How to Make Delicious Bun Rieu – Vietnamese Crab Noodle Soup

Vietnamese Crab Noodle Soup

Bun Rieu is a popular Vietnamese noodle soup known for its unique flavor and rich broth. This dish features a savory tomato-based broth, crab meat, tofu, and vermicelli noodles. Follow this step-by-step recipe to create a delicious bowl of Bun Rieu in your own kitchen.


For the broth:

  • 1.5 liters of water
  • 500g pork bones
  • 200g crab paste or crab meat
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (400g)
  • 2 tablespoons shrimp paste
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the filling:

  • 200g tofu, diced
  • 200g ground pork
  • 100g dried shrimp, soaked and minced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For serving:

  • 200g rice vermicelli noodles, cooked according to package instructions
  • Fresh herbs (coriander, mint, Thai basil)
  • Bean sprouts
  • Lime wedges
  • Chopped green onions
  • Fried tofu cubes (optional)
  • Chili sauce (optional)


  1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add the pork bones, onion, and garlic. Simmer for about 30 minutes to create a flavorful broth.
  2. Remove the pork bones from the pot. Add the crab paste or crab meat, diced tomatoes, shrimp paste, fish sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper to the broth. Stir well and simmer for another 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the filling by combining tofu, ground pork, minced dried shrimp, minced shallots, fish sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Mix well.
  4. Wet your hands and shape the filling mixture into small meatballs or patties.
  5. Gently drop the meatballs/patties into the simmering broth. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the filling is cooked through.
  6. Taste the broth and adjust the seasoning if needed, adding more fish sauce, sugar, salt, or pepper according to your preference.
  7. To serve, place a portion of cooked rice vermicelli noodles in a bowl. Ladle the hot broth with crab meat and meatballs over the noodles.
  8. Garnish with fresh herbs, bean sprouts, chopped green onions, and fried tofu cubes if desired. Serve with lime wedges and chili sauce on the side.
  9. Enjoy your delicious bowl of Bun Rieu while it’s hot. Squeeze lime juice and add chili sauce to enhance the flavors according to your taste.

Note: Feel free to customize your Bun Rieu by adding additional toppings like sliced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, or Vietnamese sausage (cha lua).

Conclusion: Now you can savor the flavors of Vietnam with a homemade bowl of Bun Rieu. This delightful noodle soup is a wonderful combination of fragrant broth, succulent crab meat, and tender meatballs. Gather your favorite garnishes, and enjoy this comforting and flavorful Vietnamese dish right at your own table.