Pork Noodle Soup with Spicy Fried Drumettes Recipe | The Great American Recipe

Pork Noodle Soup with Spicy Fried

I was raised eating noodles, a staple in every Vietnamese household. Noodles, more than any other food, represent my childhood. This soup really packs umami flavors in the rich pork stock, while the grilled shrimp and fresh herbs contrast with the broth, creating a spoonful of silky balance. I am so happy to share this recipe with you. It truly is my Great American Recipe.

I grew up in the Midwest and love fried chicken. This side of spicy, crispy double-fried chicken drumettes is a classic American food with my own spin: the chicken is dressed in garlic powder and fish sauce and topped with Thai peppers and cilantro to bring heat and herbal flavors. In the final challenge of The Great American Recipe, I served these chicken drumettes alongside my Pork Noodle Soup (page 000), representing my Vietnamese American upbringing on a plate.

This recipe from Foo is featured in the season finale during Season 1 of The Great American Recipe.


Yield: Serves 6



  • Pickled onions
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced

  • Soup
  • 1 rack pork spare ribs, cut into 3-inch riblets
  • 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons fried shallots
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rock sugar (see note on page 000)
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 dried cuttlefish (see note)
  • 9 large tiger shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (8-ounce) package dried rice vermicelli noodles, cooked according to package instructions

  • Broth
  • 8 cups water
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon powder
  • 2 tablespoons shrimp paste
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese rock sugar (see note on page 000)
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns

  • Garnish
  • 8 ounces bean sprouts
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, leaves picked
  • 1 bunch Thai basil, leaves picked
  • 1 bunch sawtooth coriander, leaves picked
  • 1 bunch purple perilla, leaves picked
  • 3 tablespoons fried shallots
  • 6 limes, cut into wedges

  • Chicken Drumettes
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce, divided
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds chicken drumettes
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 7 Thai red peppers, chopped
  • 6 jalapeño peppers, chopped
  • 2 cups cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • 3 tablespoons fried shallots
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro


  1. To make the pickled onions, combine the white vinegar, rice vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a bowl and stir until the sugar and salt dissolve. Add the red onion and stir. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Combine the rib, 5 tablespoons of the fish sauce, garlic, fried shallots, rock sugar, salt, pepper, chicken broth, and water in a pressure cooker. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes.
  3. For the drumettes In a large bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon of the fish sauce, the rice wine, chicken bouillon, salt, 1 teaspoon of the garlic powder, and the pepper. Add the drumettes and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  4. In a small saucepan, combine the lime juice, remaining 3 tablespoons fish sauce, and sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring until all the sugar is dissolved, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  5. In another small saucepan, sauté the garlic, Thai peppers, and jalapeño peppers over medium heat until the garlic is slightly brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  6. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, baking powder, and remaining 1 teaspoon garlic powder. Dredge the drumettes in the mixture.
  7. Pour the oil into a deep fryer or large, heavy-bottomed pot and heat to 275 degrees F. Set a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet.
  8. Add 4–5 drumettes at a time to the hot oil and fry until brown and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to the prepared rack.
  9. Increase the oil temperature to 350 degrees F. Return the drumettes to the hot oil and fry for an additional 3–5 minutes and place on the rack again.
  10. Transfer all the chicken to a large bowl, add the cooked fish sauce, sautéed garlic and peppers, and cilantro and toss well. Serve hot.
  11. Meanwhile, preheat a grill. In a bowl combine the olive oil, remaining 1 teaspoon fish sauce, salt, and pepper. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Grill for 2–3 minutes per side. Grill the cuttlefish until it is slightly tender and charred, about 3-4 minutes per side. Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Set the shrimp and cuttlefish aside.
  12. Meanwhile, make the broth. In a large pot, combine the water, chicken broth, chicken bouillon, shrimp paste, rock sugar, and peppercorns and bring to a rapid boil. Turn down the heat to low, cover the pot, and cook for 20 minutes. Strain the broth.
  13. When the pressure cooker is finished, add the strained broth to the pressure cooker. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.
  14. Divide the vermicelli into soup bowls. Add the ribs and grilled shrimp and cuttlefish. Ladle the hot broth into the bowls and garnish each serving with bean sprouts, scallions, herbs, fried shallots, pickled onions, and lime wedges.


Look for dried cuttlefish in the international aisle of your grocery store or online. Be sure you are buying whole dried cuttlefish; it is sometimes sold shredded as a snack.