Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup with Bean Thread – Mien Ga


Vietnamese mien ga is a type of chicken noodle soup cooked with clear glass noodles or also known as bean thread. It’s a childhood comfort food that my mom used to cook for my family when I was little. Here is my toddler-approved pictorial recipe.



Cooking time: about 50 minutes

Ingredients (for a 6-quart pot)

6 chicken wings 
1 cup chicken hearts (optional)
1 cup chicken gizzards (optional)
*1 lb chicken bones 
3 bundles of bean thread noodle aka clear glass noodle
2/3 cup dried lily flowers
6 dried shiitake mushrooms
1/2 cup of dried black fungus
1/2 cup cilantro OR 1/2 cup scallion 
1 tsp Golden Mountain soy sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp oil

For the broth
1 little red onion bulb
1 piece of ginger root (about 1.5 inches long)
1 Tbsp Viet Huong fish sauce
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp kosher salt
3 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp Golden Mountain soy sauce
2.5 liter of water


*Notes: If you don’t have 1 lb of chicken bones, then use 1 14-oz can of chicken broth.  Add quail eggs as an optional ingredient.  The market was sold out of quail eggs so I didn’t have any this time. If you don’t use chicken gizzards and hearts, then add more chicken wings. 


Prepping

1.  Chop the chicken wings.

I used this container to set my limit for the amount of chicken and chicken bones I can cook in my 4-quart pot.   I put the chicken wings, hearts, gizzards, and chicken bones from the freezer that I saved up to make my chicken broth into this container.  Add 1 teaspoon of Golden Mountain soy sauce and minced garlic into chicken tub.  Mix it up and set aside (in fridge) while you prep the other ingredients.

2.  Peel the little red onion (don’t cut the end off). 
Peel and sliced the ginger pieces into 2 or three pieces.  (You discard the ginger and onion after you cook the soup.)  It’s for flavoring purposes only.  
Chop the cilantro or scallions. 
Rinse and soak the dried lily flowers.  Strain in colander.  Set aside
Rinse and soak the dried shiitake mushrooms.  Strain.  Slice it into thin pieces.
Rinse and soak the shredded dried black fungus.  Strain.  Set aside. 

3.  Soak 3 bundles of bean thread (clear glass noodles) into hot-warm water for five minutes. Take the noodles out and chop it into 3 or 4 segments.  Strain and set aside. 

4.  In a little bowl, mix 1 tablespoon Viet Huong fish sauce, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 tablespoon Golden Mountain soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon kosher salt together.  Set aside. 



Cooking 

5.  Heat up a 4-quart pot with 1 Tbsp oil.  Toss in the chicken meat mixture and brown it for about two minutes.  Add 2.5 liter of water into the pot.  Bring the pot to a boil on high heat.  Then reduce heat to medium high.  Discard the scum for five minutes.  

6.  Add the lily flowers, ginger, and red onion bulb into the pot.

7.  Add the sliced shiitake mushrooms and black fungus into the pot. 

8.  Add quail eggs if you have any.  Add the seasoning mixture.  Taste the broth and add light brown sugar to your taste.  I added 3 tablespoon of sugar into the pot.  

9.  Cook the soup for about 25 minutes on medium heat or until the chicken wings are soft.  I took the chicken feet, onion bulb, ginger, and other carcass out and set aside.  My little foodie loves nibbling on these. 

10.  Add more water or chicken broth if needed to maintain the broth level. Bring the chicken soup to a boil on high heat. Turn off stove.  Add cilantro or chopped scallion into the pot.  
Note: I add the clear glass noodles into the pot and let it stand for about 15 minutes so the noodles can expand. The heat is enough to cook the noodles by then.  My mom does it differently. She serves the clear glass noodles in a bowl and pours the hot broiling mien ga broth into it.  

Enjoy! 

This was my first time witnessing my little foodie chef use both hands to eat so skillfully.  She lifts up the noodles with chopsticks in one hand.  She placed the noodles onto her soup spoon.  Then she eats the noodles from her spoon in the other hand.  I was amazed watching her! 

She likes eating the clear glass noodle, chicken wings, and lily flowers, and slurping the broth! 

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