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Thursday, June 03, 2010

Canh Tan O (Vietnamese Chrysanthemum Greens Soup)

Canh Tan O (Vietnamese Chrysanthemum Greens Soup) 1

This isn't really a recipe as much as it's a suggestion for what to do when you've boiled pork and shrimp to make Goi Cuon (Vietnamese Salad Rolls) or for any number of Vietnamese salads.

What do you do with the leftover Canh (Vietnamese Soup Broth)?

You toss in some greens and make soup.

A typical Vietnamese meal would include a meat dish, a vegetable, and a soup. Each component doesn't have to be heavy or a full meal. You could have a simple stir-fry, boiled vegetables, and a light, brothy soup like this.

Use up the ingredients while cooking and get multiple dishes. Nothing particularly revelatory, but these photos have been sitting around since February 2008 so I figured I might as well blog it.

Chrysanthemum leaves are one of my favorite greens. They can be added to hotpots, used to flavor soups, or stir-fried. They're very high in vitamin K, as well as manganese, beta carotene, and B9.

Canh Tan O (Vietnamese Chrysanthemum Greens Soup) 2

Canh Tan O (Vietnamese Chrysanthemum Greens Soup)

For a 2-quart pot, you'll need:
1 lb chrysanthemum leaves
Canh (Vietnamese Soup Broth) or any other broth of your choice
Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese Fish Sauce) to taste

Chrysanthemum leaves in my youngest uncle's garden. You can buy them at most Asian grocery stores.

Canh Tan O (Vietnamese Chrysanthemum Greens Soup) 3

Pluck off the leaves and the tender tops. Discard the woody bottom parts of the stems. Wash and rinse the leaves.

Canh Tan O (Vietnamese Chrysanthemum Greens Soup) 4

Heat up the pot of broth and add fish sauce to taste. Then add the greens and simmer for only a few minutes since the delicate leaves cook very quickly. Serve with rice.

Canh Tan O (Vietnamese Chrysanthemum Greens Soup) 5


Other green soups:
Aguadito de Pollo (Peruvian Chicken Soup)
Aguadito-ish Vegetable Soup with Cilantro Puree
Caldo Verde (Portuguese Green Broth)
Canh Bap Cai Bac Thao (Vietnamese Napa Cabbage Soup)
Canh Cai La Xanh (Vietnamese Collard Greens Soup)
Canh Rau Cuu Ky (Vietnamese (Chinese) Boxthorn Soup)
Stinging Nettle Soup
Zuppa Toscana (Italian Tuscan Soup) alla Olive Garden

1 year ago today, Weekend Wokking #13 (Lemon).
2 years ago today, Cha Gio Bap (Vietnamese Corn Egg Rolls).
3 years ago today, Chao Tom (Vietnamese Grilled Shrimp Paste Wrapped Around Sugarcane).


  1. WC, this post reminded me of a question I've been meaning to ask you.
    Do you know any sites that give a good comprehensive list of the names of Vietnamese leafy greens and other vegetables in Vietnamese and hopefully what they are in English too, and how to use them, please? I know most are used in soups as I asked the owner of the shop I go to but he wasn't able to tell me much else. I'd love to branch out further in cooling Vietnamese meals.

  2. Isom,
    As far as I know, there are several sites that do a pretty good list of Vietnamese herbs, but not vegetables or leafy greens. I've got a Chinese vegetable book that has a lot of crossover with Vietnamese cooking. Been meaning to do just a basic primer on Vietnamese herbs, so doing one on leafy greens and vegetables would be good too. Great suggestion! Most do get used in soups or stir-fries though so the recipes are pretty similar.


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