Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Herbal Chicken Vermicelli Soup - Mee Sua Soup?


Vermicelli that is made of wheat instead of rice - 面线 (Hokkien: mee sua, Cantonese: min seen, Chinese: mian xian). While appearing similar to bee hoon (rice vermicelli), this has a very different texture, and for different culinary uses as well. If it's made of wheat, isn't it considered a kind of pasta ?

On the package, it was written buckwheat and mee sua! So...something like thin soba ?


Looks like whole wheat angel hair pasta when cooked.

However, I believe the moisture content in the making(kneading) of pasta, vermicelli and buckwheat noodles (soba) varies PLUS we tend to look for al denta in pasta but not in rice vermicelli unless you overcook the pasta to be as soft as rice vermicelli's texture. Beachlover's Kitchen also talks about somen and mee sua here.

You can substitute mee sua with angel hair pasta by slightly overcooking the latter! :D

Back home, mee sua soup is commonly seen once a year - during birthdays. A bowl of simmering mee sua soup with minced pork balls and one hard-boiled egg. Rice vermicelli (mee sua) and as the Chinese characters literally mean Noodle 面 Threads 线...threads tend to be long, so signifies longevity in birthday celebrations.

Herbal Chicken Vermicelli Soup
Ingredients:
Chicken, chopped to pieces; 1 Chinese herbal pack; some vegetables(bok choy) blanched; mee sua (vermicelli) cooked according to instructions.

Directions:
1. Boil the chicken with herbal pack according to herbal pack instructions.
2. When ready, ladle the soup over the cooked mee sua, serve immediately

It is easy to think of what you can with Chinese herbal packs. This is a one-dish meal I'm serving other than boiling the chicken with the herbs to make Herbal Chicken Soup, and steaming the chicken with the herbs to make Steamed Herbal Chicken, also known as Emperor Chicken. I hope this is fit for an emperor or empress in Ruth's Presto Pasta Nights hosted this week by Kitchenetta of Got No Milk.



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