Although Goat Rice Noodles is not an original Vietnamese food, it has become an indispensable part of the cuisine of Ho Chi Minh City. Even though this is still quite unique even to the local, but goat rice noodles is a dish worth trying for everyone.
Rice Noodles, or Hu Tieu, is a favorite dish in Southern Vietnam which is made from rice flour. The texture and shape stand out from other types of typical noodles since they are a little bit chewier, less slippery and look more translucent compared to rice vermicelli (which appear in a lot of Vietnamese dishes such as Bun Rieu, Bun Bo Hue, ...). Goat Rice Noodles, however, use a bigger and flat type of hu tieu.
Where Hu Tieu is made form scratch
Hu Tieu used in most of the other variants
Hu Tieu used in Goat Rice Noodles
Read more about Different Types of Vietnamese Noodles
The reason why Goat Rice Noodles is not sold as widely as the other versions of Hu Tieu is mainly because of the soul of the dish - goat meat. Compared to other types of meat such as pork or beef, there are not a lot of supply sources for authentic goat meat. In addition, goat meat has a strong signature smell which needs to be processed properly with vinegar and alcohol or else the odor can be repulsive to many people.
Goat meat needs careful preparation to dismiss its not-so-pleasant signature smell
Another reason that might affect the popularity of this dish is its origin. It is said to be a specialty of Tieu people, a minority from China. There is a small community of them in Ho Chi Minh City where Goat Rice Noodles is mostly found. However, the recipe is rarely shared broadly but usually passed down from generations to generations instead. Until now, Goat Rice Noodles can be considered an heirloom that needs preserving.
Unlike other versions, Goat Rice Noodles is always served in two separate bowls - One is for the rice noodles, the other has soup with goat meat. The reason is that since goat meat has to be eaten when it is still as hot as when it is newly-cooked, the high temperature can negatively change the texture of the noodles if they are in the same bowl.
One serving of Goat Rice Noodles consists of two bowls
The broth, which has been cooked with all parts of the goat for at least 10 hours, has a special puce color. The smell of Goat Rice Noodles is another unique point. Besides the signature scent of goat meat, it also reminds of the combination of curry and spicy satay sauce. After finishing the noodles, many people love to take a piece of bread and have a taste of this delicious broth.
Not only goat meat is adored but goat sinew, tongue, eye, and brain are also the favorite ones for lots of frequent customers. Weird as they may sound, they make this dish more eccentric than it already is.
Goat brain is exotic, but it can also be surprisingly good
There are just a few places to try Goat Rice Noodles in Ho Chi Minh City. Luckily, all of them maintain good quality for years and, therefore, have a special place in the people's hearts. Note that most of the restaurants that offer this dish only open in the morning, so you might need a plan if you want to try.
Address: 62D Xom Dat, Ward 8, District 11
Opening hours: 6 AM - 9 AM
Price: VND 37,000
Address: 189 Nguyen Chi Thanh, Ward 12, District 5
Opening hours: 6 AM - 11 AM
Price: VND 45,000 - 60,000
Address: 71 Nguyen Kim, Ward 7, District 10
Opening hours: 6 AM - 10 AM
Price: VND 37,000
Address: 585B Nguyen Trai, Ward 7, District 5
Opening hours: 6 AM - 11 PM
Price: VND 60,000
Everything about Goat Rice Noodles is outstanding, from the preparation, cooking process to the ingredients and flavor. It is a slice of Vietnamese cuisine that you would not want to miss out on.
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© Written by Mai Bui for itourvn.com