mì hoành thánh xá xíu.

Ingredients

Embarking on our culinary adventure, let’s gather all the ingredients needed to create the enchanting Mì Hoành Thánh Xá Xíu. From the savory char siu to the delicate wontons and the aromatic noodle soup, every component plays a pivotal role in bringing this dish to life.

For the Xá Xíu (Char Siu)

  • 1 lb pork belly or shoulder, sliced into ½-inch thick pieces
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring (optional for authentic color)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

For the Hoành Thánh (Wontons)

  • ½ lb ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 20 wonton wrappers
  • 1 egg, beaten (for sealing wontons)

For the Noodle Soup

  • 8 cups chicken or pork broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and smashed
  • 2 green onions, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 lb fresh or dried wonton noodles
  • Thinly sliced green onions
  • Cilantro leaves
  • Sliced char siu pork
  • A few drops of sesame oil (optional)
  • Bean sprouts (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

With all these ingredients at our fingertips, we’re well on our way to creating a dish that’s as visually stunning as it is delicious. Let’s proceed to the magic of combining these elements to achieve the perfect Mì Hoành Thánh Xá Xíu.

Required Tools and Equipment

As we venture deeper into our journey of crafting the exquisite mì hoành thánh xá xíu, having the right tools and equipment is as crucial as the ingredients themselves. Let’s ensure we’re fully prepared to bring this vibrant dish to life, capturing the essence of both Vietnamese and Chinese culinary traditions.

Mixing and Marinating Equipment

First things first, for preparing the char siu pork, which is the soul of our dish, a large mixing bowl is indispensable. It’s where the magic of marinating takes place. You’ll need:

  • A large mixing bowl: To evenly coat the pork in the char siu marinade.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: Precision is key, so these will help you measure out the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and other marinate components accurately.
  • Cling film or a marinating bag: To cover the pork while it soaks up all the flavors in the refrigerator.

Cooking Utensils

To bring the components of mì hoành thánh xá xíu together, a few kitchen staples are essential:

  • A large pot: For boiling the noodles and blanching the wontons, ensuring they’re perfectly cooked and ready to soak up the broth.
  • A skillet or roasting pan: Essential for cooking the char siu to achieve that caramelized exterior while keeping the inside tender and juicy.
  • A saucepan: For simmering the aromatic broth that will envelope our noodles and wontons in warmth and flavor.

Serving Essentials

Presentation plays a significant role in the dining experience, especially with a dish as visually appealing as mì hoành thánh xá xíu:

  • Soup bowls: Choose deep bowls that can generously accommodate the broth, noodles, wontons, and slices of char siu.
  • Chopsticks and soup spoons: To offer an authentic eating experience, these utensils are a must for your guests to enjoy every slurp and bite.
  • Ladle: For serving the broth over the assembled bowls, ensuring each serving is brimming with flavor.

Make-Ahead Instructions

To ensure a seamless cooking experience and to imbue our mì hoành thánh xá xíu with depth of flavor, we recommend preparing some components ahead of time. This not only saves time but also enhances the dish’s taste, allowing the flavors to meld together beautifully.

Preparing the Xá Xíu Marinade

For the xá xíu, or char siu pork, the magic starts with the marinade. We’ll need to mix together the following:

  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

In a mixing bowl, whisk all the ingredients until well combined. Slice 1 pound of pork shoulder into 2-inch thick strips. Place the pork in a gallon-sized zip-lock bag and pour the marinade over it. Seal the bag, ensuring to remove as much air as possible, and massage the marinade into the pork. Let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, though overnight is ideal for the most robust flavors. This portion of the prep work imbues the meat with the traditional savory, slightly sweet, and aromatic flavors that are quintessential to xá xíu.

Making the Wonton Filling

The wonton filling requires its own special preparation. You’ll need:

  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 pound shrimp, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced

In a large bowl, combine the ground pork, chopped shrimp, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, white pepper, salt, scallions, and garlic. Mix everything thoroughly until the ingredients are well integrated. It’s important that the mixture is homogenous, ensuring each wonton has a consistent flavor and texture. The filling can then be covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours, which allows the flavors to meld together and intensifies the overall taste, making for a more delicious filling when wrapped in wonton wrappers and cooked.

