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Noodle soup with pork hocks and giant elephant ear plant (Bún dọc mùng)
(Adapted loosely from Kim Hang and Gia dinh Cam Cam)
2 lbs pork ribs
2 lbs pork hocks
2 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs chicken powder
1/2 tbs turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1 lbs ground pork + 1/2 tbs fish sauce (or giò sống)
1 bunch of dried wood ear (soaked, drained, and finely chopped)
1 tsp ground pepper
1 bunch of giant elephant ear plant (skinned, sliced)
4 tomatoes (quartered)
To make the soup with pork ribs and pork hocks:
- In a large stock pot, boil water.
- Add pork ribs + pork hocks and par cook for 5 minutes.
- Drain and clean the pork ribs and hocks. Discard the water.
- Put pork ribs + hocks back to the empty stock pot.
- Marinate with fish sauce + chicken powder + turmeric powder.
- Turn the heat to medium-high, stir fry quickly for about 1-2 minutes.
- Add water.
- Cook under medium-low heat, partially covered, for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Add salt to taste.
To make the pork meatballs:
- Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix ground pork + fish sauce + chopped wood ear + ground pepper
- Note: if using “giò sống”, you can skip the fish sauce
- Shape the pork mixture into small balls.
- Set aside.
To prepare the giant elephant ear plant:
- In a small colander, mix the giant elephant ear plant slices with 1 tsp salt.
- Let it rest for 10 minute.
- Rinse under running water.
- Set aside.
- When the soup is almost done, drop the meatballs in and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add the giant elephant ear plant slices and tomatoes. Cook for another 5 minutes.
- In a bowl, add cooked vermicelli + pork ribs + pork hocks + meatballs.
- Add giant elephant ear plant slices and tomatoes on top.
- Ladle the soup.
- Serve immediately.