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Monday, June 24, 2024

Quang noodles with a fresh twist

By Tien Sa

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Quang noodles have established themselves as a distinctive culinary delight among the people of Quang Nam. While the original version remains a staple, numerous variations have emerged. Among these, Quang noodles with braised frog present an intriguing and distinct flavor profile that sets them apart from the rest.

Located at the base of the Truong Son Mountain, Dai Loc District in Quang Nam Province encompasses a midland characterized by an array of rivers, lakes, and streams, teeming with diverse aquatic life and amphibians. Notably, the region is abundant in rice field and mountain frogs, offering meat with a tantalizing combination of aroma, chewiness, and robust nutrition.

To create this dish, the frogs are meticulously skinned, thoroughly cleaned, and then expertly sliced into bite-sized pieces. These delectable meat portions are then marinated with carefully chosen seasonings before being tenderly braised for around 30 minutes. In a departure from other noodle-based dishes, the broth accompanying Quang noodles boasts an assertive flavor profile. This rich broth is thoughtfully proportioned, enough to envelop the noodles and fresh vegetables.

The cook artfully simmers pork bones alongside the frog, infusing the broth with notes of lemongrass, fish sauce, and a medley of spices, culminating in a distinctive broth flavor. Turmeric is judiciously incorporated to imbue the broth with a vivid yellow hue, an unmistakable hallmark of the dish’s appearance.

Assembly of the dish involves placing the noodles within a bowl, topping them with slices of frog meat, and garnishing with crushed peanuts and thinly sliced spring onions. A controlled drizzle of the flavorsome broth is then added, ensuring a harmonious marriage of all the elements. The presentation is enhanced with a side of fresh accompaniments, including shredded banana blossoms, basil, garland chrysanthemum, lettuce, and grilled rice paper. A final flourish of sliced green chilies imparts a hint of heat, culminating in a uniquely captivating culinary experience.

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