These make-ahead steps not only mitigate day-of cooking stress but also enrich our mì hoành thánh xá xíu with deep, intertwined flavors that are sure to captivate any palate.

Preparing the Xá Xíu

Crafting the xá xíu, or char siu pork, is a pivotal step in bringing the rich flavors of mì hoành thánh xá xíu to life. With its trademark savory sweetness and glossy, charred edges, xá xíu adds a depth of flavor that is essential to the dish. Let’s dive into the marinating and cooking process to achieve the perfect xá xíu.

Marinating the Pork

To start, you’ll need:

  • 1 lb of pork shoulder, sliced into 2-inch thick strips
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 2 teaspoons of five-spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of Shaoxing wine or a dry sherry

Begin by combining the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, honey, five-spice powder, minced garlic, ginger, and Shaoxing wine in a bowl. Stir until the honey dissolves completely and the ingredients are well blended. Add the pork strips into the mixture, ensuring each piece is evenly coated with the marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate. For the best results, let the pork marinate for at least 4 hours, though overnight is optimal. This prolonged marinating time allows the pork to absorb all the flavors, making it incredibly tender and flavorful.

Cooking the Xá Xíu

Once the pork is marinated, it’s time to cook:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top.
  3. Arrange the marinated pork strips on the wire rack, ensuring they are not touching for even cooking.
  4. Reserve the marinade for basting.
  5. Bake the pork for 25 minutes, then baste it with the reserved marinade.
  6. Turn the oven to broil and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, watching closely to prevent burning. The pork should achieve a beautiful charred appearance while being tender and juicy on the inside.
  7. Once done, remove the pork from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing.

Slicing the pork into thin strips or bite-size pieces ensures that each bowl of mì hoành thánh xá xíu gets an ample serving of this delectable meat, marrying the complex marinade flavors with the savory broth and soft noodles. The xá xíu not only complements the other components but stands out as a flavorful highlight of the dish.

Assembling the Hoành Thánh

Now that our char siu and wonton filling are ready, let’s bring everything together to craft our hoành thánh, the soulful wontons that make this dish unforgettable.

Filling the Wontons

Before we start, ensure your wonton wrappers are thawed if they were frozen. Having everything laid out in front of us makes the process smoother. Here’s how we fill them:

  1. Place a wonton wrapper on a clean, dry surface, with one of the corners pointing towards you, so it looks like a diamond shape.
  2. Spoon about a teaspoon of the wonton filling into the center of the wrapper. It’s tempting to overfill, but keeping the amount just right ensures they close properly and cook evenly.
  3. Dip your fingertip in water and run it along the edges of the wrapper. This acts like glue, sealing the filling inside.
  4. Proceed to shape the wontons as per your preference or follow our next steps for a traditional approach.

Shaping the Wontons

Shaping the wontons can be a fun, albeit slightly tricky, part of the process. But, with a bit of patience, you’ll get the hang of it:

  1. After applying water to the edges, fold the wrapper over the filling to form a triangle. Press the edges firmly to seal, ensuring there are no air pockets inside.
  2. Take the two opposite corners of the triangle and bring them together, dabbing a bit more water on one corner to help them stick.
  3. Press gently to secure the shape. You should now have a beautifully shaped wonton that resembles a plump pouch or an old-fashioned money bag.

Repeating these steps until all your filling is used up is somewhat meditative. Each wonton then becomes a testament to your dedication to creating a delightful dish.

Cooking the Hoành Thánh

After meticulously shaping our wontons, it’s time to bring them to life in a boiling dance of water. This section focuses on how to perfectly cook our hoành thánh, ensuring they are tender and ready to complement the rich flavors of our mì hoành thánh xá xíu.

