What’s “Bun Rieu”?

Hello fellow bloggers, friends, and family! Hope you’re all having a great weekend so far. I love having my friends and family over for dinner. Most of the time when I have friends over I like to make this Vietnamese tomato seafood noodle soup dish (wow that’s a mouthful). This dish is called “bun rieu”. Some of you may have heard of or seen this in some Vietnamese restaurants. This is my “go to” dish when I can’t think of what I’m going to make. Today I’ve decided to post this on my blog because a lot of my friends have asked me how I make it. So rather than repeating myself over and over again, now I can just tell them to go to this blog. It’s kind of a win win situation. You get to somewhat see and learn how I make this dish and I don’t have to keep repeating myself.

So you want to start off with:

  • 2 Tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbsp purple shrimp paste (don’t ask me why it’s purple????)
  • 3 Tbsp canned minced prawn in spices
  • 4 Tbsp canola cooking oil
  • 1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1 cup clam meat (or 1 can baby clams)
  • 1 can escargots
  • 1 cup crab meat
  • 1 small package of deep fried bean curd
  • 3 cans whole tomatoes (or 8-10 fresh tomatoes)
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1 package of fish tofu

Here’s the brand of shrimp paste and hot sauce I like to use. The hot sauce is added to your bowl right before you eat it but never added into the pot of soup.

And the brand of minced prawn, whole tomatoes, and chicken broth that I also use for this soup.

Heat up the oil and dump in the garlic, shrimp paste, and minced prawn. Mix these around until the garlic turns a slight golden colour. Throw in the shrimp, clams, escargots, crab meat, and deep fried bean curd. Cook for about 10 minutes or until all the shrimp have been fully cooked.

Next throw in the tomatoes, but break the tomatoes in half with a spatula inside the pot to let out more juice and flavor. Pour in the chicken broth. Then use the same can from the chicken broth and add in the same amount of water. Lastly, add in the fish tofu and turn the heat to high. Once your soup comes to a boil, it is ready to eat.

There’s one extra ingredient that you can add if you want but you can leave this out if it’s too much trouble or if you don’t have the time. I think this ingredient is worth the extra time though. You’ll need to add 5 tablespoons of minced prawn into a bowl and 5 large eggs. Some people like to add ground pork here as well but I’m not a pork fan so I like to leave out the pork. Beat the eggs and the minced prawn together. Put this in the microwave for 4 minutes.

It should look something like steamed egg when it comes out of the microwave.

Spoon small pieces into your soup.

And now you have a large bowl of “bun rieu” to feed 6 – 10 people.

Don’t forget the vermicelli of course. Basically boil some water and throw in 1 pack of vermicelli. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes in boiling water. Strain out the water and let the vermicelli cool for about another 10 minutes. Here are some veggies that you can add to your bowl. We used shredded regular and red cabbage (left), mint, shredded “ong choy“, shredded banana flowers (middle), and some chopped up green onions.

This is my bowl. I added all the veggies cause I’m a veggie girl. The kids had a similar bowl like mine but smaller and all cut up into tiny pieces for their tiny munchkin mouths.

Here’s the hubby’s bowl. He added a piece of beef brisket from the beef noodle soup we had the other day. Men and their meats. This bowl doesn’t look all that big here but look at it in the picture below.

The happy, hungry hubby with his gigantic bowl of seafood tomato noodle soup. If you noticed, that bowl is bigger than his head. Dude has been referred to as “the bottomless pit” before.

Ok now my friends can stop asking me how I make this soup cause I have it all right here in my bloggie. I hope you enjoy this soup if you ever try making it. Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

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6 Responses to “What’s “Bun Rieu”?”


  1. 1 Twins March 7, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    haa haa … now we know your recipe for Bun Hue and I’ll make it at home but I still would like to come over for supper tho. I love your blog!!

    • 2 luvtoeat March 7, 2010 at 3:58 pm

      Thanx buddycakes πŸ™‚ Silly, that’s the whole reason why I posted this, so you guys can stop asking me. Of course you’re still welcome to come over anytime.

  2. 3 serena March 9, 2010 at 5:22 am

    got to say, i’ve never tried microwaving the eggs, always steam them, and take them out w/the ‘claw’. i can relate to your food adventures, since they are soo home style, and the place you go out to eat are the places i would visit too.

  3. 4 A Canadian Foodie June 12, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    Oh mY! I think I feel a lesson at my house coming on! Kiddies in tow… I have a playroom! This looks deadly delicious – and I do NOT want to attempt it unsupervised.
    πŸ™‚


  1. 1 Only Here for the Food » Blog Archive » Culinary Q & A with LeQuan Trackback on June 9, 2010 at 10:56 pm
  2. 2 Expect the Unexpected « luvtoeat Trackback on September 13, 2010 at 7:08 am

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