How to cook hot and delicious Bun rieu cua (Crab paste vermicelli soup) for the weekend breakfast

In the Hanoi's nosh dictionary, noodle dishes are always in a special place. Perhaps mentioning Hanoi cuisine, people will remember Pho first, but I have to say I prefer soft vermicelli (Bun). Pho may be the quintessence, but rice vermicelli  is the real “creative land" for the Ha Thanh cooks. Bun cha, Bun thang (vermicelli and chicken soup or noodles in chicken soup), Bun rieu, Bun oc (vermicelli and shellfish soup)  ... each soft vermicelli dish is a string of flavors made up from separate recipes, with its own rules and standards.

Bun rieu cua - both hard and easy dish to cook

In fact, to have a delicious crab soup, it is both easy and difficult. It is easy because, the ingredients are always available, just a few minutes to go to the market, you can buy all of the necessary ingredients. If you do not have time, sit in one place and only need to have a computer connected to a network or a smartphone, you can order online and at the same time only 1 hour later there is no shortage of anything from green onion to wine vinegar, crabs, vermicelli or fresh vegetables...

bun rieu cua vietnamese food

It is difficult because, full is not mean delicious. Now, there are a lot of industrial crabs but it is so hard to “dig” natural crabs. Now people no longer transmit to each other the experience to choose delicious field crabs, but instead to distinguish the "genuine" crabs and breeding crabs.

Basically, field crabs are usually yellow, crab shell is shiny and the crabs are very strong. Breeding crabs are black, crab shell have no gloss and the crabs’ body has much mud. While, breeding crabs are very weak, so when people sell in pots, the crabs are less crawling and easier to fall pincers. Looking at any crab pots that the crabs are the same size, it is definitely breeding crabs, field crab pots always have mixture of big ones and small ones. The standard, clean and healthy field crabs will have full legs, crawling very fast and have a big and fat body. The crab's shell is greenish and constantly bubble. In addition, fresh crabs will not have a bad smell, pressing on the hard brassiere is firm meat crab.

bun rieu cua vietnamese food

It is also difficult because, if you want to cook crab soup, you must have delicious wine vinegar. Wine vinegar is a special spice of Hanoi cuisine in particular and the North cuisine in general. Beside the sour taste of vinegar, it also has wine flavor and low alcohol content remove the fishy smell.

People cook sticky rice into glutinous rice, ferment in, brew, and then add water, add to the distillation pot to white wine. The waste of rice wine after cooking is called “hèm”. After cooking, people can squeeze the water, and use it as vinegar. It is the perfect combination for the dishes, especially “Bun rieu cua”. Without wine vinegar, of course it is impossible to produce the characteristic taste of crab paste.

The plate of fresh vegetables served with crab soup is now also changed, in the old time, there were small sliced banana flower combined with chopped water spinach, then a bit of salad, perilla leaf, Vietnamese balm ... Now, few Vietnamese restaurants serve banana flower and chopped water because these two things are not available, they are also picky to proceed. The simplest way is eating with chopped salad, sometimes the vegetable plate contains some Thai basil or mint ... the fastidious person makes a wry face, and the easy-going person is fine.

bun rieu cua vietnamese food

If you want to eat well, why don’t you cook by yourself?

There are plenty of time in the weekend, let's make crab noodles - an unique Vietnamese dish for the whole family to enjoy! It is not difficult to cook crab noodle soup!

Bun rieu cua is suitable to eat in all season. The most reasonable season is the cold season, enjoying a bowl of vermicelli with hot crabs soup, the smoke flying suspiciously and only smelling is really craving. You can refer to how to cook crab noodles by our standard Vietnamese recipe below.

bun rieu cua vietnamese food


  • 500 grams of field crab
  • 1 kg of soft vermicelli (“bún”)
  • 3 tofus
  • 200g pork paste
  • Neptunia oleracea (Optional)
  • 3-4 tomatoes
  • Wine vinegar, starfruit
  • 1 bit of shrimp sauce
  • Dried shallot, green onion, cilantro
  • Fresh vegetables: banana flower, salad, Vietnamese balm, Thai basil...
  • Pepper, seasoning, fish sauce, sugar, cooking oil...

bun rieu cua vietnamese food

How to cook delicious crab noodles

Step 1: Preliminary processing

  • Shake the field crabs with salt and rinse it, then remove the shells, get the crab-roe, the rest is crushed or grind.
  • If you like condensed crab soup, when you pound, add a little more salt, filtering the first extract  will be better than grinding.

bun rieu cua vietnamese food

  • Filter 2-3 times to get enough crab extract liquid to eat and add 1 tablespoon of salt, next stir lightly on medium heat until the crab water is curdle and then take out the curdled crab-roe, put separately.

Step 2: Fry tofu

  • Cut tofu into small pieces
  • Frying tofu in a hot pan.

bun rieu cua vietnamese food

Step 3: Prepare the remaining materials

  • Tomatoes are washed, sliced.
  • Star fruits are washed cleanly and sliced thinly.
  • Neptunia oleracea and herbs are washed and soaked in water with a little dilute salt.

Step 4: Cook broth

  • Set the pan on the stove, fry the chopped dried shallot until it turn to yellow color then pour the crab-roe, quickly stir and turn off the stove, pour the crab-roe into a bowl  separately.
  • Pour sliced tomatoes to stir-fry. If you like beautiful broth colors, you can add 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder.
  • After frying tomatoes, pour it into the crab soup, add a little wine vinegar, a little shrimp paste, spices and then gentle simmer. Next add the pork paste balls, then tofu.

bun rieu cua vietnamese food

Step 5: Enjoy

Arrange the blanched rice vermicelli in a bowl, laid 5-6 pieces of fried tofu with pork paste ball, crab meat, green onions, finely chopped coriander in a corner, then slowly sprinkled with crab broth on a bowl of vermicelli, and enjoy with salad. Savour when it's hot!

bun rieu cua vietnamese food

I wish you all success and good taste with this Vietnamese food!