Vietnamese Soup Recipes

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Canh Ga Ham Thuoc Bac: Vietnamese Black Chicken Soup Recipe Recipe

Canh gà hầm thuốc bắc, or "stewed black chicken soup" in Vietnamese, is known for its medicinal properties. It's the cultural equivalent of chicken noodle soup when you feel sick. In addition to its purported healing properties, it has a reputation of enhancing lactation for breast-feeding mothers. I don't know if it really helped nourish my baby girl but the broth is very tasty.

"Gà ác", which literally translates to "cruel chicken" is black chicken. It's parboiled then cooked overnight in a slow cooker. The soup requires several ingredients called thuốc bắc (traditional Chinese medicinal herbs and roots). It's composed of several kinds of dried mushrooms, gojee berries, ginseng, almonds, dried dates, dried jujube, dried lily bulbs, dried longans and fresh ginger. The addition of dried fruits makes a delicious broth with a complex flavor and natural sweetness.


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Mi Do Bien Recipe (Seafood Noodle Soup Recipe) Recipe

It's been windy and cloudy in the Bay Area and we just changed all the comforters and blankets, so everyone is comfy and cozy in their beds. Having hearty, warm meals helps out a lot during the rest of the day, and being Vietnamese, I can’t think of anything heartier than soup. Soup is probably the quintessential comfort food in Vietnamese cuisine. I’ve made many types in the past, and today I created a Vietnamese egg noodle soup with seafood, called mì đồ biển.

The soup consists of flavorful fish stock with fresh egg noodles, shrimp, quail eggs, baby squid and halibut (or any white fish). It is completed with Chinese chives (called hẹ in Vietnamese) and green onions.


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Papaya Soup Recipe (Canh Du Du) Recipe

Papaya Soup Recipe (Canh Du Du)

11.15.11 by Jackie

I love incorporating fruits in savory dishes. Soups are a great way to do it, and today I made a soup similar to Vietnamese pumpkin soup (canh), but substituted ripe papaya for the pumpkin. It's called "canh đu đủ" in Vietnamese. I made the soup using chicken stock; you could use fish stock, vegetable broth or any other of your favorite flavorings. The natural sweetness from the papaya balances the flavors of a soup broth very well. At first sight, the beautiful orange color is reminiscent of fall colors due to the presence of carotenes in papaya. The flavor is quite different though. If you're looking for a healthy, flavorful soup, this is it.

In addition to tasting delicious, in Asian culture, old wives' tales say that papaya soup increases lactation for breastfeeding women. True or not, if you've just given birth, this recipe could help.


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Canh Chua Tom Recipe (Vietnamese Shrimp Soup) Recipe

Canh chua tôm literally translates to "sour shrimp soup" in Vietnamese. The name and the flavor come from the combination of kaffir lime leaves, tamarind and pineapple. A hint of spiciness from Thai chiles makes the soup especially soothing. I've been a bit under the weather the past few days and the warm broth worked wonders on my congestion.

There are many variations of this seafood recipe. In this particular version, I mixed oyster mushrooms and fresh water chestnuts, which added crunch to the soup. I served it as a main course, so I added rice round noodles to make the meal complete. If you decide to serve it at an Asian-themed dinner, this canh (soup) is a light way to start a meal.


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Canh Khoai Mo Recipe (Vietnamese Yam and Shrimp Soup) Recipe

Khoai mỡ is an exotic yam that originates from Asia. The root vegetable has a rough, charcoal-colored skin with a creamy flesh. It's grated and cooked until soften. The texture is unique once it's cooked. It's resembles pork fat, hence the word "mỡ", which means "fat" ("khoai" means "potato"). Like many other Buddhist vegetarian dishes, this ingredient is used to imitate meat. However, this time I served it with shrimp balls and taro pieces ("khoai cao") in a soup.

This vegetable was not available in France, so I didn't have it as a child. I first tasted it in a temple in Saigon. It’s very versatile, and can be served either as a dessert or in a "canh" ("soup" in Vietnamese). Khoai mỡ is one of those ingredients that are quite expensive in America but cost almost nothing in Saigon. In Vietnam, this type of root vegetable are planted in great abundance but here, in the US, canh khoai mỡ is more a nostalgic dish that takes you down memory lane if you grew up in Vietnam.


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