Noodles Diary : Vietnamese Meatball Noodles Soup (Bún riêu)

It’s has been a while since I had time to cook and take photo. And sorry I haven’t posted anything here since my first post. I was crazy busy with my job and even didn’t have time for myself. Today is my day off and I decided not to do anything but staying at home cooking and writing.

I will start my second post here with something I call ” Noodles Diary”. I’m a big fan of noodles, I didn’t notice that until the day I started working for my current company. Noodles becomes my favorite dinner, and I started eat out more often, and my first choice is always noodles. I got chance to go to my favorite lunch place more often: The Lunch Lady, and her food is all about noodles. And whenever I have chance to cook at home, I also love to cook noodles. I love noodles also because we have many different kind of noodles in Vietnam, and they all have different flavor.

I will start my first post for the “Noodles Diary” series here by the first noodles soup that I learned to cook : The Vietnamese Meatball Noodles Soup. I first cooked this noodles soup when I was in the US. We were staying at the Grand Canyon Village, so no Vietnamese restaurant around. And me, to be honest, I couldn’t stand American food, so I started cooking Vietnamese food at home. It’s so hard to find all the ingredients to cook Vietnamese food there. The supermarket there was so boring with all the same stuff everyday: beef, pork, egg, crab sticks, and 3,4 type of vegetables… And one day, our relative from California sent us some spices for cooking and we started cooking some more traditional dishes : Noodles :D

I started with the Meatball Noodles Soup, because my mom usually cooked it at home, so I knew a little bit about the process. But of course,  it’s impossible to find fresh crab at the supermarket, so crab sticks was the only choice. And for sure no mint, basil, bean sprout, morning glory or banana flower… But it’s still a very good one. We were almost crying when we got to eat that soup. And I cooked that noodles soup quite often then.

And since I came back from the US, I’ve never cooked that noodles soup again. So many good food around so somehow I forgot about cooking. And today, it’s been nearly 2 years since I first cooked that noodles, I can find all the stuff I need at the market near my house, fresh crab, all kind of vegetables… But for me, the best noodles I had is still the one I cooked in the US.

Bun Rieu

This is the soup I cooked in the US.

And now, I’ll show you how to cook this delicious soup :D. Get ready !


* What you need ?

– Mud crab (also called black crab) (if you can’t find the fresh one, you can use crab sticks like I did :) )

– Pork bone

– Ground pork

– Fried tofu

– Eggs

– Tomato

– Mushroom

– Vegetable and herbs

– And noodles of course :D


* How to cook?

+ The Soup

You need the minced crab like this


Then add some water, and filter the crab water like this


For the pork bone, you marinate and then cook with lemongrass


For the tomato, you cut to small pieces and then fry with cooking oil

IMG_9757   IMG_9769

Then you cook the crab water, then add the pork broth and the fried tomato to the soup ( leave some fried tomato for the meatball)


Then you add more tomato, mushroom and white onion to the soup. Add seasoning as you like and then you will have a soup like this :)

IMG_9773       IMG_9784


+ Meatball

You mince the “Cat’s ear mushroom” ( not sure the name is right or not)

IMG_9756     IMG_9758

Then mix the ground pork, minced mushroom, fried tomato, eggs and spring onion together, add some seasoning as well

IMG_9772  IMG_9775 IMG_9777

Now it’s time to finish the soup. You add the meatballs and tofu to the soup, add seasoning again to make sure the soup has the taste that you wish. And ta da…here come the soup :D


If you like fried onion, you can make some as well

IMG_9755  IMG_9767

Now let’s enjoy the  soup. Get the noodles, add some pork bone that you cooked before, some vegetable and herbs, and put the fried onion on the top…yummy

IMG_9778  IMG_9788  IMG_9787

Final photo :D. Good luck and have fun cooking

Bun Rieu

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