Hu tiu is a common type of rice noodle in Southern Vietnam, often served in noodle-soup form, the noodle soup dish is of course also called “hu tiu“. The usual hu tiu noodle is characterized by its thin shape and chewy texture. Vietnamese love chewy noodles just as much if not more than any other country, so people began using various methods to make hu tiu (*) chewier (the soaking time before grinding, the grinding, washing the rice flour, the mixing ratio with water and other types of starch, the thickness to spread the mixture into a film, the temperature and time to steam it). Bánh bột lọc(**), a type of savory snack, is made with tapioca starch (cassava flour), so I guess hủ tíu bột lọc also contains tapioca starch.
I spent an hour googling but expectedly found little and contradicting information about hu tiu bot loc – nobody in the business would reveal their secret. What I found online is hu tiu bot loc originated from Cần Thơ, and what I found in my bowl are fat (and flat) strings, whose color is clearer and texture is chewier than both the normal (and thin) hu tiu and hu tiu dai (“chewy hu tiu”).
Mom’s hu tiu bot loc: (good luck getting a more detailed recipe than this one from Vietnamese moms!)
– boil dry hu tiu (sold at stores), immediately wash in cold water to preserve chewiness and prevent them from sticking together, set aside
– simmer pork bones to make broth, add salt to taste
– eventually, add pork, beef balls and eggs
– finally, add hu tiu and cilantro
(*) – That link is written in Vietnamese but the pictures are instructive enough to get an idea of the hu-tiu making process.
(**) – What does “bột lọc” mean? Literally, “bột” is flour, and “lọc” is to distill, so “bột lọc” means “clear flour”.