In Vietnam, there are a wide range of rice noodles such as Pho noodle, Hue beef noodle, Soup cake noodle. Clear rice noodle (Hu tieu) is popular in Mekong Delta. Steamed clear rice noodle (Hu tieu hap) is a specialty food of Ha Tien town, Kien Giang province. Vietnamese cuisine has tens of Clear rice noodle soup which consist of broth, clear rice noodles and toppings (seafood, fish, meat, etc.). However, Steamed clear rice noodle is a unique recipe in Vietnam. In Ha Tien, Hu tieu hap is one of the most favorite street foods. It can be found easily at local markets and on the streets.
Originated in Cambodia, Steamed clear rice noodle recipe has been changed to meet the local taste and products in Ha Tien. Dry clear rice noodles are steamed until tender but a little chewy. The noodles should not be overcooked. Unless it will turn too tender and wet. The clear rice noodles used for this food is wider than that is used for Clear rice noodle soups (Hu tieu nuoc). Pork skin is boiled, cut into thin strips, mixed with ground toasted rice which add a sweet smell to the strips. The pork skin strip is crunchy and very smelling. Lean pork is sliced, marinated and grilled until pleasant. Wrap ground pork, minced carrot, wood ear, etc. in rice paper, then fry the roll until crispy outside and well-done inside. Make a greasy sauce from coconut milk.
To serve, put some julienned cucumber, bean sprouts at the bottom of a bowl, then put steamed clear rice noodles onto the veggies, top the noodles with grilled pork, pork skin strips, spring rolls, herbs, crushed peanuts, pickled carrots and daikons, chopped chili pepper (optional). Pour coconut milk sauce onto toppings. If diners don’t like the greasiness of coconut milk sauce, they can ask for sweet-sour fish sauce dip to eat with the dish.
The dish looks colorful with white noodles, orange pickled carrot strips, dark brown grilled pork, yellow fried roll, light brown pork skin strips, green cucumber and herbs. The dish is a perfect mix of all ingredients. Do not miss a bowl of Hu tieu hap when you are in Ha Tien.