Boiling the Wontons

Boiling wontons is an art that ensures they are cooked just right – tender on the outside with a juicy, flavorful filling. Here’s how we do it:

  1. Prepare the Pot: Start by bringing a large pot of water to a rolling boil. The size of the pot is important as it gives the wontons enough space to move around without sticking to each other.
  2. Boil in Batches: Depending on the size of your pot, you may need to cook the wontons in batches. This prevents overcrowding and ensures even cooking. As a rule of thumb, don’t add more wontons than what can comfortably fit in a single layer at the bottom of your pot.
  3. Stir Gently: After adding the wontons to the boiling water, give them a gentle stir. This prevents them from sticking to the bottom of the pot or to each other. Use a slotted spoon for this to be gentle yet effective.
  4. Watch for the Float: The wontons will initially sink to the bottom. However, as they cook, they start to float to the surface. This is a good first indicator that they are getting close to being done. Typically, this takes about 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Test for Doneness: To ensure your wontons are perfectly cooked, remove one using a slotted spoon and check if the filling is thoroughly cooked. The wrapper should be tender and the filling hot. If you’re unsure, cut one open to check. The filling should no longer be pink, and the textures should be cohesive and inviting.
  6. Remove and Drain: Once cooked, use a slotted spoon to transfer the wontons to a colander or plate lined with paper towels. This step is crucial to drain any excess water to prevent a watery serving. Let them sit for a minute or two before adding them to your dish.

Preparing the Noodle Soup

After perfecting the char siu pork and expertly shaping our wontons, we’re moving onto the soul of mì hoành thánh xá xíu – the noodle soup. This section will guide you through creating a flavorful broth and cooking the noodles to perfection.

Making the Broth

To start, we need to gather our broth ingredients. For a rich and aromatic broth, we use the following:

  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 onion, halved and charred
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 inch of ginger, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 4-5 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick

First, we bring the chicken stock to a gentle boil in a large pot. We add the onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, salt, star anise, and cinnamon stick. It’s crucial to let this mixture simmer for at least 30 minutes to allow all the flavors to meld beautifully. In our experience, the longer it simmers, the more depth the broth will have. After simmering, we strain the broth to remove the solids, leaving a clear, flavorful liquid behind. This broth not only serves as a base for our soup but also infuses the wontons and noodles with its rich flavors.

Cooking the Noodles

Choosing the right noodles is key to an authentic mì hoành thánh xá xíu experience. We opt for thin egg noodles for their lovely, slight chewiness. Here’s how we do it:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  2. Add the egg noodles and cook according to package instructions, typically 2-3 minutes.
  3. It’s essential to stir the noodles gently as they cook to prevent them from sticking together.
  4. Once the noodles are cooked al dente, we drain them in a colander and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process immediately. This step ensures the noodles remain springy and don’t turn mushy when added to the hot broth.

Assembling the dish involves a balance of all its components. By layering the char siu pork, wontons, and noodles in the broth, we create a symphony of flavors and textures that make mì hoành thánh xá xíu a beloved dish. Each element, from the tender pork and succulent wontons to the silky noodles and aromatic broth, plays a crucial role in this culinary masterpiece.

Assembling Mì Hoành Thánh Xá Xíu

After meticulously preparing each component, it’s time to bring everything together to create the ultimate bowl of mì hoành thánh xá xíu. This assembly stage is where the magic happens, binding the individual flavors into a symphony.

Plating the Noodles and Wontons

To begin, we’ll need cooked thin egg noodles and our handcrafted wontons. Ensure that the noodles have been properly drained to prevent a watered-down broth. Similarly, the wontons should be cooked to perfection, offering just the right bite.

  1. Grab a large, deep bowl suitable for soup.
  2. Place a generous serving of the egg noodles at the bottom of the bowl.
  3. Carefully arrange the wontons on top of the noodles, spreading them out to ensure each spoonful gets a piece of the goodness.

The warmth of the noodles and wontons will start to blend, setting the stage for the flavors that follow.

Adding the Xá Xíu

The xá xíu, with its rich marinade and tender texture, is the star that makes this dish shine.

  1. Slice the char siu pork into thin strips. If you haven’t already, this allows the pork to absorb more of the broth, enhancing its flavor.
  2. Lay the slices of char siu pork on top of the noodles and wontons, distributing them evenly. The warmth from the base will start to unlock the aroma of the char siu, teasing the senses.

The char siu pork not only adds a depth of flavor but also brings a vibrant color contrast to the bowl.

Garnishing the Dish

Garnishes are not just decorative; they offer bursts of flavor, texture, and freshness that elevate the dish.

  1. Finely chop green onions and cilantro. These herbs will bring freshness and a slight bite that cuts through the richness of the broth and pork.
  2. If desired, add a spoonful of crispy fried onions or shallots for a delightful crunch and nutty flavor.
  3. Consider a few slices of fresh chili or a sprinkle of chili flakes to introduce a spicy kick.
  4. Lastly, a wedge of lime can be offered on the side, for those who appreciate a tangy zest in their soup.

