Guangxi’s Criminally Underrated Pork Noodle Soup (叉烧粉)


Char Siu Rice Noodles! A classic to slurp down for breakfast in Guangxi – and pretty realistic to whip up at home, as well. 0:00 – Guangxi’s Rice Noodle Culture 1:11 – What are Char Siu Noodles? 2:08 – Component #1, Pickled Bamboo 3:21 – Component #2, Char Siu BBQ Pork 6:25 – Component #3, Pork Bone Soup 7:17 – Component #4, Rice Noodles 8:07 – Assembly 8: 28 – Other toppings? COMPONENT #1: PICKLED BAMBOO SHOOTS * Pickled Bamboo Shoots (酸笋), 300g. Something like this: * Chili powder, 1 tbsp. Optional. You can also substitute the chili powder for a tablespoon of Hunan chopped chili (剁椒) or Lao Gan Ma Pickled Chili (糟辣椒). 1. Julienne the bamboo shoots, squeeze out the excess liquid. 2. Over a high flame, toast for 5-6 minutes, or until the surface is mostly dry. Remove. 3. Over a low flame, add ~2 tbsp of oil and quickly fry the chili powder for ~15 seconds. Up the flame to high, add the toasted bamboo shoots and – if your package of pickled bamboo shoots came with some pickled chilis, ala the linked package above – also toss those in. Fry everything together for ~2 minutes. Jar it up. Should last at least a couple weeks in the fridge. COMPONENT #2: GUANGXI STYLE CHAR SIU * Lean pork (瘦肉), 1kg * Marinade: 100g scallion, 50g ginger (姜), 50g garlic, 3g/two pieces star anise (八角), 3g/12 pieces sand ginger aka kencur (沙姜) -or- equivalent amount dried galangal or ginger, 6g/1 tbsp white peppercorns (白胡椒), 3g/3 pieces licorice root (甘草) – optional, 1g/third of a stick cinnamon, 10g/2tsp salt, 30g/2tbsp sugar, 60g/third cup soy sauce (生抽), 10g/2 tsp dark soy sauce (老抽), 60g/quarter cup water, 30g/quarter cup high proof alcohol (vokda, rum, baijiu, etc) , 4g/1tsp red yeast rice powder (红曲粉) -or- 2 drop red food color -or- skip this. Note: the above water quantity is higher than the video. It’s really something that you can eyeball, but I feel that a little extra water here might make your process a little smoother when simmering. Process: 1. Cut your lean pork into strips with the grain (we’ll be slicing against the grain once finished). 2. Grind together the spices. Rub together the scallion, ginger, and garlic until the scallion wilts a little. Add the salt, sugar, and spices, and continue to rub until the scallion’s released much of its liquid. Add the remainder of the marinade ingredients, and massage that into the pork for ~5 minutes, or until your hands start to feel a little spicy from the ginger. Marinate for at least 24 hours, ideally 48. 3. Place the pork together with its marinade into a non-stick skillet, and over a medium high heat cook it down. This will take ~20 minutes or so, flip when needed. Cook until the pork is cooked through, then remove and rinse off any marinade. Pat dry. 4. Deep fry (or shallow fry) for one minute at 170C. If shallow frying, flip at the 30 second mark. 5. Put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before slicing. COMPONENT #3: PORK BONE SOUP * 1kg pork bones, ideally with a little meat still attached. * Aromatics: ~2 inches smashed ginger, ~30g scallion tied in a knot * 5L water Process: 1. Blanch the pork bones for ~3 minutes, then rinse. 2. Add the blanched pork bones and aromatics to a stock pot with the cool water. Bring up to a boil, skim, then down to a heavy simmer. Cover (with the lid ajar if you have a heavy lid), cook for at least three hours. 3. Remove the aromatics and the pork. Store as you would stock (we use water bottles & freeze) ASSEMBLY Per serving: * 100g dried rice noodles, ie the sort that you’d use for Pho. eg * 1/8 tsp each salt, sugar, MSG (味精), white pepper powder * 40-50g sliced ​​Char Siu * ~1.5 tbsp each sliced ​​scallion and pickled bamboo shoots Process: 1. Cook the rice noodles according to the package. 2. Heat up the stock, re-heating the Char Siu slices in the soup (if your Char Siu was frozen) 3. Assemble. ________ A huge thank you to the creators that let us use some of their footage for B-Roll 🙂 The picture of the Kanom Jeen Namya is courtesy of the always excellent Pailin: Footage of the Pho in Vietnam is courtesy Food Ranger: The quick aerial shot of Quanzhou is from Blondie In China’s Quanzhou video: And check out our Patreon if you’d like to support the project! Outro Music: คนถึงคุณจัง by ธานินทร์ อินทรเทพ Found via My Analog Journal (great channel): .





