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Monday, September 26, 2011

Bun rieu cua (tomato and crab noodle soup)

Tomatoes are sensational and in season at the moment. That means not only does it taste better but also cheaper as well. To celebrate this wonderful ingredient and take full advantage of the great value, we made bun rieu cua. This soup is best made when tomatoes are in season and at their best. There are so many different layers of flavours in this soup. The combination of tomatoes and crab meat coupled with the aromatic broth is unbelievable. The accompaniments of herbs and cabbage adds another dimension in flavour and texture. This is definitely great for those cold winter days, but like me you'll probably want to have it all year round. Sandra's mum makes the best bun rieu cua, this is an easier and simple version of her recipe.


4 litres of pork and chicken stock
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 kg tomatoes, cut into quarters
1 packet of fried tofu, cut into half
1 packet of vermicelli noodle, cook according to manufacturer's instructions

Crab meat balls

5 eggs
200g or lump crab meat or can crab meat
200g mince pork belly
1 handful of dried shrimp, optional
1 jar crab roe sauce,
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp cracked white pepper


Mix herbs (mint, perilla, Vietnamese mint)
White cabbage, shredded
Coriander, chopped
Spring onion, chopped
Chilli, sliced
Lemon, cut into wedges
Shrimp paste, optional


To prepare the crab meat balls

1. Soak the dried shrimps in hot water for 10mins and mince it in a food processor.
2. Mix all the ingredients together until combined and set aside in fridge until needed.

To prepare the tomatoes and crab meat broth

1. Bring stock to a gentle simmer
2. Using a tablespoon, scoop and lower the crab meat into the soup.
3. Wait until it's cooked, it will raise to the surface.
4. Then add in the tomatoes with the fried tofu and simmer for half an hour.
5. Season with sugar and fish sauce.

To serve

1. Add a handful of vermicelli noodles to a large bowl.
2. Top up with the soup along with crab meat balls and tofu.
3. Enjoy with accompaniments.

This is my entry to Delicious Vietnam #18, a monthly blogging event celebrating Vietnamese cuisine which was started by Anh of A Food Lover’s Journey and Hong & Kim of Ravenous Couple. Thanks to bonniebella
of bonniebella for hosting this month.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Chawanmushi (Savoury steam egg custard)

Sandra and I had this at a Japanese restaurant a while back and it's one of our favourite Japanese dishes. The soft delicate texture of the egg custard coupled with the aromatic flavour of the broth is sensational. It's quiet simple to prepare and with very few ingredients. If you're a fan of chawanmushi, give it a try. It's unbelievably delicious, that I promise you.


4 eggs
500 ml water
1 tbsp chicken powder
1 tsp light soya sauce
4 prawns
4 shaitaki mushroom
1 tsp chive, chopped


Prepare the steamer and set on med heat.

1. Mix chicken powder with 2 tbsp of water in a small bowl and heat in the microwave for 30 sec. Stir until it dissolve and add to the rest of water.
2. In a mixing bowl whisk the eggs and incorporate the water and soya sauce. Pour the mixture through a strainer.
3. Add a prawn and a shaitaki mushroom to each ramekins(x4).
4. Divide the egg mixture between the ramekins and cover with foil
5. Place the ramekins in the steamer with lid slightly opened and steam for 10 mins.
6. Use a toothpick and poke it in the centre. It should come out clean when it's cooked.
7. Garnish with chives."

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mi Vit Quay (Roast duck noodle soup)

Often when I do the grocery shopping at my local Chinese grocer, I find myself stopping by the Chinese roast duck shop next door. Most of the time I would takeaway half a roast duck to have on it's own or with crusty bread. My craving for Chinese BBQ roast meat comes from my father who used to make it to sell at the market in Vietnam. The maltose lacquered and wafer thin skin of the duck is amazing. The combination of mix spices (cinnamon, ginger and star anise) stuffed into cavity to infuse an unique and irresistible flavour like no other.
Mi vit quay is adapted from another classic noodle soup Mi vit tim. This is a much easier recipe to prepare and with very few ingredients. The broth is amazingly aromatic and fills the whole house with the smell of cinnamon, ginger and star anise. It will have your friends and guest thinking you spent many hours preparing this soup.


1 Chinese roast duck, reserve the sauce from the duck's cavity
2 onion, peeled
1 dozen dried shaitaki mushroom
4 Lt chicken stock or can chicken stock
1 tsp five spice

500g fresh egg noodles
1 bunch of gai lan (Chinese broccoli)
or choy sum (Chinese flowering cabbage)
1/2 cup spring onion, chopped
1/2 cup coriander, chopped
1/2 cup crispy Asian shallots


Duck broth

1. When buying roast duck, ask the seller to reserve the sauce from cavity and cut it into 8 portions.
2. Soak the dried shaitaki mushrooms into in hot water and set aside.
3. In a large stock pot, bring chicken stock to simmer and add the onions, shaitaki mushrooms, five spice and reserve duck sauce. Skim off any impurity that rises to the surface and let it simmer for 1/2 an hour. Check for seasoning, add little more salt if needed.

To serve

1. Add the duck pieces to the duck broth.
2. In a stock pot, bring 3Lt of water to a rolling boil and cook the gai lan and set aside.
3. Using a wired noodle strainer, add a handful of egg noodles into the strainer.
4. Lower it into the boiling water and stir the noodle for about 30 seconds to a minute.
5. Remove and strain the egg noodles into a large soup bowl.
6. Add the duck, mushrooms, gai lan and top up with the soup.
7. Enjoy with some spring onions and coriander.

Note: If using can stock, use 2Lt of can chicken stock to 2Lt of water.

This is my entry to Delicious Vietnam #17, a monthly blogging event celebrating Vietnamese cuisine which was started by Anh of A Food Lover’s Journey and Hong & Kim of Ravenous Couple. Thanks to Phuoc of phuocndelicious for hosting this month.


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