Crab Noodle Soup (Bun Rieu Cua)

Vietnamese cuisine has a long list of noodle soups but this is one of those that is quite memorable with the lump crab meat and a medley of refreshing veggies that is sure to bring you back for seconds. Back in Vietnam, this dish is tedious to pull together, but here in the US with the convenience of already-picked crab meat and packaged stock, it's pretty easy to make this Crab Noodle Soup on any day of the week. So just make a big pot and invite friends and family over and have a Crab Noodle Soup party!

vietnamese crab noodle soup
crab mix for the soup
vietnamese crab noodle soup
minced prawns and crab in spices

RECIPE for 8-10 servings

2 pkg of vermicelli noodle, prepare according to the pkg
8 quarts of chicken stock
2 of 14 oz. cans of minced prawns in spices, as seen above
1 lb of ground pork
1 lb of lump crab meat
4 large eggs
2 pkgs of store-bought fried tofu, cut into thirds
1 lb of tomatoes, cut into 1-inch wedges
Optional - 1 lb of cooked pork blood ("huyet"), cut into 2-inch cubes

1 lb of bean sprouts
4-5 leaves of lettuce, chopped
1 bunch of perilla and mints
1 bunch of cilantro and green onion, chopped
Optional - 1/2 lb of ong choy/Vietnamese water spinach ("rau muong"), shred them lengthwise and submerge in cold water for them to curl or buy them at the local Vietnamese market
Optional - 1 handful of shredded fresh banana blossom, shred them crosswise and submerge in cold water with 1/2 tsp of salt for them to curl or buy them at the local Vietnamese market
2-3 limes, cut into wedges, serve as condiment
Fine shrimp paste to taste, serve as condiment
Chili garlic/Siracha to taste, serve as condiment

1. In a mixing bowl, combine the ground pork, minced prawns in spices, crab meat and eggs together and mix well using a fork or chopsticks. Set aside. (As seen in the photo above)

2. Use a 10-qt soup pot. Heat the stock up to a boil. Then turn heat down to medium and drop in the meat mixture. The meat will float to the top once it's cooked, about 10 mins. Add in the tomatoes and the tofu pieces. Let the soup simmer for 20 mins. Add in the cooked pork blood.

3. Add 4 tbs of the fine shrimp paste to season the broth, or more/less to your taste.

4. Assemble the noodle soup bowls with cooked vermicelli, lettuce, sprouts, mints, water spinach. Then ladle the soup over to just cover the noodle, with all the cooked ingredients in the soup. Top with onion and cilantro.

5. Serve with additional veggies on the dinner table as well as with the lime, shrimp paste and siracha. Add these to your noodle soup as you please.