28/12/2015 09:09 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Crab Noodle Soup from Hai Phong

Banh da cua, or crab noodle soup is a simple but very famous dish of the port city of Hai Phong. With its eye-catching arrangement and intriguing taste, the speciality has made its way to all regions in the country. 
The crab used in the dish should be fat crabs caught from rivers or paddys, preferably female with broad abdomens. First they are thoroughly cleaned and the carapaces and crab aprons are removed. The innards (crab butter) is separated and sautéed with onions to be aromatic, rich and custardy.

The crab body and legs are mixed with salt and rinsed before being pounded, traditionally with a stone mortar and wooden pestle. The substance is then filtered to remove big particles of shell. The remaining solution is cooked until it boils and the crab meat forms blocks floating on the water’s surface. The sautéed crab butter is then added to form an appetising colour. Afterwards, the broth is seasoned. Some people even add bone broth to enhance the flavour of the soup.


Main ingredients to make Banh da cua.

A delicious bowl of Banh da cua needs to have beef wrapped in piper lolot leaves, fish cakes, crab butter and prawns.

The signature ingredient of Banh da cua is Banh da, reddish brown noodles made from rice.

Green onions, tomatoes and morning glory are the vegetables often served with Banh da cua. 

Broth made from crab has a natural sweetness.

A bowl of Banh da cua is full of sea flavours.

Banh da, the noodles used in the dish, are made of rice and have a reddish brown colour. They are blanched in boiling water and put into a bowl with peeled prawns, mackerel cakes, and some morning glory on top. Other toppings like pork and egg can also be added. Finally, boiling hot broth is poured into the bowl.

A bowl of Banh da cua with an eye-catching appearance and fresh delicious sea  flavours  is truly an unforgettable dish of Hai Phong.

By Khanh Long