Mì Quảng Quang Noodle Soup in Phan Thiet – 200 of 365

Mì Quảng

I took my rented motorbike for one last spin in Phan Thiet and knew not where the road lead for breakfast.  Even at 6:30am the steady stream of two wheeled chaos defies traffic rules and regulations and the streets become a wild, wild west free for all.  Somehow I arrived downtown in one piece after a 20 minute fling up the coast and into the city.

Finding a proper place to eat became as much a challenge as each eatery I passed seemed to lack this little something that makes a meal enjoyable, say cleanliness and hygiene for one.  Just as I was about to give up, I rounded a corner and there it was.  A beautiful street food sight spread out in all its glory on both sides of the road at 18 Nguyen Van Troi Street.

I stopped my bike and observed the comings and goings for a few minutes to judge how this one might turn out a few hours down the road.  Or in this case a few hours down the train tracks when a rebellious stomach would be most inopportune.  A steady clientele kept the place hopping and one patron after another pulled up on a foul exhaust spewing motorbike to whisk away soup to go.

The choices were simple…mì Quảng or bun bo Hue.  I chose the former and within seconds a piping hot bowl of soup arrived at this table lower than my knees pressed up to my chin from my position atop the squat stool.  My perception of a proper mi quang is a reddish broth filling the bowl only half wat, a mountain of noodles, crispy rice wafers, some meat, and a hard boiled egg.  Now again, I say that is my perception as I am not an expert on all things Vietnamese but rather a casual observer of all these amazing tastes.

Street Food Dining

This mì Quảng was more a clear broth with spicy red oil sprinkled across the top.  I recognized the sweet taste as hieu tu and did not complain as I fully enjoy that sort of soup.  A combination of rice and egg noodles floated under the large amount of liquid and off to the side was the piece d’resistance, a huge bone.  This wasn’t just any bone, but rather that very same bone that has given me great pause in the past.  A giant layer of gelatinous fat coats one side and its appearance alone has always caused me to push it away in disgust.

Today I decided to not judge a book by its cover, and I slowly peeled that fat away.  Well what do you know.  Underneath was not so bad after all, and some wonderfully tender meat was secreted in every nook and cranny of whatever part of the cow this had been.  I devoured every bit of it excluding that slab of blubber of course.

Whether or not this is a proper mì Quảng I really do not care for it was a wonderful stop along this food trail.  The wonderful sweetness of the soup washed over my tongue and then within seconds a slight punch from the spice took center stage.  And at a cost of one measly dollar, I cannot complain.

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Categories: Vietnamese Food

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