After I made the Canh Du Du (Vietnamese Papaya Soup), I remembered that Koreans often serve seaweed soup to new mothers to replenish iron. I decided to make Canh Rong Bien (Vietnamese Seaweed Soup) instead. My mom used to make this soup quite often when I was growing up. When I saw a package of laver at the grocery store, I purchased it with this soup in mind.
The type of seaweed used in this soup is not the same type used in making sushi. This laver is black with a purplish tint, is dried in thick sheets, and is not seasoned. Don't substitute as nori is far too salty for this type of preparation.
I think my mom used to make this with just a pork broth. Gosh, it's been so long I can't remember. I had leftover broth from making Mi Quang (Vietnamese Quang Nam-style Turmeric Rice Noodles with Pork and Shrimp) so I used that instead. The shrimp and crab in the mi quang broth actually went really well with the seaweed. So you can make pork broth if you wish, but I've modified the directions in this recipe for a simplified version of the mi quang broth instead.
Canh Tao/Rong Bien (Vietnamese Seaweed Soup)
For a 3-quart pot, you'll need:
Half a dozen shrimp, minced
1/4 lb ground pork
1 tomato, finely diced
2 sheets of dried laver
1/2 tsp salt
1 tblsp Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese Fish Sauce), or more according to taste
If you don't want to make this broth, just make Canh (Vietnamese Soup Broth).
Fill a 5-quart stock pot about halfway with water.
I like to buy shrimp with heads on so I can use the shells and heads for soup. Wash and peel the shrimp. Toss the shells and heads into the pot of water and let simmer on high for about 15 minutes.
The laver sheets will come in a pack like this.
You just need one or two sheets, depending on how much seaweed you like. The seaweed strands can be rather long so you might want to cut them into smaller squares before adding them into the pot.
Meanwhile, mince the shrimp and finely dice the tomato.
Scoop out the shrimp shells. Add in the minced shrimp, diced tomato, and ground pork. Add salt and fish sauce and season to taste.
Add the seaweed and stir until the seaweed is all moistened and the soup is evenly mixed.
Serve plain or add rice if you want to make it a meal.
Similar light Vietnamese soups:
Canh Bap Cai Bac Thao (Vietnamese Napa Cabbage Soup)
Canh Bap Cai Nhoi Thit (Vietnamese Stuffed Cabbage Soup)
Canh Bi Voi Tom (Winter Melon Soup with Shrimp)
Canh Bi/Bau Nhoi Thit (Vietnamese Pork-Stuffed Winter Melon Soup)
Canh Chua Ca (Vietnamese Sour Fish Soup)
Canh Chua Tom (Vietnamese Sour Shrimp Soup)
Canh Cu Sen (Vietnamese Lotus Root Soup)
Canh Du Du (Vietnamese Papaya Soup)
Canh O/Kho Qua Nhoi Thit (Vietnamese Stuffed Bitter Melon Soup)
Canh Rau Cuu Ky (Vietnamese (Chinese) Boxthorn Soup)
1 year ago today, Bamboodles Restaurant - San Gabriel (Closed).
2 years ago today, Angkor Thom: Victory Gate, Bayon Temple, Prasats Suor Prat, Terrace of the Leper King, Terrace of the Elephants, and Phimeanakas - Cambodia.
3 years ago today, Japanese Gobo Root (Burdock) Fries.