Vietnamese eel glass noodle soup, known as Miến Lươn, combines the subtle exotic flavors of eel with the smooth texture of glass noodles, all immersed in a rich, savory broth. The harmonious blend of sweet and umami flavors notes a hearty and comforting meal.
Not only is Mien Luon incredibly satisfying, but it is also easy, quick, and simple to prepare. This means you can enjoy this scrumptious soup whenever the craving strikes without spending hours in the kitchen. So why not give the recipe a try?
What Is Mien Luon
Mien Luon, or eel glass noodle soup, is a healthy Vietnamese delicacy celebrated for its unique textures and delightful flavors. This nutritious culinary gem can be found in renowned restaurants throughout Hanoi and is also considered a local specialty in Ninh Binh and Nghe An.
The soup is crafted using high-quality glass noodles, preferably ones made from mung beans, succulent eel meat, and an array of fragrant herbs and spices. There are two variations of this dish: dry and soup-based.
In the dry version, eel and noodles are skillfully stir-fried with aromatic spices and served alongside fresh herbs, chili, and a tangy dipping sauce.
For the soup-based version, a rich and flavorful broth made from eel bones and ginger is poured over the noodles and eel, then garnished with finely chopped scallions and herbs.
Some modern restaurants opt for dried eel, which is coated in batter and deep-fried to add an extra layer of crunch. No matter the variation, Mien Luon captivates the senses and showcases the best that Vietnamese cuisine has to offer.
Let’s gather the essential tools needed to create a delightful bowl of eel glass noodle soup. Having the right tools at hand will make your cooking experience smooth and enjoyable.
- Large pot: For cooking the broth.
- Pan: For stir-frying and frying the eels.
- Ladle: For spooning the noodle soup.
- Tongs: Allow you to handle the ingredients more conveniently.
- Knife and chopping board: For cutting the ingredients into more suitable sizes for the recipe.
Other tools you might need: Saucepan, wooden spoon, shears, and food prep gloves.
An enjoyable bowl of Mien Luon starts with a selection of quality ingredients. In the following list, we’ll outline the core components that make up this soup.
- Eels: Freshwater eels are the best choice for this recipe. I’ll include some useful tips for choosing delicious eels later in the post, so remember to read until the end.
- For getting rid of the eel’s smell: Onion, shallots, white wine, ginger, salt, and vinegar.
- Pork bone broth: I find that homemade pork bone broth yields the tastiest eel noodle soup. If you’re too busy to make your bone broth, don’t worry; use canned products instead.
- Cooking oil: For frying and stir-frying the eels.
- Glass noodles: Mien Dong, a type of glass noodles made from purple arrowroot, is a top-tier option for cooking Mien Luon. However, if you can’t find it, feel free to use other kinds of glass noodles.
- For serving: Bean sprouts, onion, dried shallots, scallions, cilantro, and laksa leaves.
- For seasoning the broth: Soup powder, salt, and sugar.
- For stir-frying the eels: Garlic, ginger, shallots, minced turmeric, fish sauce, and ground pepper.
- For frying the eels: Cornstarch
By following these straightforward directions in this section, you’ll be on your way to enjoying a warm and comforting bowl of this flavorful soup. Let’s get started!
Step 1: Prepare The Ingredients
Rinse the vegetables and drain them.
Rub the eels with salt, then clean them in white wine, vinegar, and lime juice. Do this step 2 to 3 times to remove the slime from the skin. Then, rinse them once again in water and drain them.
Cut an onion in half. Keep one-half whole and slice the other half thinly. You’ll use the onion slices for serving. Chop the cilantro and laksa leaves finely.
Wash the glass noodles and soak them in water for 15 minutes. Then, cut them into manageable lengths and drain them.
Step 2: Boil The Eels
Bring a pot of water to a boil and add 3 tablespoons of white wine, 5 tablespoons of vinegar, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Add the eels and boil them for 3 minutes to get rid of the odor and slime. Then, remove the eels from the pot.
Set another pot of water on the stove. Add half an onion, 3 shallots, and a few ginger slices, and boil the water for 2 minutes. Then, add the eels and cook them for 10 minutes over medium heat.
Once done, take the eels out of the pot. Allow them to cool a little. Put your food prep gloves on and remove the bones. You can use the bones to add extra flavor to the broth later on, so don’t throw them away. Divide the eels into two portions, one for stir-frying and the other for frying.
Step 3: Stir Fry The Eels
Heat some olive oil in a pan and saute the minced garlic and shallots until fragrant. Add the turmeric and ginger and saute them. Once the ingredients are golden and aromatic, add half of the eels and give everything a good stir.
Season the eels with fish sauce and pepper. Continue to stir-fry them for 3 to 5 minutes over low heat. Remember to stir gently so as not to break apart the eels.
Step 4: Fry The Eels
Toss the remaining eels in cornstarch. Then, heat some oil in the pan and add the eels.
Fry them until golden brown on all sides. Next, transfer them onto paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
Step 5: Make The Broth
Add 2.5 quarts of pork bone broth and the eel bones into a pot. Boil them for 5 to 10 minutes over medium-low heat. Season the broth with sugar, salt, and soup powder. Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your taste.
