Authentic Mi Quang Recipe: A Guide to Vietnamese Noodle Delight

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Written By Hot Thai Restaurant

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Diving into the heart of Vietnamese cuisine, we’ve discovered a dish that truly embodies the vibrant culture and rich flavors of its homeland: Mi Quang. Originating from the central region of Vietnam, this noodle delight has stolen our hearts and we’re thrilled to share the magic with you. It’s not just a meal; it’s an experience, wrapped in the warmth of turmeric-infused broth, a generous serving of herbs, and the crunch of roasted peanuts.

What sets Mi Quang apart is its unique blend of ingredients and the way it’s served. Unlike other noodle dishes that drown in broth, Mi Quang strikes a perfect balance with just enough to coat the noodles, creating a harmony of flavors that’s both refreshing and deeply satisfying. We’ve got all the secrets to crafting this beloved dish right in your kitchen, so let’s embark on this culinary adventure together. Trust us, it’s a journey worth taking.

Ingredients for Mi Quang

Embarking on this culinary adventure requires a symphony of carefully chosen ingredients. Let’s dive into the components that make Mi Quang a standout dish in Vietnamese cuisine.

Mi Quang Noodles

  • 400 grams of rice noodles, preferably wide and flat
  • 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder (for that quintessential golden color)


For a well-rounded flavor and texture, we incorporate a variety of proteins:

  • 300 grams of pork belly, thinly sliced
  • 200 grams of shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 200 grams of chicken thigh, cut into bite-sized pieces

These proteins offer a delightful interplay of flavors and textures, essential for the authenticity of Mi Quang.

Herbs and Greens

Fresh herbs and greens are non-negotiable for adding that burst of freshness:

  • A handful of fresh basil leaves
  • A handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • A handful of mint leaves, for that peppery zing
  • 200 grams of bean sprouts, for crunch
  • 2-3 lettuce leaves, thinly sliced

Broth Ingredients

The broth is what ties everything together, creating a harmonious blend of flavors:

  • 1 liter of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, for umami depth
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar, to balance the flavors
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, sliced

The broth’s aromatic and savory qualities are crucial for soaking the noodles just right, ensuring each bite is richly flavored.

Garnishes and Toppings

A generous array of garnishes and toppings brings texture, color, and enhanced flavors:

  • A handful of roasted peanuts, crushed
  • 2-3 green onions, finely chopped
  • Fresh chili slices, to taste
  • Lemon wedges, for a tangy kick
  • Fried shallots, for a crispy finish

Each garnish offers a unique texture and flavor, turning each bowl of Mi Quang into a feast for the senses. Together, these ingredients create a dish that’s a testament to the vibrancy and richness of Vietnamese cuisine, making every bite a delightful experience.

Tools and Equipment Needed

Embarking on the journey to create the vibrant and rich Mi Quang from the comfort of your kitchen, there are a few essential tools and equipment that we’ll need to gather. Ensuring we have the right tools not only facilitates a smoother cooking experience but also brings us closer to achieving the authentic flavors and textures that make Mi Quang a celebrated dish in Vietnamese cuisine.

Large Pot

A large pot is indispensable for boiling the rice noodles and for preparing the aromatic broth that forms the backbone of this dish. The size of the pot should be sufficient to hold a generous amount of water, allowing the noodles ample space to cook evenly without sticking together.

Skillet or Wok

For sautéing the proteins like pork belly and shrimp, a skillet or wok is necessary. This tool is crucial for achieving that perfect sear on the proteins, locking in flavors, and for sautéing the garlic and ginger, which are fundamental for the broth’s aromatic base.

Mixing Bowls

Having a set of mixing bowls on hand is essential for several steps of the Mi Quang preparation process. Whether it’s for marinating the proteins, mixing the fresh herbs, or tossing the noodles with a splash of the flavorful broth, these bowls ensure that each component is ready to contribute its unique taste and texture to the final dish.

Measuring Spoons and Cups

Accuracy is key when it comes to balancing the flavors of Mi Quang. Measuring spoons and cups will ensure that we add the correct amount of each ingredient, from the fish sauce to the turmeric powder that gives the broth its distinct golden hue.

Knife and Cutting Board

A sharp knife and sturdy cutting board are required for prepping the ingredients. This includes slicing the proteins into bite-sized pieces, chopping the fresh herbs finely, and dicing the garnishes like green onions and fried shallots that add a delightful crunch and pop of flavor.


A colander is necessary for draining the rice noodles after boiling. Ensuring the noodles are well-drained prevents excessive water from diluting the rich, savory flavors of the broth when combined.

Preparing the Ingredients

Now that we’ve introduced you to the enchanting world of Mi Quang, let’s dive into readying the ingredients to bring this dish to life. Proper preparation is the key to marrying the flavors and textures characteristic of this beloved Vietnamese delicacy.

