This squid noodle is originated from Phú Yên, a province on central coast of Vietnam, and in Vietnamese, it’s called Bún mực Phú Yên (or bún mực for short).
Phú Yên has a coastline of over 189 km, and fishing and aquaculture is a dominant industry. Various seafood dishes are popular in the province because major products are seafood like Ô Loan blood cockles, Sông Cầu crabs, lobsters, groupers, and tunas.
Phú Yên squid noodle soup utilizes small-sized or young squids which have sweet and tender meat and short length. Probably other types of squids may work, but you may risk your soup by overcooking the squids.
Chicken stock, or pork stock can be used to cook the broth. But if you want some unique taste, you can try cooking the broth with dried squids. Dried squids are not cheap, and it is not a popular choice for restaurants.
Tomatoes and pineapple are two common ingredients to increase the umami, and sweet and sour taste.
The noodle used in this noodle soup is a common Vietnamese rice vermicelli or bún. This bún noodle is small and round, and very soft. In Phú Yên, the dish can be served with corn noodle, which is made from corn kernels instead of rice grains. The making of corn noodle is much more complicated than its name. Corn kernels are pounded with husks, strained and squeezed then soaked in water overnight. The corn paste then get sprinkled with water to retain the moisture for three days until get kneaded and boiled. So, traditional corn noodle is a real specialty in Phú Yên.
Since corn noodle is not commonly available even in Vietnam, so rice noodle is the only choice.
In a soup pot, sauteed the minced shallots, then add the chicken stock or dried squid stock. Bring to a boil. Add tomato wedges and pineapple pieces, and cook for about 5 mins. Add the fresh squids, and season with 1 tablespoon fish sauce, ½ teaspoon salt, (and extra spices to your taste), cook for about 10 mins and turn off the heat.
Rinsing the squids with rice wine helps reduce some fishy smell.
If you break the ink sac, rinse thoroughly.
Serve with a small bowl of dipping sauce made from fish sauce and red hot chili peppers.