Bún riêu is a traditional Vietnamese meat rice vermicelli soup. There are several varieties of bún riêu, including bún riêu cua, bún riêu cá, and bún riêu ốc. This dish is well-known in the country and in the world.
Bún riêu cua is served with tomato broth and topped with freshwater crab . In this dish, various freshwater paddy crabs are used, including the brown paddy crab found in rice paddies in Vietnam. The crabs are cleaned by being placed in clean water to remove dirt and sand. The crabs are pounded with the shell on into a fine paste. This paste is strained and the crab liquid is a base for the soup along with tomato. The crab residue is used as the basis for crab cakes. Other ingredients for this dish include tamarind paste, fried tofu, mẻ or giấm bổng (kinds of rice vinegar), Garcinia multiflora Champ., annatto seeds (hạt điều màu) to redden the broth, huyết (congealed pig’s blood), split water spinach stems, shredded banana flower, rau kinh giới (Elsholtzia ciliata), spearmint, perilla, bean sprouts and chả chay (vegetarian sausage). This dish is rich in nutrition: calcium from the ground crab shells, iron from the congealed pig’s blood, and vitamins and fiber from the vegetables.
In a cold winter night, there is nothing more desirable than having a hot bowl of bún riêu, Vietnamese crab based soup noodle dish ((bún: rice vermicelli; riêu: paddy crabs’ paste). One of the highlights is its flavor, which is light, yet with well-rounded crab taste, not too oily, a bit sour and sweet. Such essence is embodied only in a bowl of light red colored tomato broth.
The rich protein of bún riêu comes from small crabs living in the paddy fields, rather than luxurious crabs in the sea. As Vietnam used to be an agricultural country relying on wet rice cultivation, paddy crab is a familiar ingredient to almost every Vietnamese person. In the past, many Vietnamese farmers earned their living by fumbling to catch crabs in fields, ponds or rivers.
While people may think that its broth is seafood-based, the traditional broth is actually from pork bone (pork bone is boiled for many hours so that the broth is naturally sweet). The ‘hero’ of this dish is crab mixture (riêu), which is sautéd with tomatoes, contributing to a slight tart and sweetness of this soup noodle. That crab paste immediately melts once it touches your tongue, yet the crab flavor would remain until you finish the portion. Bún riêu is served with broth, tofu puffs, banana bulb, bean sprouts, etc. Sometimes, people also eat with chilli, lemonade or beef, sausage. If you are a big fan of seafood, don’t forget to try bún riêu when visiting Hanoi.
- Paddy crabs (crab meat and crab roe)
- Materials make a sour like garcinia multiflora (quả dọc), dracontomelon (quả sấu), tamarind (quả me), starfruit (quả khế),…
- Vegetables: perilla (tía tô), Vietnamese balm (kinh giới), sliced banana flowers (hoa chuối thái nhỏ), rau muống, ferment or rice vinegar (mẻ hoặc giấm bổng)
– Tràng Tiền alley (next to Nguyễn Khắc Cần street)
– 11 Hàng Bạc Street
– 23 Nguyễn Siêu Street
– 44 Hàng Buồm Street (open from 3 p.m)
– 82 Thợ Nhuộm Street (only lunch time)
Let explore Hanoi food with Hanoi Street Food Tour
In addition, To enjoy the most beautiful sightseeings in Vietnam by your eyes, you can see some itineraries below Halong Bay Cruises – Hanoi Tour – Vietnam Tours – Sapa Tours – Package Tours or book a private car to discover where ever you want to enjoy the Vietnamese taste.