Herbal Noodle Soup of Stewed, Fried Duck (Mì Vịt Tiềm)


Herbal Noodle Soup of Stewed, Fried Duck (Mì Vịt Tiềm)

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

Click here for a full, up to date ORIGINAL ARTICLE and to help fighting the stealing of readers’ traffic.

(Blog No.95).

#Mì Vịt Tiềm, #Stewed Fried duck, #Noodle Soup, #Dioscorea hamiltonii, #Hoài sơn, #Papaya, #borax, #han the, #monosodium gluamate.

Herbal Noodle Soup of Stewed, Fried Duck (Mì Vịt Tiềm) originated from Cantonese or Hakka recipes. It is a delicious, tasty, nutritious, slightly odoured dish and is well liked in Saigon. It is claimed to bring some medicinal benefits and is of higher price than other dishes of ordinary noodle soups.

(Mì=Noodle Soup, Vịt=Duck, Tiềm=Stewed, Slow cooked)

1. Herbal noodle soup of stewed, fried/roasted duck.

Figure: Herbal Noodle with Stewed, Fried/Roasted Duck (Mì Vịt Tiềm) in 300 ml bowl.

The dish may have been called Noodle Soup with Roasted Duck. This is a misnomer as the duck has NOT been roasted in the preparation of this dish.

Herbal Noodle Soup of Fried/Roated Duck (Mì Vịt Tiềm) is usually served wirh 2 accompanying dishes of Fried Prown Pancake and Crunchy Pickled Slices of Papaya.

Dioscorea hamiltonii in this soup is a a white traditional and Chinese medicinal herb claimed to be good (?) for treating diabet.


1. A nutritious, healthy dish may become a harmful dish if the traditional recipies are not observed.

2. Cooks using inauthentic recipes may put monosodium glutamate in the dish. The traditional recipe has no such modern ingredient

3. About 2hr after eating this dish, your body may have some odour of the dish! This is easily noticeable from the odour of your urine.

4. Your skin may have a light strange sensation caused by the oil and sweat glands excreting some compounds absorbed from the dish.

5. The pickled crunchy sliced papaya in the accompanying dish (the small dish with yellow slices) may have been made crunchy by immersion in a borax solution (do not eat the dish of sliced papaya if you think that Borax has been used.).

2. Preparation.

Figure: Herbal Noodle with Stewed, Fried/Roasted Duck (Mì Vịt Tiềm) from Melbourne, Australia.

This is not a recipe for preparing the dish, it only tells what may have been involved.

Half a duck is first marinated in some black soy sauce and ginger then fried. It is then stewed (slow cooked) in a herbal soup. The herbal soup has 15g of Shiitake (a type of delicious mushroom), 20g of dried Hoài Sơn (Củ mài = Dioscorea hamiltonii), a white traditional and Chinese medicinal(?) root tuber [1,2,3,4], 10g of Dan Sam (Dangshen = Codonopsis pilosula, dried root), 15g of lotus seeds, 10g of Chinese plums and 10g of longans. It may also contain Five Spices (commonly a mixture of 1.star anise, 2.amomum, 3.cloves, 4.Sichuan pepper, 5.fennel seeds, 6.liquorice(?), and 7.Chinese cinnamon(?)). The soup is finally served with the half duck.

The half duck soup is served with egg-noodle, Chinese pukchoy, shiitake and longan in the bowl.

Figure: Slices of Hoai Son (Huai Shan in Chinese) in package.

Hoai Son is claimed to have antidiabetic property (scientific proof is required).

Figure: Shiitake (Nấm Đông Cô), from Wikipedia, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiitake, file: https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Shiitakegrowing.jpg, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike,

Figure: Boiled dried longans.

Figure: A Five Spice mixture.

The Crunchy Papaya is usually prepared by immersing slices of papaya in Borax water for days. I would not eat the so prepared papaya due to the use of Borax.


Cooks using non-authentic recipes may put in a lot of monosodium glutamate to fool customers. Traditional, authentic recipes have no such modern ingredient.

In the short term, monosodium glutamate may cause extreme headache, throat congestion, prolonged thirst and swelling of your ankles and feet. Do not eat any non-authentic dish prepared with such ingredient.

Borax is banned as a food ingredient. Borax is mainly used as a Welding Flux (for goldsmith welding and for industrial brazing using Acetylene-Oxygen Gas Torches), in Photochemistry (as a Stopper Solution), in Pest Control (the mixture of Borax and Icing Sugar is an Ant Poison). Its Vietnamese name is Hàn The (Hàn=for welding, The=sour taste).

3. Where to find it.

It is an upmarket dish (costing 70000VND =$3.50US in 2017) in Vietnam (in Saigon). In Australia, it cost $12AUD.

I don’t know how much it would cost in a Vietnamese restaurant outside Vietnam. It may cost you $10.00US (?).


[1]. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dioscorea_hamiltonii

[2]. https://caythuoc.org/hoai-son-cu-mai.html
[3]. http://diabetna.vn/hoai-son-cay-thuoc-nam-tri-tieu-duong-bien-chung-noi-tieng.html
[4]. http://www.yhoccotruyen.org/ViewTopic.jsp?tid=4184&fid=5&Page=1&trp=18
[5]. https://gaactiemthuocbac.wordpress.com/about/

[6]. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiitake

[7]. https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-make-five-spice-powder-4065302
[8]. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spice_mix

[9]. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monosodium_glutamate

[10]. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borax

[11]. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lycium_barbarum

[12]. http://baithuocquanhta.com/cay-thuoc/cau-ky-tu-chua-benh/
[13]. https://baodinhduong.com/cau-ky-tu-co-tac-dung-gi/

Related HOW TO blogs:

Authentic herbal noodle soup of stewed, fried duck (mi vit tiem chanh goc), posted 2018/01/12

The agonizing choice of Vietnamese food dishes, posted September 27, 2017

Rice as emergency food., posted December 24, 2016


Mung Beans as grains for self-reliance.


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