Pork and Shrimp Clear Noodle Soup (Hu Tieu) is a hearty dish with three varieties of pork, shrimp, hard-boiled quail eggs, herbs, vegetables and translucent noodles in a rich stock. Loaded with a little of everything, the clear noodles are deliciously slippery and chewy and the assorted meats are a protein-lover's dream. The abundant vegetables: red leaf lettuce, bean sprouts and chives lightens the soup, giving it much freshness. This dish may seem complicated because of the numerous components, however, don't let daunted. This recipe breaks down the steps so it's super easy to make this amazing Pork and Shrimp Clear Noodle Soup at home. Give it a try!
In a medium bowl, add the ground pork, three-quarters of the diced shallots and minced garlic, water, fish sauce and ground black pepper. Combine together and let marinate for 15 minutes. Heat a skillet over Medium heat and when hot add vegetable oil. Add the remaining one-quarter shallots and garlic. Stir-fry for 10 seconds. Add the pork and cook by stirring constantly. Use a spoon to break up the larger chunks of meat. Cook the pork for 7-8 minutes. In the final minute of cooking, increase the heat to High and allow the pork to brown. Transfer to a clean bowl and set aside for now.
Place the liver in a medium bowl and sprinkle 1/2 Tbsp salt on each side. Gently rub the salt onto the liver. Add 1 Tbsp vinegar and then fill the bowl with cold water. Wash the liver. Gently massage and squeeze the liver to extract any residual blood. Drain the water and repeating the washing processing with 1/2 Tbsp salt and 1 Tbsp vinegar one more time. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the remaining 1 Tbsp vinegar and the pork liver. Bring the water to a boil and then skim the foam from the surface. Reduce the heat to Medium and cook the liver for 20-25 minutes or until the juices run clear when pierced with a knife. Squeeze the lime wedge into a bowl of water. Add the ice. Transfer the cooked liver to the ice bath and let rest until it's time to assemble the dish.
Cut each piece of green leaf lettuce in half separating the top from the bottom. Shred the bottom portions. For the chives, cut into sections about 1 inch long. Arrange the lettuce, bean sprouts, limes, chives and red chilies on a platter. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Transfer the pork stock into a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil over High heat and then add the pork butt. Reduce the heat to Medium and cook for 20-25 minutes. Fill a medium bowl with water and add the ice. Transfer the pork into the ice bath and let it rest until it's time to serve.
Transfer the noodles into a large bowl filled with warm water. Dunk the noodles in the water and let soak for 10 minutes. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Add the drained noodles and stir to combine. Boil the noodles for 3 minutes or until they turn translucent and a noodle can be pinched in half with your fingers. Pour everything into a large colander and then drain. Rinse with cold water. Toss the noodles in the colander shaking off as much of the remaining water as possible. Add the vegetable oil and combine.
Season the pork stock with fish sauce. Bring the stock to a boil again. Transfer the hard-boiled quail eggs into a colander and then rinse with cold water. Warm the quail eggs by dunking in the hot stock for 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside for now. Add the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes or until they turn pink. Remove the shrimp and set aside for now.
Remove the pork and liver from the ice baths and thinly slice each. Place a generous amount of clear noodle into a large soup bowl. Add a piece of red leaf lettuce, some bean sprouts, 3 slices of pork liver, 3 slices of boiled pork, 3 shrimp, a large spoonful of the seasoned ground pork and 2 quail eggs. Ladle a generous amount of the pork stock into the bowl. Top the noodle soup with the chives, chopped green onions, fried onion and freshly ground black pepper.
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