A Food Lover's Travel Guide to the Best of Vietnamese Food

Hu Tieu

Phnom Penh Noodle Soup

A soup that is very popular in the south of Vietnam where there is a large Khmer population. The dish originated in Cambodia from Chinese immigrants. It was eaten by workers for breakfast because of its heartiness. The pork bone broth is sweeter than pho broth, and doesn't contain any fish sauce. The noodles are usually thicker, tapioca style, but the Vietnamese version is sometimes served with rice noodles or Chinese egg noodles. The protein also varies but don't be surprised to see a combination of shrimp, beef, chicken, squid, offal, dumplings, ground pork, and there's usually a quail's egg floating in there somewhere. Sometimes the soup will have a different name depending what's in it. Hu tieu My Tho (a city in the Mekong Delta) usually has more seafood in it. Hu tieu Tau usually has Chinese style noodles. Hu tieu hoanh thanh has wontons in it. Usually the soup is accompanied by a plate of greens that include: lettuce, Chinese chives, chrysanthemum, and Chinese celery. There will also be chili to spice the broth up and lime to add some acidity; Hu Tieu is the ultimate in variety.