Bun Rieu just like your mama’s

Omg. Seriously when I posted the videos of me making bun rieu on instagram, I did not think so many people would care. But I got sooooo many responses from it, and so many people asking me for the recipe! And in case you don’t know what bun rieu is, it’s a Vietnamese noodle soup dish. The dish usually contains noodles, crab and shrimp meatballs, tomatoes and fried tofu topped with lots of veggies.

This was my first time ever cooking bun rieu and it literally took me about 4 hours to cook this dish but it turned out soooo good! Here’s how I made it. (Some of the measuring might be a little bit off because I kind of freestyled some of it, but only a little bit).

Broth ingredients:
3 lbs pork bones
1 whole onion
1 inch piece of ginger
1 Tbs sugar
7 tomatoes, chopped ( I use a lot more because I loveeee tomatoes)
1 pack fried tofu puffs ( A big pack if you love tofu
1 pack rice stick noodles (Honestly, you’ll probably need like 3 packs)
5 Tbsp of crab paste
4 Tbsp of sugar
5 Tbsp of salt
2 Tbsp of black pepper
4 Tsp Shrimp paste

Crab/Shrimp mixture:
1 lb peeled shrimp
1 lb fresh crabmeat
4 Tbs seasoned crab paste
1 Tbs fine shrimp paste
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 shallot, minced
3 “head” of green onions, chopped
5 eggs


  1. Place the pork bones into a 8qt pot (larger than large pot). Cover the bones with cold water. Let the water come to a boil and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes. This step is to remove the impurities from the bones. You can also wash the bones with salt water at the beginning for extra impurity removal.
  2. Drain the water and rinse the bones with cold running water. Wash the pot and add the bones to the pot with water again. Turn the heat up high, when it starts boiling, reduce heat to medium low to simmer.
  3. Add onion, ginger and sugar. Simmer the broth for about 2 hours. The longer it simmers, the more flavorful the broth is. Simmer with the lid mostly on to keep the water from evaporating.
  4. While the broth is cooking, you can cook your noodles. Be sure to stir the noodles a lot. These noodles are a lot stickier than say, spaghetti.
  5. If you’re a pro, you can start on the shrimp and crab mixture while both of these are going on. If you’re not a pro, I suggest waiting till the noodles are done because those burn easily if not stirred often.
  6. Cut the tomatoes into quarters. Depending on the tomato size, you may be able to cut it into more than quarters.
  7. After the broth has been simmering for two hours, take the pork bones out.
  8. Add crab paste, shrimp paste, sugar, salt, and black pepper.
  9. Taste it and add more crab paste or salt to increase saltiness.
  10. Bring pot to a boil again.
  11. Take out the crab and shrimp mixture and spoon it freely into the boiling pot to form meatballs. Once the meatballs are floating, that means they are done.
  12. Add the tomatoes and tofu.

VOILA! The broth is done.

Crab and shrimp mixture

  1. In a food processor, add the shrimp, crabmeat, shrimp paste, crab paste, garlic, shallot, green onions, egg (every ingredient). Blend it all up. Place in fridge till ready.


To serve: Add noodle into a bowl, add the broth with meatballs, tomatoes and tofu.
To garnish: Place some green onions on top along with thinly sliced onions, chopped lettuce, cilantro, mint leaves, and a squeeze of lime.










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