Vietnamese Crab Noodle Soup - Bun Rieu Recipe - Chichilicious

Vietnamese Crab Noodle Soup – Bun Rieu

I love noodle soups. Actually anything soupy I’m obsessed, I can live off it. It’s my ultimate comfort food. This Vietnamese pork and crab noodle soup recipe is one of the first soup noodle recipes I learned to make. It’s one of those soups that don’t require a whole day of simmering to get the deep, rich flavors. It doesn’t have a ton of ingredients, so it’s considered a “quick” soup. It’s the perfect soup for the end of summer so you can use up some of those tomatoes from the garden while keeping you warm from the chilly nights.


Vietnamese Crab Noodle Soup - Bun Rieu Recipe

Tomato based pork broth with crab meatballs.
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 6 pork Bones
  • 1 onion
  • 1 Tbsp tamarind paste
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 1/2 Tbsp palm sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tube Soft tofu optional

Crab meatball

  • 750 g minced pork
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper ground
  • 5 eggs
  • 200 g crab paste with bean oil


  • 2 cup bean sprout
  • 1 green onion
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1 cup Parilla leaves
  • 2 lime wedges
  • chilli paste


  • In a large stockpot clean the pork bones, add about 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Add the Pork bones and cook for about 5 minutes. Drain and wash the pot.
  • Fill the stockpot with 4.5 Litres of water and bring to a boil. Add the pork bones, tamaring paste, and onion and boil for 15 minutes.
  • Cut the tomatoes into quarters. Add to the pot. Add the palm sugar and 1 1/2 tsp of salt. Simmer for another 15-20 minutes.
  • In the meantime prepare the crab meatballs, In a large bowl put the minced pork, 2 tsp salt, ground white pepper, eggs, and the jar of crab paste with bean oil, mix well.
  • In another large bowl place the noodles and submerge them in cold water.
  • While the soup is simmering on medium high heat, drop large spoonfuls of crab mixture into the pot. Continue until there is no more mixture. Boil without the lid for another 15-20 minutes.
  • Add some boiling water back into the soup, back to the amount of water when we first started with. It will be pretty clear how much has reduced. Add the fish sauce and tofu. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed.

to assemble

  • In a small pot bring some water to a boil and add the noodles, the noodles I buy are already individual portions. It is about 1 1/2 cups of cooked noodles per person. Boil the noodles for 30 seconds, drain and place in a bowl. Serve with desired garnishes and a squeeze of lime and chili paste. For those who like a little more salt add a teaspoon of fish sauce. Enjoy!


Tamarind paste can be found at most Asian markets, they can be sold in a jar, in a powder form, or the pulp with the seed in a small plastic bag. The best would be the jar without any seeds, But if you do find the one with the seeds just make sure to use a small sieve to add it to the stockpot.The crab paste in bean oil brand that I use is Lee Brand, and it comes in a jar, you can see that there's a red layer of oil on the top, don't worry its not spicy. Sometimes you can also find it in a small tin, I have used those too but you will need at least 2.


Calories: 328kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 170mg | Sodium: 1295mg | Potassium: 620mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 998IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Diet: Gluten Free
Keyword: comfort food, noodle soup, tomato, winter
Author: Chichi
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