Prepping Proteins

First up, let’s tackle the proteins. For Mi Quang, we usually combine succulent slices of pork belly and tender shrimp to offer a rich depth of flavor. Begin by cutting the pork belly into thin slices, about a quarter of an inch thick. This ensures that each piece will be deliciously tender once cooked. Next, take your shrimp and peel and devein them. If you prefer, you can leave the tails on for a more visually appealing presentation. After slicing and cleaning, set the proteins aside on separate plates. Remember, utmost care in prepping your ingredients contributes significantly to the soul of the dish.

Chopping Herbs and Greens

Fresh herbs and greens not only contribute bursts of flavor but also add a refreshing crunch and vivid colors to Mi Quang. For this recipe, we’ll need a mix of cilantro, mint, and Thai basil. Gently wash these herbs in cool water, then pat them dry with a clean towel. Once dried, roughly chop the herbs, keeping the pieces relatively large to enjoy their full texture and flavor in the dish. Additionally, thinly slice green onions and lettuce to incorporate into the serving. The combination of these fresh ingredients will create a delightful contrast with the rich proteins and flavorful broth.

Preparing the Noodles

Mi Quang is not complete without its signature turmeric-infused rice noodles. To prepare the noodles, bring a large pot of water to boil. While waiting for the water to boil, add a pinch of turmeric powder to give the noodles their characteristic yellow hue and slightly earthy taste. Once the water is vigorously boiling, add the noodles, stirring occasionally to prevent them from sticking together. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions, usually for about 5-7 minutes, until they are soft yet still have a bit of bite, or al dente. After the noodles are cooked, drain them in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process and remove excess starch. This refreshing rinse ensures the noodles remain the perfect texture and don’t clump together when mixed with the broth and other ingredients.

With these steps, we’re laying the groundwork for a truly memorable bowl of Mi Quang. Next up, we’ll move on to cooking these beautifully prepped ingredients, infusing aromatic layers into this quintessential dish.

Making the Broth

After preparing our ingredients, the next crucial step is creating the flavorful broth—a signature element that truly brings Mi Quang to life. Here’s how we make it.

Cooking the Proteins

Before we dive into the broth, let’s cook the proteins properly. We start by heating two tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, we add the pork belly, seasoned with a pinch of salt, and sear until it begins to brown, about 5-6 minutes. It’s essential to get a nice golden color on the pork as it adds depth to the broth. Next, we add the shrimp to the pot and cook until they turn pink and opaque, approximately 2-3 minutes per side.

Simmering the Broth

With our proteins cooked, we move on to simmering the broth, which is where all the flavors meld together. To the same pot, we add 6 cups of chicken or pork stock—homemade if possible for the best flavor. We bring this to a gentle boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. We incorporate a tablespoon of fish sauce, a teaspoon of sugar, and a half teaspoon of salt for the essential sweet, savory, and umami flavors inherent to Mi Quang broth.

At this point, we add the star ingredient: turmeric. We dissolve one tablespoon of turmeric powder into the broth, which imparts a beautiful golden hue and a warm, earthy flavor. Letting the broth simmer for about 20-25 minutes allows all the ingredients to infuse their flavors into the liquid.

While the broth simmers, we take this opportunity to skim off any excess fat that rises to the surface, ensuring a clear broth that’s rich in flavor but not overly greasy. Continuous skimming during simmering is key to achieving the perfect broth clarity and consistency.

Remember, patience is vital when simmering the broth. This slow cooking process is what builds the complex layers of flavor that defines a great Mi Quang.

Assembling the Mi Quang

After preparing the rich and flavorful broth and cooking the proteins perfectly, we’ve reached the exciting phase of assembling our Mi Quang. This is where we bring all components together to showcase the dish’s vibrant colors, textures, and flavors.

Arranging the Noodles and Proteins

Firstly, grab your bowls – the canvas for our culinary masterpiece. Begin by placing a generous portion of the rice noodles at the bottom of each bowl. The noodles should be room temperature or slightly warm, ensuring they don’t cool down the broth too quickly. Next, arrange the cooked proteins—thin slices of pork belly and succulent shrimp—beautifully atop the noodles. The aim is to distribute them evenly so every spoonful gets an equal share of the meaty goodness.

Adding Herbs and Greens

It’s time to add color and freshness. Scatter a handful of fresh herbs and greens over the proteins. Mixed herbs like cilantro, basil, and mint not only add a burst of color but also bring delightful freshness and aromatic flavor that contrasts well with the savory broth. A generous addition of bean sprouts adds a nice crunchy texture, offering a pleasant contrast to the soft noodles and tender meats.

Ladling the Broth

Gently ladle the hot, golden-hued broth over the noodles and proteins, ensuring to cover them adequately while leaving room for the broth to mix and mingle with the ingredients beneath. The broth should be simmering hot to slightly cook the herbs and greens, releasing their aromas into the bowl and softening the bean sprouts slightly, which elevates the dish’s overall taste and experience.

