Leftover Roast Turkey and Chinese Egg Noodle Soup
With China being right next door to Vietnam, there are many Sino-Viet dishes that have worked their way into the Vietnamese repertoire and become favorites. Satisfying roast duck–egg noodle soup, called mi vit tiem (“mee veet team”) in Vietnamese, is one of them. It’s super popular in Saigon (my birthplace, aka Ho Chi Minh City), but it’s also time-consuming to make from scratch (you have to roast a duck).To work the hearty noodle soup into my regular rotation, I developed an easygoing roast chicken iteration for my book, Vietnamese Food Any Day. All the ingredients come from the regular supermarket.Then I got to thinking about leftover Thanksgiving turkey and came up with this recipe, which uses an Instant Pot for the broth to extract maximum flavor fast. People often make turkey soup with the holiday bird’s uneaten parts and bits, so why not cook up an Asian noodle soup?The trick is to help the American Thanksgiving turkey take a turn toward the East. It’s achievable with a hefty amount of ginger and aromatics like star anise and Chinese five spice, plus soy sauce and sesame oil. Chinese rock sugar typically adds a slight sweet roundness to the broth to create an umami-rich finish, but I’ve found that Fuji apple can achieve that result, too.Dried shiitake mushrooms lend savory, earthy depth. Thin, delicate ones from the regular supermarket soften in about 15 minutes. (If you use fancy, thick mushrooms from an Asian market, expect a longer soaking time.) When dried mushrooms are unavailable, use fresh shiitake or cremini mushroom, and add ¾ cup water to the Instant Pot before cooking.For the turkey parts, simply use the backbone, add a wing or two and maybe the neck and gizzard if they’re available. You can combine raw and roasted parts, if you like. This is a great recipe for whether you’re roasting a traditional whole bird, using a spatchcocked (butterflied) turkey, or the separate parts.Once the broth is done, you can hold it in the fridge for days. Over the post-Thanksgiving weekend, serve up bowls of roast turkey–egg noodle soup, which I’d call mi ga tay (“mee ga tey”), which literally means egg noodle soup with Western chicken.