Hailing from Central Vietnam, Mi Quang or Vietnamese Turmeric Noodle Soup is an herb forward noodle soup that is warm, comforting, and refreshing. It is made with tender turmeric noodles topped with shrimp, pork, quail eggs, and a variety of fresh herbs, all served with a warm, flavorful broth. And the best part is this dish comes together in less than hour!

Mi Quang in a bowl next to crushed peanuts and herbs.

One of my favorite things about Vietnamese cuisine is the diversity of dishes. Vietnam is a small but diverse country with unique dishes originating from each region. You have dishes like the spicy Bun Bo Hue from the central city of Hue to the sweet Bun Thang from the north. All of it unique and very tasty. Today, I wanted to write about another lesser known dish from Central Vietnam called Mi Quang, also known as Vietnamese Turmeric Noodle Soup.

I was recently introduced to this dish by a local restaurant here in LA and fell in love with the flavor profile. It has the perfect balance of salty, sweet, and umami flavors. I also loved the turmeric noodles! It is however pretty hard to find at Western Vietnamese restaurants because it’s not a popular dish in the West even among the Vietnamese community. That’s part of the reason I wanted to write a recipe for this dish, so I could have it whenever I want!

Mi Quang in a bowl.

What is Mi Quang?

Mi Quang is a very popular dish from the Quang Nam province of Vietnam. It is served during special occasions like Tet. This noodle soup is a herb forward dish characterized by vibrant yellow turmeric rice noodles topped with proteins (chicken, shrimp, or pork are the most popular), fresh herbs, eggs (typically quail eggs), and a crunchy black sesame cracker. What separates this dish from other Vietnamese soups like pho is that this dish is typically served with a small amount of soup. But like with all Vietnamese dishes, the amount of soup depends on your preference. If you like a lot of soup, then serve yours with a lot of soup.

In addition to the amount of soup served, there is a lot of variation when it comes to the toppings of this dish. Most Mi Quang will be served with shrimp, chicken or pork, an assortment of herbs, quail eggs, and black sesame crackers. However, you can customize them to your liking. Some herbs that I have seen used are shredded cabbage, Vietnamese coriander, perilla leaves, banana blossom, bean sprouts, mint, and lettuce.

Ingredients, Substitutions & Adjustments

Broth

  • Pork belly – I used pork belly because it is one of my favorite cuts of pork. You use any cut of pork you want including pork shoulder, pork butt, and pork loin for a leaner cut. If you don’t like pork, you can also use chicken.
  • Shrimp with heads – It’s important to use shrimp with heads because the heads help give the soup its signature orange color. However, you can definitely use shrimp without heads as well. If you choose to use shrimp without heads, skip the step that requires you to saute the shrimp heads. Additionally, I used shrimp with the shell on, but feel free to de-shell and de-vein the shrimp.
  • Fish sauce – Adds umami flavor to the pork belly, shrimp, and broth.
  • Granulated sugar – Helps balance out the fish sauce with some sweetness. You can also use light brown sugar, coconut sugar, or palm sugar.
  • Paprika – Adds color and smoky flavor to the broth, pork belly, and shrimp.
  • Turmeric – Adds color to the broth.
  • Salt for seasoning
  • Shallot – Adds sweetness to the dish. Shallots can be substituted with 1/4 yellow onion.
  • Garlic – Adds more flavor to the dish. Garlic can be substituted with 1/2 tsp of garlic powder.
  • Chicken broth – Chicken broth is the base of the broth. Chicken broth can be substituted with vegetable broth or water. However, if you use water, the broth won’t be as flavorful.
  • Yellow onion – Adds sweetness to the broth. Yellow onion can be substituted with white onion.

Toppings

These are the toppings I like to include, but you can choose whichever toppings you like the best and leave out the ones you don’t like.

  • Turmeric noodles – I used store bought turmeric noodles, but if you can’t find turmeric noodles (I had a hard time finding them), boil any kind of rice noodles with 1 tsp of turmeric. If you want a very yellow color, use 2 tsp of turmeric.
  • Quail Eggs – Quail eggs were also hard for me to find. Substitute with regular eggs.
  • Mint – Adds freshness to the dish. Mint can be substituted with perilla leaves or Thai basil.
  • Vietnamese coriander (rau ram, optional) – I absolutely love this herb, but it’s really hard to find so I made it optional.
  • Bean sprouts – Adds freshness to the dish. If you can’t find bean sprouts, you can leave it out.
  • Cabbage – You can use either cabbage or lettuce for this dish. This adds some freshness to the dish to balance out the savory flavors.
  • Black sesame crackers – Other than the noodles, black sesame crackers is one of ingredients that define this dish. Almost every person and restaurant puts this ingredient in Mi Quang. You can technically make it without black sesame crackers, but it won’t be very traditional.
  • Peanuts (optional) – Adds some crunch to the dish. This can be substituted with fried shallots.

How to make Mi Quang

Marinate the pork belly and shrimp

  1. Cut the pork belly into thin pieces (~1/4 inch thick). Marinate the pork belly with 2 tsp of fish sauce, 2 tsp of sugar, 1/4 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper, 1/4 tsp of paprika, and 1/4 tsp of turmeric for 15 minutes.
  2. Separate shrimp from shrimp heads. Set shrimp heads aside. Marinate the shrimp with 2 tsp of fish sauce, 2 tsp of sugar, 1/4 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper, 1/4 tsp of ground paprika, and 1/2 tsp of ground turmeric for 15 minutes.
  3. While the pork belly and shrimp are marinating, mince 1 shallot and 4 cloves of garlic.

