Vietnamese Wonton Noodle Soup (Mì Hoành Thánh)

Vietnamese soups are some of the most flavorful and hearty soups that you can find. It is quite hard to describe the tasting sensation of Vietnamese broths, as it is such a satisfying mixture of savory umaminess, sweetness, and slight hints of saltiness. Because of it’s flavor complexity, it is so easy to slurp down every last drop!

This pork-based soup broth is made from scratch, in which you are slowly extracting amazing flavors and fragrances from pork bones, mushrooms, shrimps, and other flavoring components. While the process is lengthy and involved, I can assure you that the end product is definitely worth it, as you will be rewarded with a legendary broth that is second-to-none.

Ingredients (for approx 9-10 bowls)
Soup Broth
-4 lbs of pork neck (or other boney pork cuts)
-2 gallons of water
-1/2 cup dried shrimp
-1 roasted whole onion
-8 roasted shallots
-2.8 oz of rock sugar (approx 80 g)
-2.5 Tbsp table salt
-6 inches of daikon root, cut into 1 inch discs
-8 dried shiitake mushrooms,
-1 Tbsp shiitake mushroom seasoning

Amazon.com : Po Lo Ku Mushroom Seasoning - 17.64 Oz. (500g) : Meat  Seasonings : Grocery & Gourmet Food
Shiitake Mushroom Seasoning

Soup Additions
-Egg noodles, prepared as per package instructions (usually boiled for a minute before serving in broth)
Vietnamese/Chinese Barbeque Pork (Xa Xiu/Char Siu)
Shrimp and Pork Wontons (boiled for 5 minutes, then placed in broth)
-Shrimp
-Fried Shallots

Procedure
Parboiling Pork Neck
1) Add water to a large pot and bring to a boil (add enough water to be able to submerge bones)
2) Once boiling, carefully add pork neck into the water
3) Allow pork to boil in water for about 5 minutes to clean up and remove impurities
4) Pour out contents of pot into a colander to drain water from the pork
5) Run cold water through the pork bones to stop the cooking process

Roasting Onion and Shallots
1) Pre-heat oven to 400°F
2) Slice onion in half and remove skin. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet
3) Place whole shallots on the baking sheet as well
4) Roast at 400°F for 25 minutes
5) Remove from oven and remove burnt layers from the onions and shallots

Hydrating Dried Shrimp and Shiitake Mushrooms
1) Rehydrate dried shrimp and mushrooms by placing in a bowl filled with cold water and letting sit for 30 minutes
2) Drain water from the dried shrimp and mushrooms

Par-boiled pork bones, rock sugar, re-hydrated mushrooms, re-hydrated dried shrimp, daikon root, and roasted shallots/onions

Soup Stock Preparation
1) Add two gallons of water into a large pot, making sure there is enough room to add extra ingredients without overflowing.
2) Bring water to a boil. Add parboiled pork neck, roasted onions, roasted shallots, daikon root, rehydrated shrimp and rehydrated mushrooms into the broth.

Simmering broth

3) Bring heat down until there is a gentle simmer (about medium-low temperature)
4) Allow broth to gently simmer and reduce for approx. 3 hours; occasionally skimming the surface of the broth to remove the frothiness and keep the broth clear
5) After 3 hours, add rock sugar, table salt, and shiitake mushroom seasoning into the broth. Mix and add extra salt or sugar until desired level of sweet/salty is achieved per personal preferences.
6) Add desired toppings such as: egg noodles, char siu slices, shrimp and pork wontons, shrimp, fried shallots, fish balls, etc.

Observations
This broth is good in the fridge for approx 4-5 days after preparing, and can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months
-When re-heating the broth, heat it up just until it begins to boil. Do not allow it to boil for too long as you may begin to over-concentrate the broth, making it too salty!
-This recipe is involved! I recommend starting with making char siu and wontons the day before to spread the workload around.

References
Vietnamese/Chinese Barbeque Pork (Xa Xiu/Char Siu)
Shrimp and Pork Wonton

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