Hủ tiếu Nam Vang (“Rice Noodles from Phnom Penh”) is so-called because it was introduced to Vietnam by itinerant Teochew-Chinese noodle vendors coming over from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in the 19th-century.
The dish utilises white rice noodles, called “koay teow” by the Teochew-Chinese, “kuy teav” by the Cambodians, and “hor fun” by the Cantonese.
The version I had yesterday at Big Bowl pho shop at Ho Chi Minh City’s main airport had slivers of pork, shrimp, pig’s trotter and quail’s eggs, topped with chopped chives, in a pork-prawn broth. Very light and delicate flavours. I have a weak spot for hủ tiếu Nam Vang as it’s very close (95% similar) in taste to the “koay teow th’ng” of Penang, where I live.
A side dish of crisp, green Crown Daisy (Tan O) leaves were a delight. The raw beansprouts seemed a standard accompaniment to noodle dishes with broth, together with cut, red chilis and fresh lime.
In Penang, most of the street foods were started by the Teochew-Chinese, which probably accounts for the similarities between the Vietnamese and the Penang renditions of this noodle dish.
My fave rendition of the dish here in Ho Chi Minh City is at Hoang Yen.