My parents used to own a restaurant in Phnom Penh, that only served this dish. It originated from the city and ‘nam vang’ actually means Phnom Penh.
- 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) calamari hoods, cleaned and scored
- 16 green prawns (shrimp), peeled and deveined, tails left intact
- 300 g (10½ oz) pork liver
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced (ground) pork
- 400 g (14 oz) thin stick bun (rice noodles)
- 1 bunch spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced, to garnish
- 1 bunch coriander (cilantro), leaves picked, to garnish
- 2 tbsp ground white pepper, to garnish
- 4 tbsp minced salted radish (see Note), to garnish
- 200 ml (7 fl oz) vegetable oil
- 10 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 kg (4 lb 6 oz) pork bones
- 3 kg (6 lb 10 oz) chicken bones
- 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) pork loin
- 2 whole dried squid (see Note), rinsed
- 40 g (1 ½ oz) dried shrimp
- 1 daikon (white radish)
- 3 whole salted radish (see note)
- 1 garlic bulb, halved
- 60 g (2 oz) sea salt
- 300 ml (10 fl oz) fish sauce
- 150 g (5 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
- 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) bean sprouts
- 4 bird’s eye chillies, sliced
- soy sauce, to serve
- lemons wedges, to serve (optional)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. To make the broth, rinse the pork and chicken bones under cold running water to remove any blood or splinters. Transfer to a 10 litre (2½ gallon) stockpot, cover with cold water and bring to the boil for 10 minutes, then drain the liquid and rinse the bones of any residual blood and impurities. Return the bones to a clean stockpot and add the pork loin. Cover with water to nearly the top of the pot and bring to the boil again, removing any impurities that rise to the surface.
2. Add the dried squid, dried shrimp, daikon, salted radish and garlic, and simmer for 45 minutes or until the pork loin is cooked through. Transfer the loin to a bowl of iced water and set aside for 10 minutes, then drain and thinly slice.
3. Continue to simmer the broth for 3–5 hours until reduced by 20 per cent. Season with the salt, fish sauce and sugar, then strain into a clean saucepan and discard the solids. Keep the broth warm over low heat.
4. Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add the calamari and prawns and cook for 3 minutes, or until just cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, remove the calamari and prawns and immediately plunge into iced water. Drain and set aside.
5. Return the water to the boil, add the pork liver and cook for about 15 minutes, or until just cooked through. Drain and plunge the liver into iced water, then drain again and slice into thin pieces.
6. Place the minced pork in a frying pan over medium–high heat and pour in a ladle of the stock to loosen the mince. Cook for 5 minutes or until the minced is cooked through. Set aside.
7. To make the garlic oil, heat the oil in a small saucepan to 70°C (160°F) on a kitchen thermometer. Place the garlic in the oil and cook, stirring continuously to break up the garlic, for 5 minutes until light golden-brown. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
8. Bring another saucepan of water to the boil. Divide the noodles into individual serves and, using a noodle basket if you have one, cook one serve at a time according to the packet instructions. Alternatively, cook the noodles together, then drain and quickly divide among serving bowls. Drizzle a little of the garlic oil over the noodles, so they don’t stick together. Top with the prawns, calamari, pork liver, pork loin and minced pork. Ladle over the broth and garnish with the spring onion, coriander, pepper, salted radish and the remaining garlic oil.
9. Serve immediately with the bean sprouts, sliced chilli, soy sauce and lemon wedges (if using), and invite guests to add the condiments to their own soup.
• Salted radish and dried squid can be purchased online or from most Asian supermarkets.
Recipe from Street Food Vietnam by Jerry Mai, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99