If you ever watched an episode of hoarders, you know people be hoarding things for all sorts of emergencies and what if situations that never actually come to fruition, and if it does, they probably forgot about it!
My family, we're alright. We're pretty good at keeping a tight house and throwing away things (except I do hoard my college books, notes, and labs since I figured they're sentimental items littered with my tears..) but our fridges are a whole 'nother story. We buy items on sale, we buy in season items, we buy directly from farmers, fishers, we also fish and squid, and we go clamming..we're always stocked up on food for every possible craving. Because emergencies right?
This is also probably how my mom can have a spontaneous craving for chao banh canh and my dad can serve it up within an hour or so. We make everything from scratch and our chao banh canh is one to be reckoned with!
I know some of you will say, its quicker to buy instant noods, but that stuff don't really give you chao banh canh, you know that right? And the time it takes to go to the store, contemplate the preservatives, buy it, go home, contemplate life decisions etc..all takes longer than for you to just make the darn noods!
Chao Banh Canh Hue Style
- Make your stock. My preference would be chicken or pork bones stock. In a real pinch, I've seen my dad make the stock out of a pack of imitation crab from Costco, assorted fish balls from 99 ranch, and chargrilled onions! ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE, you just need to channel some of my daddy's kitchen confidence to yourself!
- Prepare your gio song (cha lua - pork sausage found in a clear tub usually in freezer section of asian stores, ingredients are pretty much 3 x's grounded up pork and fish sauce) with green onions, black pepper, and some mushroom seasoning powder (like chicken bouillon but healthier and ok for Buddhist monks to eat). Spoon this into your broth ~ 10 mins before serving. If you do it earlier, it's not as amazeballs. its like okayballs. (pun intended, sexual innuendo not intended!)
- Peel/devein shrimps taking care not to lose any of the head goodness. Separate the shrimp's body and heads. Really smash the heads to get all that goodness out. I use a mortar and pestle.
- Saute shrimp + smashed heads with oil, garlic, fish sauce, s&p, black pepper, paprika, and some cayenne if you can handle the heat
- Add this to your broth. Season your broth to taste.
What about the Banh Canh noods dough?
Ingredients for dough:
- Gao Te Tinh Khiet (rice flour)
- Bot nang/Bot loc (tapioca flour)
- Pinch of salt
- Hot water
The ratio of flours is 1:1. If you like it slightly more chewy, do less rice flour and more tapioca. The water ratio is half of your combined flour so 2 cups total flour = 1 cup water.
Instructions for the Banh Canh Noods:
- Combine flour and your pinch of salt
- Slowly pour in your hot water and mix with a spatula. Ima also knead you to knead this when its cooled a bit 🙂
- Flour working space and roll out your dough to preferred noodle thickness and slice it up! Make sure you have your strands separated so they don't clump together.
- THAT'S ALL FOLKS!
Putting it together:
- You can serve this with ham hocks, lobster, fish, WHATEVER YOU WANT. Don't let people tell you what you can and cannot do. If it tastes good and if you wanna eat it, add it! Life's too short to hold back because of societal standards.
- Don't forget to add your gio song ~10 mins prior to serving (pork sausage)
- Garnish with your greens (green onion, cilantro, sliced onions) OR NOT, up to you boss!
- You can choose to cook your noodles directly in the broth. If you do this, you'll have a thicker broth, but you're gonna have to try your best to eat this all up as fast as you can since it'll continue to get thicker and thicker (kinda like me in college...) with every reheat.
- I like to personally boil my noods in a separate pot. I can store my covered raw noods in the fridge, opt to not put in all my pork sausage and then have it again the next day with pretty fresh ingredients! Win for me.