Just outside of Hoi An is a farming village with a famous ancient well containing pure mineral water, and this water is credited with producing some of the unique flavours that make up the noodles for one of Hoi An’s signature dishes: Cau Lao Pork & Noodles.
The recipe for the noodles is a ‘secret’, so secret that for a long time I couldn’t even find out what they were made of! After a lot of online research I did eventually discover that they were made of rice, but that you could substitute Soba noodles, Chinese wheat noodles or Ramen. The Cau Lao noodles have a slightly smoky taste, but this could come from the process of being cooked over an open fire (below).
Here is a great page on how they make these noodles, fully exposing the entire ‘secret’ recipe for the noodles. One only has to find some ancient Cham wells and ‘tro’ trees to create the ash and they too can have these marvellous noodles! http://www.jeremygillies.com/blog/2010/12/01/cao-lau-recipe-how-to-cook-the-pork-and-noodle-dish-from-hoi-an-vietnam/
To help me find a substitute noodle for Cau Lao noodles, I found http://www.foodsubs.com/Noodles.html to be incredibly informative!