Noodles from vegetables

Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Nguyen, director of the Hai Thien Food Company, has officially become a new record holder for the first person to make Pho noodles from vegetables in the country.

The Vietnam Guiness Book of Records has listed Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Tuyen, director of Hai Thien Food Company as a record holder for the first person to make Pho noodles from vegebtables. (Photo: Bepgiadinh)

Hai Thien Pho restaurant on Bui Vien Street in District 1 of HCM City has recently attracted a great number of foreign visitors. The restaurant is uniquely different from its competitors as it does not only serve traditional white pho noodles, but also in other colors like orange, yellow, green and purple  made from cochin chin gourd, pumpkin, green and purple cabbage.

The restaurant is gaining popularity even in far off places like Hawaii, California and Norway.

The Vietnam Guiness Book of Records has now listed Nguyen Thi Thanh Nguyen, 36, director of Hai Thien Food Company as a record holder.

Nguyen’s family are famous pho noodle makers of Vietnam, hailing from Binh Thuan province and operate under the brand name Hai Thien since 1983.

               A product by Hai Thien Pho restaurant

After graduating in Finance and Accounting, young Nguyen worked with an instant noodle manufacturer of Thailand, where she honed her skills and learnt new food processing technologies.

She then took over her parents business, in the hope of rebuilding the image of pho after the damaging scandal that formol (a highly dangerous preservative) was being used to make pho noodles.

She believes, making high quality, yet hygienic pho noodles is not difficult. The tedious process involves washing the rice, soaking it in water and grinding it into a paste which is soaked in water once again and then rolled by mild coating of oil then cut into thin strips. The key is to have patience during the time-consuming process. She maintains her quality of pho by preparing her own homemade flour.

In 2009, Hai Thien received a number of orders from North America and Europe. But Nguyen does not let this go to her head. She wants to continue to make pho noodles from vegetables and tries to continually introduce new dishes with names like “fruity pho” and “pho salad”.

By Thuy Tien – Translated by Kim Khanh

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