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Monday, March 08, 2010

Canh Cu Sen (Vietnamese Lotus Root Soup)

Canh Cu Sen (Vietnamese Lotus Root Soup) 1

After boiling pork to make Goi Cu Sen Non Tom Thit (Vietnamese Young Lotus Root Salad with Shrimp and Pork) I like to use the porky broth to make a simple soup. If you're not already boiling pork for another recipe, then I suggest using pork spare ribs instead.

I like the crunchy starchiness of lotus roots and don't need anything else besides salt and fish sauce to taste. Maybe I'll add a dried date for sweetness, but that's about it. A very basic soup for sure. Guess that's why these photos have been sitting around since June 2008.

Perhaps if I were to photograph this soup again I would add more ingredients. Or perhaps not. Canh isn't supposed to be hearty enough to make a meal. Just a light starter before the main course.

Canh Cu Sen (Vietnamese Lotus Root Soup) 2

Canh Cu Sen (Vietnamese Lotus Root Soup)

For two to four servings, you'll need:
Canh (Vietnamese Soup Broth)
1 or 2 segments lotus root, peeled and thinly sliced

Follow my directions for basic Vietnamese soup broth and season with salt and fish sauce to taste. Add a dried date if you wish. Or, since you're already boiling pork, make Goi Cuon (Vietnamese Salad/Spring/Summer Rolls) and use the broth to make this soup.

Lotus roots look like this. Usually one or two segments is plenty for a pot of soup.

Canh Cu Sen (Vietnamese Lotus Root Soup) 3

Peel the thin outer skin.

Canh Cu Sen (Vietnamese Lotus Root Soup) 4

Then, slice thinly. Rinse thoroughly so the center parts are clean.

Canh Cu Sen (Vietnamese Lotus Root Soup) 5

Then just add the slices to your broth, simmering on medium heat for about 15 minutes or until the lotus roots are tender to your liking. I like mine a bit crunchy honestly.

Canh Cu Sen (Vietnamese Lotus Root Soup) 6


My other Vietnamese canh recipes:
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 Du Du (Vietnamese Papaya Soup)
Canh O/Kho Qua Nhoi Thit (Vietnamese Stuffed Bitter Melon Soup)
Canh Rau Cuu Ky (Vietnamese (Chinese) Boxthorn Soup)
Canh Tao/Rong Bien (Vietnamese Seaweed Soup)

1 year ago today, Ca Chien Sot Ca Chua (Vietnamese Fried Fish with Tomato Sauce).
2 years ago today, Nachos, Texas-style.
3 years ago today, I fell in love with the color of my Blood Orange Grapefruit Juice. Everyone else fell in love with my Hello Kitty juicer. :)


  1. Strange, they have an amazing pattern on the roots

  2. I don't think I've ever eaten lotus root in a canh.
    BTW, I think there was some problem with Flickr today -- thus the "unavailable" message on some of the photos. Odd.

  3. Looks yummy. Do you think frozen lotus root would work?

  4. chi wc, do you really have the canh as a starter? we always had canh with the meal, it was something that was on the table too, with all the other veggies and meat dishes... plus, sometimes my g-parents would make me have a bowl of canh at the very end.

    i don't recall ever having lotus root, in any form... but the pattern is beautiful.

  5. bisQue,
    Yup! That's why I love lotus roots. They're just so pretty!

    How do you eat lotus roots? Sometimes if I make a change to the title, or decide on a different size, I have to grab the new HTML code or else it won't show up. Maybe that's it?

    I have no idea. I've only eaten them fresh. No reason why you can't try and see!

    Haha. You caught me. My family usually eats canh with our meals too, but I was trying to distinguish this from pho or bo kho, where those soups would be the whole meal. Actually, in my family, we usually ended the meal with canh. :P

    I once had lotus root and ground pork patties that were wonderful and I've been meaning to recreate them at some point...

  6. hi wc - i've never seen lotus root "whole" before so this was a very informative post. i've only seen them cut up and packaged at the stores. i've had it before with some sort of dressing/marinade on it (soy sauce/sesame oil and something else) which I liked. i'd like to buy these whole next time so i can slice them myself.

  7. I should make this one day with beef ribs or marrow broth :)


  8. I love lotus root soup! My mom likes throwing raw peanuts into the soup to cook but I can't really tell the difference. I also love them when you stuff some ground pork between two slices of lotus root and deep fry the whole thing. Yum.

  9. I have been cooking a lot of lotus root lately... glad to see another version of lotus root soup with Vietnamese broth and the deep fried lotus root. They look delicious :)

  10. CC,
    Really? I'm surprised you haven't encountered it before. I need to do more things with lotus root. I just love the shapes so.

    Sure thing. Substitute with whichever works for you.

    Tiny Bike Girl,
    Ooh, like a Chinese herbal broth? Great idea. I've been meaning to do the ground pork lotus root patties, but just haven't had time.

    Oh you have? I need to check your blog and see.


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