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Easy Vietnamese Crab Rice Noodle Soup Recipe (Bun Rieu Cua)

Updated on April 1, 2013
Bun Rieu Cua with pork blood, pork leg and tofu
Bun Rieu Cua with pork blood, pork leg and tofu | Source

This is a popular noodle soup dish from Northern part of Vietnam. If you like Singapore or Hokkien prawn mee, I am sure you will love Bun Rieu Cua. Instead of using shrimp-pork stock, this soupy dish is a crab-pork-tomato based bun soup. Traditionally the broth is made of crushed "cuo dong" or small paddy-field crabs. After removing the hard shells of the crabs, the whole crab is pounded to create a paste. This mixture is combined with water to produce rich crab broth.

Unfortunately, teeney tiny cuo dong is not available in the USA. Here is my simple short cut recipe. Some people prefer to use spices added minced crab in the can. I prefer use fresh crabmeat .If you prefer strong flavor broth, you can add 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of shrimp paste. This soup is a harmonious combination of crab, shrimp, pork and tomato. Always serve it hot with some raw salad such as bean sprouts and basil.

Ingredients You May Need

How to Fix

Serves 4-6

Pork and shrimp stock:

9 cups of water

3 lbs pork bones

1 tbsp salt

2 tbsp fish sauce

1/3 cup dried shrimp

3 red tomatoes, diced

1/3 cup gound pork

10 oz fresh crabmeat

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 tbsp cooking oil

salt and pepper to taste

Bun (Rice noodle):

9 cus water

1 lbs dried rice vermicelli (bun)

fish sauce to taste

Cuo Dong - Rice-field crab
Cuo Dong - Rice-field crab | Source

How to Fix

  • In small bowl, place dried shrimp and cover with water to soak. Set aside for about 15 minutes.
  • In large soup pot, place pork bones and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Then drain and rinse the bones. Boil another 9 cups of water and pork bones. Add dried shrimp, fish sauce and salt. Lower the heat into medium-low. Simmer about 45 minutes. Skim the floating foam occasionally.
  • Add diced tomatoes and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Put crabmeat, ground pork, egg, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Using a fork, beat lightly this mixture to mix. Pour carefully crab-pork mixture into the soup. Continue to simmer until mixture cooks and rises to the surface.
  • In a small frying pan, heat cooking oil and stir-fry chopped onion until soft and fragrant. Transfer onion and remaining oil into soup pot. Remove soup pot from heat.
  • In another saucepan, bring water to boil. Add rice vermicelli and cook about 3-5 minutes. Stir occasionally. When the rice noodle is soft, transfer to colander and rinse under cold running water. Drain and set aside.
  • Divide cooked rice vermicelli into several portions and place them into soup bowls. Pour hot soup over noodles and stir in fish sauce to taste. Serve with raw salad such as lettuce and bean sprouts.


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    • jojokaya profile image

      jojokaya 6 years ago from USA

      @MikeSyrSutton: You are welcome

    • MikeSyrSutton profile image

      MikeSyrSutton 6 years ago from An uncharted galaxy

      Wow! That looks and sounds awesome! Thanks and voted up!