Sunday, August 12, 2007

Famous Wonton Noodles

Ho Chi Minh City has an array of incredible food but to taste the authentic cuisine, you've got to hit the streets. There is a no-name hole-in-the-wall noodle shop that sells the yummiest noodles in town. Ignore the fact that the plaster is peeling from the walls, the wheeled cart hasn't been wheeled out for years and the floor is shiny with grease and grime. A fresh sprig of spring onions can somehow freshen up the place. Do note however that there are only two tables during the day (at night they pull out a few more so you get the cool winds and pavement view). This means this popular place gets packed quickly unless you come early.

The noodles seem to be handmade so instead of the rubbery, plasticky texture we're used to, its soft yet firm and has a taste all of its own. But the highlights are the pork-filled wontons. These Chinese gnocchi are made of thin skins of rolled out flour filled with finely ground minced, flavoured with a tasty mix of spices. The secret is where these wontons are kept. In the drawers of the cart!

We caught the chef preparing the wontons one day. I suspect the musky drawers added to the flavour of these delightful wontons.

The wonderful wontons are plopped into prepared bowls and then given a nice toss in the broth. I have never seen them throw out the rich broth - what a waste that would be. Thus i suspect this broth has been boiling for.. er.. very long time! No wonder the flavour of the stock is smooth like fine wine.

These are the secrets to this deliciously handmade noodles, topped with drawer-stored wantons, cooked in a broth that has been boiling for years! (WARNING: Readers eat at their own risk. Usually only foreigners who have survived the standard bout of a week-long agonising diarrhoea can truly savour this dish!)


At 11:51 pm, Blogger Ivan Chew said...

So I have to plan at least a 2-week itinerary in order to enjoy this dish? LOL


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