Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Taiwanese Rice Noodle Soup (Bihun Tung)

A really down home Taiwanese noodle soup that's both nostalgic and delish. Ingredients are super simple and variable. The quintessential ingredients are a good soup stock and fried shallots. 

4 quarts water (16 cups)
4 tbsp. Totole Chicken base (or 2-4 tbsp. of other chicken base, to taste)
1/3 bunch cilantro, chopped (including the stems)
2 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup fried shallots
1/2 tsp. white pepper
2 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 pkg. imitation crab (optional)

1/3 lb. pork, shredded (pre-marinated in 1 tbsp. of soy sauce for 30+ minutes)
2-3 dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted in hot water, destemmed and sliced
1 small carrot, peeled and shredded

1 tbsp. oil
1 6-7 oz. package of maifun (rice vermicelli/rice sticks)
Chopped cilantro and scallions, for garnish

1. In a large stock pot, add 1 tbsp. of oil and heat over medium high heat. Add the marinated pork shreds, shiitake mushroom slices, and shredded carrot (these are the optional ingredients). Add 2 chopped scallions, 1/3 bunch chopped cilantro, fried shallots, and white pepper. Saute for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant.

2. Add 4 quarts of water, 4 tbsp. Totole chicken base and 2 tsp. of sesame oil (for extra flavor, you can also add 1/2 pkg. of imitation crab - trust me, it works!). Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour or until stock is slightly reduced and well-flavored. Adjust seasonings as necessary.

3. Soak the maifun in tap water for about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside. 

4. Add the maifun to the soup and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and serve in individual serving bowls. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and scallions.

Chopped fresh cilantro and scallions for garnish.

Maifun, or Rice Vermicelli/Rice Sticks. We call it "Bihun" in Taiwanese.

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