Step 6: Blanch The Glass Noodles
After draining the glass noodles, blanch them in a pot of boiling water for 30 to 40 seconds. Then, put them in serving bowls.
Step 7: Serve The Dish
Ladle the broth into the bowls so that it slightly covers the glass noodles. Add the fried and stir-fried on top and garnish with the cilantro, laksa leaves, scallions, and fried shallots.
Serve your Mien Luon with fish sauce, chili sauce, lime juice, and chili pepper to enhance the flavor.
As you master the art of preparing Vietnamese eel glass noodle soup, remember these essential notes.
- It’s important to clean and prepare the eels carefully to remove the slime, resulting in a better-tasting dish.
- Do not cover the pot while boiling the eels, as you won’t be able to get rid of all the smells.
How To Store Mien Luon
To store Vietnamese eel glass noodle soup, follow these simple steps to ensure it stays fresh and delicious.
First, it’s essential to separate the components of the dish. Keep the cooked eel, glass noodles, and broth in separate airtight containers. This prevents the noodles from becoming soggy and the flavors from blending too much.
Place the containers in the refrigerator, where they can be stored for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to enjoy the dish again, simply reheat the broth and eel separately, then combine them with the noodles.
Tips For Choosing The Freshest Eels
If you’re new to cooking eels, you might find it a bit daunting to select the right ones. Here are a few guidelines you can follow to make things easier.
- To ensure the freshest and best-tasting eel, look for live eels or those that have been recently killed. Fresh eel should have a firm texture and a clean, pleasant smell.
- If possible, prioritize choosing eels that are of moderate size and have two distinct color sections: a yellow belly and a black back. These eels will be firmer.
Different Styles Of Eel Glass Noodle Soup To Try
In this section, I’ll guide you through some alternative styles of Mien Luon to try, offering fresh takes on this classic dish.
- Stir-fried Mien Luon: Another tasty variation is stir-frying the eel glass noodles with a mix of vegetables, protein, and savory sauce.
This stir-fried version offers a delightful contrast in texture, as the noodles become slightly crispy on the outside while remaining tender inside. Combine this with the eel and a medley of vegetables for a scrumptious and satisfying meal.
- Vegetarian Mien Luon: For a meat-free alternative, replace the eel with tofu, tempeh, or seitan. This vegetarian variation allows you to enjoy the delicious taste and texture of the glass noodles while catering to a plant-based diet.
You can also add an array of vegetables and mushrooms for a more satisfying and nutritious meal.
Other Delicious Vietnamese Noodle Soup Recipes
If you’re a fan of Vietnamese noodle soups, there are numerous delicious recipes you can explore and enjoy. Each dish offers its own unique flavors and textures.
- Pho Bo (Beef Pho): This classic Vietnamese soup features tender beef slices, rice noodles, and a flavorful beef broth infused with spices like star anise, cinnamon, and cardamom. Garnish with fresh herbs, bean sprouts, and lime for a satisfying meal.
- Vietnamese Thick Noodle Soup With Fish (Banh Canh Ca Loc): This hearty soup is made with thick tapioca noodles and tender chunks of fish in a savory broth. Top it with fresh herbs, chili, and a squeeze of lime for a tangy twist.
- Vietnamese Crab Noodle Soup (Bun Rieu): This delicious soup features rice vermicelli noodles, crab meat, and tomatoes in a rich, tangy broth. Serve it with a variety of fresh herbs and vegetables for a burst of flavor.
- Vietnamese Duck Noodle Soup (Mi Vit Tiem): This tasty noodle soup is made with egg noodles, succulent duck, and shiitake mushrooms in a rich, spiced broth. Thanks to the collection of medicinal herbs used, it’s one of the most health-giving you’ll ever find.
Let’s tackle some of the most frequently asked questions that might prevent you from giving Mien Luon a try.
Embrace The Mien Luon Experience
With its mouth-watering combination of rich, savory, and umami-rich broth, tender eel, and slippery glass noodles, Mien Luon is truly a unique experience for your taste buds. Now it’s your turn to give this incredible dish a go and relish in its distinctive taste.
Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts or feedback in the comments below. If you’ve enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with friends and family to introduce them to the wonders of Vietnamese eel glass noodle soup. Happy cooking, and enjoy your Mien Luon journey!
4 servings per container
- Amount Per ServingCalories563
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat 5.4g 27%
- Cholesterol 216mg 72%
- Sodium 2913mg 122%
- Potassium 1077mg 31%
- Total Carbohydrate
- Dietary Fiber 3.2g 13%
- Sugars 4.4g
- Protein 51.2g 103%
- Calcium 74%
- Iron 3%
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Table of Contents
- What Is Mien Luon
- How To Store Mien Luon
- Tips For Choosing The Freshest Eels
- Different Styles Of Eel Glass Noodle Soup To Try
- Other Delicious Vietnamese Noodle Soup Recipes
- Embrace The Mien Luon Experience
- Vietnamese Eel Glass Noodle Soup (Miến Lươn)
- Nutrition Facts
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