  1. Hey guys, a few notes:

    1. First time I ever had these noodles in Guangxi, the first thought that came through my head was “is… is this the Guangxi version of Pho?” The rice noodles that’re used are very very similar.

    2. It also hits a similar spot in my soul as Pho, if that makes any sense. Pho is much more complex of a soup, obviously, but there’s something about slurping down a bowl of soupy rice noodles that just… brings us back. So if you’ve ever been a little intimidated at the whole process of making something like Pho Bo at home, this dish could be a nice middle ground.

    3. Last Pho-related musing – I feel like there’s gotta be some sort of connection between the Longlin Chicken Soup Rice Noodles and Pho Ga. Longlin is right on the border of Vietnam, and the name of the dish is ‘Ji Fen’ (鸡粉) – chicken rice noodle – while Pho Ga would literally translate to ‘rice noodle chicken’. Given that Pho Ga is (correct me if I’m wrong) from rural North Vietnam, my current hypothesis is that historically chicken and rice noodles might’ve just been… a thing… in that area of the world. In the 1950s, the border between China and Vietnam began to formalize and tighten up, allowing the dish to evolve separately within the Guangxi/Chinese and Vietnamese trade orbits. Or maybe the Longlin soup came from Vietnam, or maybe Pho Ga came from Guangxi , or maybe it’s just a case of convergent evolution (after all, chicken soup + rice noodles isn’t exactly a fanciful idea).

    4. One thing to note about the Guangxi Char Siu – this is some meat that’s specifically designed to thinly slice and toss in soup. Keyword? Thin. This is some pretty dry meat, so a thick slab of it’s going to be like chewing on cardboard. Thin and mixed with soup though? Perfect. (I also enjoy munching on it as a snack…)

    5. There’s another approach to cooking the Char Siu – directly deep frying, without cooking the pork in its marinade. We found the cooking-in-marinade approach to be the most flavorful, and as I said it’s supposed to be a bit dry anyway. But if you like, you can also rinse off the marinade and deep fry directly.

    6. Again, feel free to swap in the Cantonese Char Siu. The Guangxi style Char Siu is a fun project (and I’ll definitely be making it again), but it’s not imperative or anything.

    7. For the pork bones, be sure to get your butcher to chop it into pieces in order to expose the marrow. First time that I ever made pork bone soup in China (back in the day, following a Dunlop LoP recipe actually!) I neglected that step and was like, ‘wtf is this ginger soup?’

    8. Feel free to swap the pork bone soup for a chicken soup or a combination stock. If you’re a vegetarian, I’d skip the Char Siu and use a kelp/daikon/napa/dried shitake combo for the soup.

    There’s definitely a few more notes in me, but I gotta Zoom with my parents. Might edit a few more in in a bit.

  2. I really dislike recipes that are like "this is super simple to make for breakfast! So first, I hope you have Amazon prime because imma need you to ship this extremely obscure ingredient from an unknown region of the world and accept that even if you follow every step to perfection you can only hope for something mediocre at best because you don't currently live there". At that point why even bother finishing the video.

  3. On your #3 musing.
    One thing I notice is majority of Phở Gà in the West just use beef stock and sub the meat with chicken. There was only 1 place (out of the gazillion I went to in the West) that used a stock that tasted like chicken stock but the spice mix was still the one for beef.
    Actual proper Phở Gà places in Vietnam not only use chicken stock but also a different spice mix (I also reconfirmed this with someone I knew who used to serve both Phở for a living). That makes me think Phở Gà and Phở Bò are actually 2 different noodle dishes that just happen to use the same kind of rice noodles.
    So I would not be at all surprised if any of your Phở Gà origin hypotheses is true.

  4. one of the core ingredient in most of Guangxi, especially Nanning rice noodle is the 酸笋 (sour bamboo shoot) which I think you should definitely introduce this. It is made by placing peeled bamboo shoot in a pot and filled with clean water and be fermented in cool and shady places for a week, the bamboo shoot will become sour and have a very special aroma that many people may feel it is pungent by itself, but absolutely delicious with beautiful smell when stired fried with other ingredient and aromatics like Fermented Black Bean or/and garlic to make 老友 Old Buddy flavour dishes/rice noodles.

    I really hope you can introduce this in future videos!