Make the broth

  1. Heat oil over medium high heat in a large soup pot. Saute shrimp with half of the minced shallots and garlic. Remove and set aside. In the same pot, saute the pork belly with the remaining shallots and garlic. Set aside.
  2. In the same pot, saute the shrimp heads. Squeeze out the head juice while sauteing. Add 4 cans of chicken broth and the yellow onion and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Finish the broth and assemble your bowl

  1. While the soup is simmering, prep the rest of your ingredients. Boil the noodles and quail eggs. Shred up the cabbage. Toast and crush your peanuts. Microwave the black sesame crackers for 3 minutes to puff them up.
  2. Season the soup with 1/2 tsp of salt, 2 tsp of fish sauce, 1 tsp of sugar, 1/4 tsp of ground paprika, and 1/4 tsp of ground turmeric. Add the pork belly back to the pot and simmer for 5 more minutes. Once the soup is done, taste for seasoning and add more salt if it tastes bland.
  3. Now it’s time to assemble your bowl! Add turmeric noodles to the bowl. Follow with the mint, Vietnamese coriander, bean sprouts, shredded cabbage, shrimp and quail eggs. Ladle some soup into the bowl with a few pieces of pork belly. Top with sesame crackers and crushed peanuts and serve!
Mi Quang in a bowl

Tips on how to make the perfect Mi Quang

What to do if you can’t find turmeric noodles

If you can’t find turmeric noodles, boil any kind of rice noodles with 1 tsp of turmeric. If you want a very yellow color, use 2 tsp of turmeric. I would recommend using flat, wide rice noodles.

How to perfectly boil turmeric noodles

  1. Bring water to a boil and add the noodles.
  2. Boil for 5-10 minutes until the noodles are soft. Taste to check for doneness.
  3. Pour the noodles into a colander and rinse over cold water. This is an important step since it washes off excess starch which give the noodles a weird taste and makes them stick together.

Boil the quail eggs and turmeric noodles in the same pot

You don’t need to use 2 pots to boil the noodles and quail eggs. When the water boils, add the noodles and quail eggs. Make sure to time the quail eggs. They should only cook for 3 minutes.

How do you store Mi Quang?

The components for Mi Quang should be stored separately in airtight containers in the fridge. The soup, shrimp, and noodles should last up to 3 days. The vegetables should last up to a week.

Mi Quang in a bowl next to herbs and crushed peanuts.

Did you make this dish?

If you made this dish, I would love to see!

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Mi Quang in a bowl

Get the Recipe:
Mi Quang (Vietnamese Turmeric Noodle Soup)

Hailing from central Vietnam, Mi Quang or Vietnamese Turmeric Noodle Soup is an herb forward noodle soup that is warm, comforting, and refreshing. The best part is it only takes 50 minutes to make.
5 from 3 ratings

Ingredients
 
 

Broth

Noodles & Toppings

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • Cut the pork belly into thin pieces (~¼ inch thick). Marinate the pork belly with 2 tsp of fish sauce, 2 tsp of sugar, ¼ tsp of salt, ½ tsp of pepper, ¼ tsp of paprika, and ¼ tsp of turmeric for 15 minutes.
    Marinating pork belly in a bowl
  • Separate shrimp from shrimp heads. Set shrimp heads aside. Marinate the shrimp with 2 tsp of fish sauce, 2 tsp of sugar, ¼ tsp of salt, ½ tsp of pepper, ¼ tsp of ground paprika, and ½ tsp of ground turmeric for 15 minutes.
    Marinating shrimp in a bowl
  • While the pork belly and shrimp are marinating, mince 1 shallot and 4 cloves of garlic.
  • Heat oil over medium high heat in a large soup pot. Saute shrimp with half of the minced shallots and garlic. Remove and set aside. In the same pot, saute the pork belly with the remaining shallots and garlic. Set aside.
    Sautéed pork belly in a white dutch oven.
  • In the same pot, saute the shrimp heads. Squeeze out the head juice while sauteing. Add 4 cans of chicken broth and the yellow onion and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes.
    Mi quang soup in a white dutch oven.
  • While the soup is simmering, prep the rest of your ingredients. Boil the noodles and quail eggs. Shred up the cabbage. Toast and crush your peanuts. Microwave the black sesame crackers for 3 minutes to puff them up.
    toppings for mi quang in a grey plate.
  • Season the soup with ½ tsp of salt, 2 tsp of fish sauce, 1 tsp of sugar, ¼ tsp of ground paprika, and ¼ tsp of ground turmeric. Add the pork belly back to the pot and simmer for 5 more minutes. Once the soup is done, taste for seasoning and add more salt if it tastes bland.
    mi quang soup in a white dutch oven
  • Now it's time to assemble your bowl! Add turmeric noodles to the bowl. Follow with the mint, Vietnamese coriander, bean sprouts, shredded cabbage, shrimp and quail eggs. Ladle some soup into the bowl with a few pieces of pork belly. Top with sesame crackers and crushed peanuts and serve!
    Mi quang in a bowl

Notes

  1. Shrimp note. I used shrimp with heads with the shell on. You can use shrimp without heads and without the shell.
  2. Turmeric noodle substitute. If you can’t find turmeric noodles, boil any kind of rice noodles with 1 tsp of turmeric. If you want a very yellow color, use 2 tsp of turmeric. 
  3. Quail egg substitute. Quail eggs can be substituted with regular eggs.
Serving: 1bowl, Calories: 642kcal, Carbohydrates: 90g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 132mg, Sodium: 1816mg, Potassium: 331mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 243IU, Vitamin C: 14mg, Calcium: 68mg, Iron: 2mg
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