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Friday, April 13, 2007

My Second-Youngest Uncle's Wife's Bun Rieu Cua (Vietnamese Shrimp and Crab Noodle Soup)

My cousin asked me if I knew how to make bun rieu cua (Vietnamese shrimp and crab noodle soup). I said I didn't but that her mother made the best so why was she asking me? And lo and behold, the other night when I was over, my second-youngest uncle's wife was making bun rieu. I had already eaten so she sent me home with this. There's a Ziploc bag with shredded cabbage, tia to (Vietnamese purple perilla), kinh gioi (Vietnamese balm), and lemon quarters, and another bag of rice vermicelli noodles.
And a big container of her special bun rieu, a tomato broth with chunks of shrimp and crab paste, pieces of shrimp, imitation crab meat, oc (Vietnamese water snails), tofu, and tomatoes.
When soups are homemade, I tend to go easy on the broth so nothing is wasted. But otherwise, quite tasty isn't it?
Here's a close-up.
With such homecooking readily available, then's been little incentive for me to learn how to make my own. Afterall, the family wouldn't cook for me if they thought I knew how to cook, would they? ;) January 4, 2010 update: I finally made my own version of bun rieu cua tom oc (Vietnamese crab and shrimp paste rice vermicelli noodle soup with sea snails).


  1. i told you to make some cuz you had so much tomatoes in hand and i like bun rieu with lots of tomatoes. i was merely giving you a suggestion.

    it seems like a complicated soup to make cuz i requested all the time, but i never stood in the kitchen to watch my mom make it.

    my mom calls me and asked me what i wanna eat or for her to buy me at the market. i said i already went to the market so i dont need anything, but she can make me bun rieu when she has time. she really want me to come over cuz she misses mel so she said she was gonna make some tonight...

    my mom bought a lot of tomatoes and put a lot into the soup, but she didnt give me a lot to take home. she said it disappeared in the soup. haha

    sometimes i rather get it myself, but she always wanna do it for me. my soup lacked tomatoes!

    it was yummy. i love it. its my fave foods.

    restaurants cant seem to make it right.

    i think if you knew how to make it, she would still make it cuz my other aunties can make it too but its just not as good. hah

    my mom is not gonna be around forever...

    learn! learn! learn!


  2. Who can send me home with this? ;p
    This should be another homemade secret. Is such dish served in Vnese eateries?

  3. Hey WC - Now I understand...I've asked a few people I know about where to find good Bun Rieu and Bun Mam, and have always been told, my second aunt, my aunt, my mother...my ___ fill in the blanks! Also your post and photos are a great resource for me. Whenever I want Bun Rieu...I'll just show the Missus this post...and she can't help but give in!

  4. Could you please get the recipe? This is my absolute favorite Vietnamese noodle dish because the taste is very close to Malaysian noodles. I love love love this and would love to know how to make it at home. ;)

  5. t,
    I can probably figure it out. It's not terribly complicated. Just a lot of ingredients. But if I make it, are you gonna eat it? :)

    Yes, it's a pretty regular item in most VNese restaurants, but not all of them will necessarily make it good. Heh.

    I thought the Missus was a bun rieu fan too?

    After your hokkien mee recipe, is there room for another noodle dish? ;) I can probably figure out the recipe by taste alone, but then, you could probably do it yourself too! :P

  6. Hi WC - She is a big fan of Bun Rieu...but doesn't often crave it! My favorite Bun Bo Hue place is Her favorite Bun Rieu place...so I'll show Her this post anytime I want my Bun Bo Hue....sorry, should have been more clear!

  7. I'm so jealous! My mom cooks good and all, but god damn that noodle soup looks goood!

  8. Hi Kirk,
    Hey, anything that gets the Missus eating VNese food is a plus in my book! :)

    Jaded One,
    The soup was quite tasty! My mom's a great cook too but she doesn't make bun rieu. :(

  9. yes, we need and beg for that recipe!!! (maybe I'll skip the snails part..)

  10. Heidi,
    I'll probably get to this some time this winter. It's a good winter soup. The snails are the best part. :)

  11. "With such homecooking readily available, then's been little incentive for me to learn how to make my own. Afterall, the family wouldn't cook for me if they thought I knew how to cook, would they?"

    This is madness! Here you have the opportunity to learn how to make something great and that you love... don't miss out on it! What if you have a craving (or your partner has a craving) and there's no one around to make it?? Just like changing a tire... Learn it!

  12. Davanny,
    Did you bother to even read the post? I mentioned and linked to my own recipe for bun rieu. It's far better than my aunt's since she uses canned crab paste in her version.

    Instead of chastising people, why don't you READ!


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