Adding Garnishes and Toppings

Finally, for the finishing touch, sprinkle a variety of garnishes and toppings over the top. Crispy fried shallots deliver a delightful crunch and a hint of sweetness. A few crushed peanuts offer a nutty flavor that complements the dish’s intricate layers. Additionally, a slice or two of fresh chili can be added for those who appreciate a spicy kick with their meal. And don’t forget a wedge of lime on the side, ready to be squeezed over the bowl for a bright burst of acidity that ties all the flavors together beautifully.

Assembling Mi Quang is an art that allows for personal expression in each bowl, making not just a meal, but a culinary adventure to be savored and enjoyed.

Serving Suggestions

After diving into the vibrant culinary world of Mi Quang, let’s talk about how to serve this delightful dish to enhance its flavors and presentation.


To complement the rich flavors of Mi Quang, we usually pair it with a variety of fresh herbs and vegetables. Slices of banana blossoms, mint leaves, basil, and coriander are not just garnishes; they bring freshness and a burst of flavor with every bite. Additionally, a side of crisp lettuce and sliced cucumbers can provide a refreshing contrast to the warm noodles and savory broth.

For an extra kick, sliced chili peppers and lime wedges are served alongside. Squeezing a bit of lime juice adds a zesty brightness that cuts through the richness of the broth, while the chili peppers can be used to adjust the spice level to one’s liking. A small dish of fish sauce mixed with a touch of fresh lime juice and sliced chili can also be provided for those who prefer their dish a bit more on the savory or spicy side.

Presentation Tips

When it comes to serving Mi Quang, the visual appeal is nearly as important as the taste. Start with a shallow bowl to showcase the vibrant colors of the dish. Layer the cooked rice noodles at the bottom, then arrange the pork belly slices and shrimp on top to create a visually appealing pattern. Pour the hot turmeric-tinted broth over the noodles just enough to simmer them, leaving the majority of ingredients visible.

Garnishing is key to a beautiful presentation of Mi Quang. Sprinkle a generous amount of crushed peanuts for a crunchy texture, and add a handful of crispy fried shallots for an aromatic allure. The final touch should be a sprinkle of fresh herbs and a few chili slices for color.

Every serving of Mi Quang is an opportunity to express culinary creativity. Encourage guests to customize their bowl with the accompaniments provided. This not only makes the dining experience interactive but also allows everyone to tailor their dish exactly to their tastes. Serving Mi Quang in this communal and customizable way turns a simple meal into an engaging and memorable culinary adventure.

Make-Ahead Instructions

Preparing Mi Quang, like any intricate dish, requires a bit of foresight, especially if you’re looking to save time and streamline your cooking process. We understand that our schedules can be hectic, so we’ve put together some make-ahead instructions that can help you bring this delightful dish to your table with ease.

Prepping the Broth

The soul of Mi Quang lies in its broth. Luckily, it’s one of those components that actually gets better with time. Here’s how you can prepare it in advance:

  1. Cook the broth as per the recipe instructions, allowing the flavors from the pork bones, shrimp shells, and spices to meld beautifully.
  2. Once cooked, let the broth cool to room temperature, then strain it to remove solids.
  3. Transfer the clear broth into airtight containers and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to a month. Remember, if you choose to freeze the broth, leave some space in the container for expansion.

Cooking the Proteins

Both pork belly and shrimp are key proteins in Mi Quang, and both can be prepared ahead of time:

  1. Cook the pork belly as detailed in the recipe, slice it, and then let it cool.
  2. Sauté the shrimp just until they’re pink and opaque. Be careful not to overcook as they will be reheated later.
  3. Store cooked pork and shrimp separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Preparing Noodles and Greens

Rice noodles and fresh greens can also be prepped in advance to save you valuable time:

  1. Rice noodles can be soaked according to package instructions, drained, and then stored in a zip-lock bag in the fridge. This keeps them from drying out and becoming brittle.
  2. Wash and chop the herbs and greens, pat them dry with paper towels, and store them in airtight containers with a piece of paper towel to absorb any excess moisture. They’ll stay fresh for up to two days.
  3. Fry the shallots and let them cool completely before storing them in an airtight container at room temperature. They’ll retain their crispness for a week.
  4. Toast the peanuts, cool, and store them similarly


We’ve journeyed through the rich flavors and cultural tapestry that Mi Quang brings to the table, illustrating not just a recipe but a celebration of Vietnamese culinary tradition. By breaking down the steps, from broth to garnish, we’ve shown how approachable creating this dish can be, even for those new to Vietnamese cuisine. With make-ahead tips, we’ve also highlighted how simple it is to weave this vibrant dish into our busy lives, ensuring that the essence of Mi Quang isn’t lost in the hustle. So let’s embrace the joy of cooking, garnish our bowls with love, and share the warmth of Mi Quang with everyone around our table.

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