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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.


  1. Yum! I can have this all year round..always love the use of fresh herbs in Vietnamese cuisine. We're having some autumn-like weather here these days, so it's great to have a bowl of hot soup noodle like bun rieu cua to keep 'warm'. Hope you both are doing well!

  2. Hi Reese, Sandra and I are both well. Fresh produce and fresh herbs plays a major part in Vietnamese cuisine. Bun rieu cua is one of my favourite noodle soups. Hope it will becomes yours too!

  3. Look like a nice version of bun rieu. In the photo it looks like there may be some boiled pig's blood, is there? I like the idea of using minced pork belly to make the crab meat balls.

  4. Hi sijeleng, that is boiled blood jelly. It is very common in many Vietnamese soup dishes. I we love it with bun rieu and congee.

  5. This is one of my favorite dishes and I keep meaning to make it on my own (using my mom's recipe) - thanks for sharing yours!



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