All over Quang Nam and Hoi An, small carts, street stalls, and restaurants serve thousands of bowls of mi Quang every day. Locals love this noodle dish, tinted yellow just like the shophouses in Hoi An, and named after their very own province. Read on for the mouthwatering story of mi Quang, and find out where to go for that fabulous first bowl.

The old market in Hoi An is a great place to take classic mi Quang.

An age-old recipe

The recipe for Quang Nam’s iconic noodles has remained pretty much unchanged for 500 years. From the 13th to 15th centuries, Hoi An was one of the busiest trading ports in the region. Chinese merchants introduced wheat noodles to their local hosts, and Vietnamese cooks adapted the technique to rice, creating the wide rice noodles used in mi Quang.

Mi Quang noodles are made by steaming rice milk in thin sheets.

Countryside traditions

Every family in Quang Nam knows how to make mi Quang. Rice noodles are made by steaming fresh rice milk in thin sheets, then spreading the cooled sheets with peanut oil and slicing them into strips. After the harvest season, countryside villages used to gather for mi Quang parties, where everyone chipped in to grind rice on stone mortars and make the noodles from scratch.

Essential ingredients

Quang Nam’s hot climate is ideal for growing spices, and the local garlic, turmeric and pepper are especially sharp and stimulating. Cooks pound these spices together to make a seasoning for their protein. After marinating, the protein is sauteed with shallots in a hot pan, and water is added to make an intensely flavored broth that is poured in small amounts over the noodles.

Flavorful variations

Part of the pleasure of eating mi Quang is discovering its many varieties. The cook may use simple native chicken or freshwater fish, or a rich mix of pork, shrimp and quail eggs. Some locals even look forward to frog mi Quang during the rainy season. You can find an eye-catching version of mi Quang with yellow noodles, and another that uses eggs to thicken the broth.

Many local cooks add eggs to thicken their mi Quang broth.

Final touches

When the broth is perfect, the cook pours it over the soft rice noodles, sprinkles crushed peanuts and chopped chives, and adds a toasted sesame rice cracker. Mi Quang is eaten with an array of baby herbs – coriander, water mint, perilla, basil, and heartleaf – as well as thinly sliced banana flower and fresh lettuce. Add fresh chili, lime and fish sauce to make it your own.

Classic pork and shrimp mi Quang at Mì 92 in Hoi An

Where to eat mi Quang in Hoi An

Mi Quang in Hoi An is usually served for breakfast or lunch, and the best stalls close sell out shortly after noon. Below are our favorite spots to go for an authentic bowl of mi Quang.

Mì 92 (112 Tran Cao Van): Mì 92’s family recipe is a favorite for many local people. Here you can find fish mi Quang as well as a traditional pork and shrimp version, topped with a warm boiled egg. The noodles, crackers, greens and broth are pitch perfect.

Mì Quảng Dì Hát (4 Thai Phien): Auntie Hát has spent more than 50 years making mi Quang, which she now sells at a little setup near the Nguyen Ba Ngoc primary school. Pull up a stool for a real local experience on the sidewalk.

Mì Quảng Cô Sinh (202 Ly Thuong Kiet): This small mi Quang eatery sources its herbs and vegetables from the nearby Tra Que gardens daily, so the side greens are always crispy and fresh. Take your pick between the mouthwatering chicken or beef mi Quang.

Read more: Hoi An’s one-of-a-kind cao lau noodles

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