Vietnamese Crab Cake Noodle Soup (Bún Riêu)

After having that delicious bowl of Bún Riêu for in Oakland, it’s been on my mind. After talking to my husband about locating a good restaurant for it, I decided to make my own. He said I’d find most ingredients I’d need at this Vietnamese grocery store in an area of town recently designated as Little Saigon.

Prior to heading there, I Googled some recipes to get an idea on what ingredients would be required. I wandered the aisles a bit and got confused. I asked one of the guys stocking the shelves for some help and he started to put things into my basket. When he was done, I was armed with various jars and bags. He said all I needed now was the meats and eggs. So in the evening, I went to get the meats.

So using the instructions from the guy at the store and a couple of recipes online, I started to put everything together. Instead of making my soup base from scratch out of pork bones, I used a box of chicken broth, I’m not sure if it makes a huge difference but it saves a lot of work. A food processor with also save you some time but hand-chopping works too.


6 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
4 teaspoons spicy crab paste
1 tablespoon dried shrimp, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4-6 Roma tomatoes, washed & cut into quarters
1 pack of fried tofu cubes

Crab cake:
1/2 pound ground pork (I used lean)
1/2 pound prawns (fresh)
3 tablespoon dried shrimp, minced
1 cup of crab meat, drained 
(crab can be frozen, canned or fresh. I used 2 cans of 120g)
1 can of mince crab in spices
1 shallot, minced
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
1/2 teaspoon sugar
few splashes of fish sauce
1-2 eggs

1. Peel prawns and save tails and heads. Mince the meat or grind in food processor
2. In a large pot, bring water and chicken broth to a simmer and add in prawn tails and heads, simmer low
3. Combine crab meat mixture together, add in 1 egg to start if you find the mixture too dry and not sticking together, add an extra, cover and refrigerate mixture
4. Scoop out heads and tails from broth
5. Using a bit of the broth in a small bowl, combine spicy crab paste and tomato paste until dissolved. Pour into broth
6. Put chopped dried shrimp into broth and bring to a boil
7. Take meat mixture out and slowly slide burger patty sized “cakes” into soup. Try not to stir the soup too much after this point or your cake will crumble
8. Add in tomatoes, tofu and a few splashes of fish sauce
9.  Make noodles according to the packaging (boil appox. 5-10 mins) rinse with cold water to stop them from cooking
10. When the cake floats, it’s almost done, you can break the cake up a bit to check – you can break of the cake a bit in the soup is fine
11. Serve with herbs. (This is what I was told to serve the noodles with but I’m not sure what kind of greens these are…)







You have to look kind of close but you cans see one of my crab cakes starting to float at the top

I prefer the thicker, round rice vermicelli (first photo and the green packaging), but my husband prefers the thinner rice stick vermicelli noodles (red packaging)


5 thoughts on “Vietnamese Crab Cake Noodle Soup (Bún Riêu)

    • I love soup noodles on a cold day!
      I think substituting beef for the pork might make the cake slightly drier and harder, unless you add more crab and less beef.
      Perhaps ground turkey as a pork substitution would be better. Let me know if you try it!

      • I see, maybe ground chicken? I’m sure beef would work, but might be drier.
        Yes, let me know if you do try it with another type of meat! 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s