vietnamese crab noodle soup impresses australian visitor picture 1

Groundwater described Bun Rieu as a giant cake of congealed pig’s blood perched on top, noting Bun Rieu is a Vietnamese specialty built on a stock made from pork bones, tomatoes, and small freshwater crabs found in rice paddies.

“That stock is served with thin rice noodles, chunks of roasted tomato, crab paste, sometimes pork hock and thick pork rind, tofu, water spinach stems, shredded banana flower, bean sprouts, perilla leaves and fresh mint,” he said.

“Diners can also add tamarind paste, rice vinegar, shrimp paste, lime and chilli to taste. This dish can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and it is absolutely, stupendously delicious,” he added.

He also introduced a few theories regarding the evolution of Bun Rieu, though pretty much everyone agrees that it originated in the Red River Delta in the north, and its popularity then spread via migratory pathways.

Some believe that the soup was always made using freshwater crabs from the extensive rice paddies in this low-lying area; whilst others say that ocean fishermen used unwanted and damaged crabs to make a simple rice dish that eventually morphed into a noodle soup.

The Australian author also pointed out a difference between Bun Rieu in both the north and the south of the country. “In the north it will be fairly restrained, with only crab paste, tomatoes and tofu, while the further south you travel, the more pork, blood pudding and even sea snails are likely to be added,” he noted.

He therefore recommended that visitors go and enjoy the Vietnamese specialty at Bun Rieu Nguyen Canh Chan at D. Nguyen Canh Chan of Cau Kho in District 1 in Ho Chi Minh City or Australian customers could sample the dish at Pho Song Huong at 299 Chapel Road in Bankstown in Sydney.

In Melbourne, diners are encouraged to try the delicacy at Bun Cha Co Dao at 83 Nicholson Street in Footscray, he added.