Monday, June 15, 2009

Why My Mom's Banh Canh Cua (Vietnamese Thick Noodle Soup with Crab) Is Better Than Your Momma's

3 Why My Mom's Banh Canh Cua (Vietnamese Thick Noodle Soup with Crab) Is Better Than Your Momma's 1


As if you couldn't already tell by the photo, here's why my momma's Banh Canh Cua (Vietnamese Thick Noodle Soup with Crab) is better than your momma's. And more reason why I don't share family recipes on the blog.

We start off with lots of Dungeness crab that my parents caught off the Oregon coast. None of this pig's feet banh canh that I sometimes see. Crab version only for me.

Mom makes her own noodles. I was upstairs and totally missed taking pictures of my mom adding water to the dough, rolling it out, and slicing the noodles.


3 Why My Mom's Banh Canh Cua (Vietnamese Thick Noodle Soup with Crab) Is Better Than Your Momma's 2


My ba noi (Vietnamese paternal grandmother) made her own noodles too. Her version was thinner, more translucent noodles. I've tried recreating both mom's and grandma's, but I have yet to master that technique.

A little Hanh Phi (Vietnamese Fried Shallots) goes a long way to add flavor.


3 Why My Mom's Banh Canh Cua (Vietnamese Thick Noodle Soup with Crab) Is Better Than Your Momma's 3


Boiling the fresh noodles.


3 Why My Mom's Banh Canh Cua (Vietnamese Thick Noodle Soup with Crab) Is Better Than Your Momma's 4


Mmm. I ate two bowls. Probably could have eaten more, but my stomach only has so much room. Perfect breakfast/brunch/lunch/dinner/any time of day food.


3 Why My Mom's Banh Canh Cua (Vietnamese Thick Noodle Soup with Crab) Is Better Than Your Momma's 5


We had banh canh cua again for dinner when my dad came home from work. Along with a nice Vietnamese salad of lotus roots, squid, and shrimp.


3 Why My Mom's Banh Canh Cua (Vietnamese Thick Noodle Soup with Crab) Is Better Than Your Momma's 6


The next day, I met up with Darlene of Blazing Hot Wok. So the night before, my mom set aside some noodles and flat-leafed chives for me to make up a fresh bowl for her. Can't serve up banh canh with the noodles all waterlogged and mushy!


3 Why My Mom's Banh Canh Cua (Vietnamese Thick Noodle Soup with Crab) Is Better Than Your Momma's 7


Vintage Corningware. I get my thrift store love from my mom who has the bargain hunting down pat. She knows which stores have sales on which days. Her best deals? A brand new, still-in-box wine fridge for $24 and a brand new, still-in-box Zojirushi rice cooker for $5.


3 Why My Mom's Banh Canh Cua (Vietnamese Thick Noodle Soup with Crab) Is Better Than Your Momma's 8


Mmm. Look at all that lump crab meat. Makes such a sweet broth. But the lighting in the kitchen was a bit dim, so I went outside to photograph my bowl.


3 Why My Mom's Banh Canh Cua (Vietnamese Thick Noodle Soup with Crab) Is Better Than Your Momma's 9


Much better. As if you weren't salivating already.


3 Why My Mom's Banh Canh Cua (Vietnamese Thick Noodle Soup with Crab) Is Better Than Your Momma's 10


Having experienced my mom's banh xeo (Vietnamese sizzling crepes), Darlene brought a bouquet of flowers to thank my mom.


3 Why My Mom's Banh Canh Cua (Vietnamese Thick Noodle Soup with Crab) Is Better Than Your Momma's 11


That night after work, my mom pointed out the flowers to my dad. Her friend gave me flowers after only feeding her once!

Aww. I sometimes take it for granted that my mom cooks really well. She felt so appreciated that day.

Thanks Darlene!

All Oregon posts can be found with the tag Series: Oregon, but I suggest reading this particular trip in this order:
PDX and My Parents' Chihuahuas
Salvador Molly's - Portland - Oregon
Why My Mom's Banh Canh Cua (Vietnamese Thick Noodle Soup with Crab) Is Better Than Your Momma's
Ha & VL - Portland - Oregon
Karma Cafe - Portland - Oregon
Oc Xao Nam He (Vietnamese Clams Sauteed with Mushrooms and Chives)
Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden - Grant Park - Portland - Oregon
Pok Pok - Portland - Oregon
Portland Farmers Market at PSU - Portland - Oregon
Downtown Portland - Oregon Redux
Mill Ends Park (Smallest Park in the World) - Portland - Oregon
Tabor - Portland - Oregon
Kenny & Zuke's Delicatessen - Portland - Oregon 
Mom's Chao Vit (Vietnamese Rice Porridge with Duck)
Oriental Food Value Supermarket - Portland - Oregon
Mom's Bun Bo Hue (Vietnamese Hue-Style Beef Noodle Soup)

*****
1 year ago today, Orange and Fennel Salad.
2 years ago today, oregano and How to Dry Herbs.

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17 comments:

  1. Looks delicious...since you have no recipe posted, I guess I will just have to go make your crock pot Pho..which my husband loves.

