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Chinese soy noodles: Far East culinary gem a southern Vietnam treat

By Khanh Thien, Khanh Linh   November 3, 2022 | 05:57 pm PT
Chaozhou soy noodles is a classic Chinese delicacy created by diaspora from Chaozhou in Guangdong Province that foodies shouldn't miss out on.

Originally a typical dish made by the Chinese community in the Mekong Delta’s Soc Trang Province, Chaozhou soy noodles, or mi sua in Vietnamese, quickly spread to other localities in the region, including Bac Lieu, Tra Vinh and Ho Chi Minh City.

As the name suggests, the main ingredient in this dish is soy beans. For the noodles to get its golden color, egg yolk is blended with soy flour. Some stores also add wheat flour to make the noodles.

A close-up view of the Chinese soy noodles that foodies should try in HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Khanh Thien

A close-up view of the Chinese soy noodles that foodies should try in HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Khanh Thien

Since "sua" implies "longevity" in Chinese, these noodles are frequently eaten on important occasions like the Lunar New Year or birthday celebrations. These noodles are rounder and larger than other varieties of Chinese noodles.

This dish is also called "longevity noodles" because of their length.

The chef kneads the dough many times before rolling into pieces of medium thickness and cutting it into strands.

The large, round noodles are boiled for a few minutes, then dried before being soaked in cooking oil and processed immediately to avoid fermentation.

The owner of a Chinese soy noodle store said that the Chinese community in Vietnam's Mekong Delta region have invented two varieties of soy noodles – one for savory dishes and another for sweet desserts.

For a savory dish, the noodles are stir-fried with green mustard, mushrooms, prawns, cuttlefish, chicken or pork, and seasoned with Chinese soy sauce.

These noodles can also be served dry, with the vendor mixing them with Chinese soy sauce and garlic oil beforehand.

Typically, a bowl of dry noodles is topped with grilled ribs or chicken, char siu, seafood and shacha sauce, and served with a small bowl of well-balanced broth.

A bowl of Chinese dry soy noodles topped with grilled chicken and vegetables. Photo by VnExpress/Khanh Thien

A bowl of Chinese dry soy noodles topped with grilled chicken and vegetables. Photo by VnExpress/Khanh Thien

Toppings can be ordered by diners according to their preferences.

While foodies will like the fact that this dish with broth is served with a plate of bean sprouts and chives, many diners believe that the dry variety is the greatest since the flavor can be tasted in each noodle strand.

A bowl of Chinese soy noodles costs VND45,000 ($2) or thereabouts.

Two HCMC options for this dish are 7 Cao Thang Street, District 3; and 382 Ba Hat Street, District 10.

 
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