Ladle the steaming aromatic broth over the bowl, ensuring it covers the noodles, wontons, and char siu. The heat from the broth further cooks the herbs slightly, releasing their essential oils, and the fragrance that wafts up is the first thing that will hit you, even before taking a bite.

Serving Suggestions

After meticulously crafting the char siu pork, shaping the wontons, and simmering the rich, aromatic broth, the final touch to our “mì hoành thánh xá xíu” lies in the art of serving it. Here, we share our top suggestions to elevate this dish from great to unforgettable, ensuring every spoonful is a symphony of flavors.

Customize Your Bowl

We understand that everyone’s taste buds are unique. Therefore, we encourage customizing each bowl to suit personal preferences. Before serving, set out small dishes containing additional garnishes such as chopped cilantro, sliced green onions, extra crispy fried onions, and slices of fresh chili. This not only adds a vibrant visual appeal to the table but also allows your guests to tailor their bowl to their liking.

The Importance of Side Condiments

The magic of “mì hoành thánh xá xíu” can be further enhanced with the right condiments. On the side, offer small plates of hoisin sauce and sriracha or any chili sauce of choice for those who love an extra kick of flavor. A small squeeze of these can profoundly transform the dish, adding depth and a personal touch.

Beverage Pairings

To complement the robust flavors of the noodle soup, we suggest serving light and refreshing beverages. A crisp, cold lager or a light-bodied white wine works wonders in balancing the rich savoriness of the broth and char siu pork. For a non-alcoholic option, a chilled jasmine or green tea can be equally refreshing, cleansing the palate between bites.

Serving Tips

To ensure the best dining experience, make sure the broth is served piping hot. This not only maximizes the aroma but also ensures the noodles and wontons are at the perfect temperature. When ladling the broth into the bowls, aim to cover the noodles and wontons completely, letting the broth’s heat work its last-minute magic on the ingredients.

Storing Leftovers

After savoring the rich flavors of mì hoành thánh xá xíu, you might find yourself with leftovers, which are indeed a delight to have. Proper storage ensures that the vibrant layers of flavor, texture, and aroma are preserved for your next meal. Let us guide you through the best practices for storing the leftovers of this noodly delight.

Storing Char Siu Pork

The char siu pork is a highlight of this dish and stores beautifully.

  1. Allow the char siu pork to cool completely.
  2. Slice the pork into smaller pieces if not already done so. This makes reheating and serving easier.
  3. Place the pork in an airtight container. Alternatively, wrap the pork tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
  4. Refrigerate the char siu pork for up to 3-4 days. For longer storage, freeze it. If frozen, it can last up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.

Storing Wontons

Unused wontons require careful handling to maintain their integrity.

  1. If the wontons are uncooked, lay them out on a baking sheet, ensuring they’re not touching, and freeze for about 2 hours.
  2. Transfer the frozen wontons into a freezer bag or airtight container. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months.
  3. Cooked wontons can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 1-2 days. Freezing cooked wontons is not recommended as it might affect their texture.

Storing Broth

The soul of mì hoành thánh xá xíu lies in its broth, rich with flavors.

  1. Let the broth cool completely before storing.
  2. Pour the broth into airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags.
  3. Refrigerate the broth, and use it within 3-4 days, or freeze for up to 2 months. Always thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
  4. Reheat the char siu pork and broth separately. The pork is best reheated in a covered skillet over medium heat, while the broth can be reheated in a pot over medium heat.
  5. Cook fresh noodles if available, or reheat stored noodles by blanching them quickly in boiling water.

Conclusion

We’ve taken you through the journey of making mì hoành thánh xá xíu from scratch – a process that’s as rewarding as it is delicious. From marinating the char siu to perfecting those wontons and simmering a broth that ties it all together, we’ve covered every step to ensure you can bring this comforting dish to your table. And with our tips on storing and reheating, you can savor the flavors of your labor for days to come. So whether it’s your first attempt or you’re looking to refine your skills, we hope our guide inspires you to dive into the rich culinary tradition of this beloved dish. Happy cooking!

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