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  2. your momma's is mos def better than my momma's, but ssshhhhh let's not tell her :)

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  3. I'm salivating over your pictures. Last month, a friend traveled to Saigon and Hanoi. I couldn't stop drooling when I saw all his pictures.

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  4. What a coincidence I just had crab last night! My friend's mom told me how to make the noodles, but I have yet to muster enough courage to try to do it by myself. :P

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  5. Yowza. Looks so amazing. And cute title to your post! :P

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  6. My mom hasn't made banh canh cua so your momma's is by default better ;-) Looks delish -- really, can you go too far wrong with fresh caught crab?!

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  7. hi wc - wow, that soup looks delicious! not being vietnamese, i wasn't lucky enough to have grown up eating that! yummm!

    re: vintage Corningware - OMG, my parents still have their set with the blue cornflower! they also have a set with roosters on them! it's probably worth something too. i saw a vintage set at an antique store - the smallest covered dish was going for $50! my mom won't part with her old stuff. stuff that's at least 35 years old, maybe older.

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  8. Mmm! Fresh noodles and crab! Definite plus. I nor my mom have never made banh canh cua so your mom's version is by default better (again, like vitually all of your Vietnamese food posts).

    I'm further impressed with the photo of shallots. At 1/5 of a second you only got the photo to be minimally blurry on a lens that doesn't have image stabilization... You have really steady hands! If it was me with the camera I would need at least 1/20 or 1/60 of a second for the shutter click, if not even faster.

    I love that style of corningware. Most stores don't even sell that shape/style anymore. All of the stores only seem to have corningware that is not for stovetop. I've only found that similar type in Asia! Too far and too heavy to lug home!

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  9. Ooh - them's fighting words!

    Looks fantastic. I want a bowl of your momma's and my Um's, then maybe I could do some comparison. Or just greedily and happily gobble both!

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  10. The crab looks so sweet. Can you elaborate on the noodles- rice or wheat- and any idea how she does them? They look like they would have a nice chew to them? Corningware, Pyrex- its all good and I love finding and using it.

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  11. Wow, I never had banh canh cua with homemade noodles. I can only imagine how expectional it elavates the bowl.

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  12. Robin,
    Haha. But it's not even anywhere near as good.

    Anna,
    Well, your momma's Greek food is better than my momma's. :P

    Pepy,
    You know what that means? That you have to make a trip to Vietnam yourself so you can eat!

    Diana,
    I tried once, but it just didn't turn out the same. Of course, this was before blogging. I might try it again some day since I'm a better cook now.

    Marie,
    Haha. Thanks.

    Nikki,
    That's the thing. Other versions of banh canh just can't compete with fresh crab. Plus, since my parents caught it and it's free, we don't skimp on the crab. Restaurants can't do that because it wouldn't be cost-effective.

    CC,
    I've never seen Corningware with roosters on them? The old stuff is better because you could take it straight from the freezer to the oven. The newer stuff might look pretty, but it's really more like stoneware and not nearly as durable.

    ETE,
    Haha. The picture doesn't deserve nearly that much analysis. I only just got my XTi when I went up to PDX so all photos were rather shaky at best. :P

    Oanh,
    You're the first person to disagree! Or want to argue the point. Haha!

    H,
    It's a combo of flours actually. I do have the recipe, I just don't want to share it. :)

    Bonnibella,
    Too many restaurants substitute with udon or needle noodles. Not nearly as good as the real thing.

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  13. I can't disagree with your title either! (I'll never tell my mom, but please tell yours she's left me...[almost] speechless.)

    Say, if I'm in the area and I bring a really nice bouquet of flowers, could I eat some of her food too?

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  14. WC,
    At least most of them were OK :). I'm sure now you would know to adjust the ISO or make the aperture larger to compensate for that slow shutter speed.

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  15. Tammy,
    My mom would be tickled that you want her cooking so badly you'd attempt a bribe. :)

    ETE,
    I knew about ISO before, but not about aperture. Had no idea what the f stop was for. I had it at 4.5 because that's what Mochachocolata Rita told me was her standard setting. But that made the photos too dark and fuzzy for me.

    Then WeezerMonkey explained f stops to me and said what works for someone else wouldn't necessarily work the same for me, different lighting conditions and all that.

    Anyway, I'm still learning!

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  16. WC,
    I hope one day you will help us salivating readers, by teaching us how to make it...love your blog and thank you for sharing your fantasic recipes.
    HV

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  17. HV,
    Even if I did, I still haven't been able to replicate my mom or my grandma's noodles.

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