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Authentic Vietnamese recipes from the Motherland

Hong Kong Style Pan-Fried Soy Sauce Noodles (Mi Xao Xi Dau)

If you want to work out your arms, forget the gym. Make either fried rice or fried noodles. Nothing tones up the arms more than tossing things around in a wok.

 Hong Kong Style Pan-Fried Soy Sauce Noodles (Mi Xao Xi Dau)

Hong Kong Style Pan-Fried Soy Sauce Noodles (Mi Xao Xi Dau)

I am fortunate enough to have so many Asian stores around me. I went to one of them recently and happily saw that they upped their fresh noodle game. There were so many options to choose from. There were Japanese udon, Japanese ramen, Korean Japchae glass noodles, Vietnamese banh canh noodles, Vietnamese pho noodles and various other egg and rice noodles.

 Hong Kong Style Pan-Fried Soy Sauce Noodles (Mi Xao Xi Dau)

Hong Kong Style Pan-Fried Soy Sauce Noodles (Mi Xao Xi Dau)

I picked up several packages of Hong Kong Style pan-fried noodles because I never seen them before and I wanted to try it. For previous pan-fried or stir-fry noodles, I use regular thin egg noodles but the texture is always a little off. Since these noodles were specifically branded Hong Kong Style pan-fried noodles, I knew the texture was going to be great. And it was. It was chewy. The outside was dry but the inside was perfectly moist, something I never achieved with other egg noodles.

 Hong Kong Style Pan-Fried Noodles

Hong Kong Style Pan-Fried Noodles

 Hong Kong Style Pan-Fried Noodles

Hong Kong Style Pan-Fried Noodles

For my recipe below, I tossed the noodles with garlic chives and bean sprouts, and flavored it with a soy sauce mixture. If you want to go all out, add protein such as sliced Xi Xiu (Char Siu) and you'll be loved by all. When making these egg noodles, what really helps is a really hot wok. If you don't have a jet-engine burner like they do at the restaurant (I have a high-intensity burner that I set up in the backyard), just make sure to really crank up the heat and be prepared to do a lot of tossing. Tone up those arms and get awesome pan-fried noodles at the same time.

 Garlic chives and bean sprouts

Garlic chives and bean sprouts

Hong Kong Style Pan-Fried Soy Sauce Noodles

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 14-oz package fresh Hong Kong Pan-Fried Egg Noodles
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing cooking wine
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1-1/2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1-1/2 cups bunch garlic chives cut into 2 inch segments

Instructions

  1. For this particular brand of noodles, prep the noodles by soaking them in cold water for 5 minutes. Rinse and drain dry. If you can't find fresh Hong Kong Pan-Fried noodles, use any thin egg nooddles. Bring a pot to a boil and cook the noodles for about 3-5 minutes. Drain and rinse and allow the noodles to dry before adding to the wok.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, sugar, salt, black pepper, sesame oil and cooking wine.
  3. In a large wok, heat up vegetable oil on medium low. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant (30 seconds).
  4. Add noodles and crank heat up to high. Using a pair of chop sticks or tongs, toss and airate the noodles constantly so that the noodles are separated and dry. I lift the noodles nigh and allow the strands to fall and separate. This will require a bit of elbow grease so get in there and work those arms!
  5. Once the noodles are dried and separated, add the soy sauce mixture, bean sprouts and garlic. Continue to toss and airate until the vegetables are soften.

Vietnamese Grilled/Roasted Chicken Sandwich (Banh Mi Ga Nuong)

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had the appetite of a million elephants. I indulged in all my favorite food. You can't finish that? Let me help you out. At the time, I was working close to Oakland Chinatown. That meant plenty of cheap and satisfying Vietnamese Sandwiches (Bánh Mì). Pregnant me didn't order just one sandwich. I usually ordered two and both were easily finished in one seating. After I was done, I would order another one, as a snack, for my grueling 15-minute waddle back to the office.

 Bánh Mì Gà Nướng (Vietnamese Chicken Sandwich)

Bánh Mì Gà Nướng (Vietnamese Chicken Sandwich)

My favorite Bánh Mì? It was hands-down the roasted chicken sandwich (Bánh Mì Gà Nướng). Oh, how I love thee.

What makes the banh mi so delicious? Every banh mi starts off with a toasted French baguette. These are not your ordinary baguettes. You have to seek out these specialty baguettes at a Vietnamese deli or an Asian grocery store. When toasted, these baguettes are crispy on the outside yet magically airy and soft on the inside. Inside the baguette, you have chicken or duck liver pate, mayo, pickled daikon and carrots, fresh slices of cucumber, a few sprigs of cilantro, a couple slices of jalapenos and a squirt or two of Maggi seasoning soy sauce. It is these different  textures and flavors that makes the Banh Mi so awesome. Plus, it's a taste of Vietnam that you can easily stuff in your purse.

 Banh Mi Ga Nuong (Vietnamese Roasted Chicken Sandwich)

Banh Mi Ga Nuong (Vietnamese Roasted Chicken Sandwich)

The difference in the sandwich is the protein. My favorite is the grilled or roasted chicken as mentioned earlier but there are many more options. Other common banh mi sandwiches include grilled pork (thit nuong), grilled pork sausage (nem nuong), Vietnamese ham (cha lua), pork meatballs (xiu mai), head cheese (thit nguoi), bbq pork (thit xa xiu), and tofu (dau hu).

I rarely make Banh Mi at home because I'm surrounded by so many Banh Mi shops. But not everyone is so lucky. For those who don't have access to Vietnamese sandwich shops, I hope you find the following recipe for the grilled Vietnamese chicken sandwich helpful. Enjoy!

 Bánh Mì Gà Nướng (Vietnamese Grilled Chicken Sandwich)

Bánh Mì Gà Nướng (Vietnamese Grilled Chicken Sandwich)

Quick note: For my Banh Mi, I found that if I omit the liver pate (laziness), it doesn't taste quite right. You don't need a lot of it on a sandwich. A very thin smear is really all you want and need. Since I need so little, I don't make pate at home. I find just buying the small store-bought tin can is more than enough for about 8-10 sandwiches.

 Bánh Mì Gà Nướng (Vietnamese Roasted Chicken Sandwich)

Bánh Mì Gà Nướng (Vietnamese Roasted Chicken Sandwich)

Vietnamese Grilled/Roasted Chicken Sandwich (Bánh Mì Gà Nướng)

Makes 8-10 sandwiches

Ingredients

Instructions

Once you have all the ingredients in order, assemble the Bánh Mì: Spread a thin layer of mayo on one side of the baguette and a thin layer of liver pate on the other side. Add chicken, pickled daikon/carrot, jalapenos, a sprig or two of cilantro, a few slices of cucumbers and a quick drizzle of soy sauce. Bon appétit!

 Bánh Mì Gà Nướng (Vietnamese Roasted Chicken Sandwich)

Bánh Mì Gà Nướng (Vietnamese Roasted Chicken Sandwich)