When it comes to Vietnamese noodle type soups, most people have heard of the unfortunately named “pho”, (pronounced more like poe then poo if that matters). Yet there is so much more to the soupy noodle world of Vietnam than pho. And in our mind bun rieu is one of the best.
So, what is Bun Rieu?
Bún riêu is a traditional Vietnamese soup of crab and vermicelli. There are several varieties of bún riêu but in the interests of today’s food lesson, we’re gonna concentrate on the crab variety.
Bun Rieu is served with a tomato brother of the crab of a paddy crab. These crabs live in the paddy fields of Vietnam and the paste is created by first putting the crabs into the water to clean out the crab before literally washing the crab shell and all into a pulp. Said pulp is then strained into a fine paste and voila you have crab paste.
The tomato broth then gets mixed with tamarind, vinegar, tofu, onions, water spinach, banana leaves, pork, vermicelli rice noodles, Finally the paste is added before being served piping hot to your table.
What does it taste like?
The flavors in the dish really do combine perfectly, although as is traditional in Vietnam, you are provided with an array of condiments, such as hot sauce and calamansi limes to make the dish to your perfection. I add salt and hot sauce to everything I eat in Vietnam, but hey that’s just how I roll!
Bun Rieu can be eaten throughout the country, but the nearer you are to the sea the better it gets. Therefore much like Bun Cha should be eaten in Hanoi (Obama even tried it), Bun Rieu is a Southern thing. For the best of the best head to Saigon.
Theres a lot f great dishes you ca try in Vietnam, but when you come make sure Bun Rieu is on your list!