Vietnamese Soup Recipes

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Kiem Recipe (Vietnamese Vegetarian Pumpkin Soup) Recipe

This year, the Asian New Year celebration (called Tết in Vietnamese) will happen during the first week of February, according to the Lunar calendar. I've mentioned in the past that, traditionally, you're required to eat vegetarian food (ăn chay) on the last day of the previous year and the first day of New Year.

Today, I'm sharing a vegan dish called kiểm that's a staple during the celebration. The dish is a sweet, savory soup made of pumpkin, bananas, coconut milk, mung beans, lotus seeds, wood ear mushrooms, sweet potatoes, ginger, tofu and raw peanuts. This is not a very common dish and it's only made for the celebration. If you know its origin, please let me know in the feedback section.

The winner of this week's giveaway is Amanda O. Congratulations and I hope you enjoy using my first cookbook about gourmet potato dishes as much I did developing the recipes!


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Canh Tan O Recipe (Vietnamese Chrysanthemum and Shrimp Soup) Recipe

Canh tần ô is a very common Vietnamese soup. It consists of chrysanthemum leaves and shrimp balls in a thin broth. It's a very healthy, light meal. I added a few scoops of steamed jasmine brown rice to make the meal complete. 

I'm giving losing the baby weight another go, and this is my "day 1" meal. Wish me luck!

 


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Banh Canh Recipe (Vietnamese Shrimp Broth with Udon Noodles) Recipe

Bánh canh tôm is what I consider comfort food. The warm broth with thick, chewy Vietnamese tapioca noodles is very satisfying. Unlike the usual comfort food you might expect, this Vietnamese soup is pretty healthy. I made this banh canh variation with "tôm" (shrimp), homemade fish balls made by our family friend, Co Nho, and pieces of yellowtail snapper. This specific fish works well because of its mild aroma and firm texture when boiled.

In my opinion, the most important part of soup dishes such as pho or bun mang ga is how flavorful the broth is. I made a shrimp stock using shrimp shells. You could also add coconut milk but I didn't as I'm trying to watch my weight!


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Canh Ngot Recipe (Vietnamese Fish Soup) Recipe

My friend Hoa is an expert when it comes to buying the freshest, most delicious ingredients. I've probably said it in the past but I only cook seafood according to what's available at the market. She told me about this wonderful seafood market on Tully road in San Jose, and boy, was she right! Today I found freshly caught cá hồng, which translates to "red snapper". I made cá nấu canh ngót, a Vietnamese popular fish soup made with Chinese celery.

The texture of the soup is similar to canh chua the difference being that lemon juice is squeezed right in before eating the soup and no lemon or sour ingredients are added to the broth while cooking. You'll be amazed at how simple and easy this seafood soup is to make. The key to success is really just fresh ingredients. That's it!


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Bun Rieu Cua Recipe (Vietnamese Crab Noodle Soup) Recipe

This soup, called bún riêu, is typical Vietnamese comfort food. It's paired with the usual Vietnamese aromatic herbs and topped with other vegetables and fried tofu for a complete meal.

Just thinking about this seafood dish makes my mouth water! Tomorrow, my cousin Tri and his wife Tran are coming over to greet us for the Lunar New Year. So I spent today making a delicious, though a tad time-consuming (but oh-so worth it) soup dish for them. Bún riêu cua is a briny crab rice noodle soup garnished with feathery-like crab cakes in tomato and fermented shrimp (called mắm tôm) broth. Once you're ready to serve, shredded lettuce and mint finish the dish for added crunch along with lime and a drizzle of nuoc mam. 



If you love crab, this dish is ideal for you. If not, you could always try the veggie version (bún riêu chay) I make for the rest of my family members who are vegetarian. Either way, what a great way to start the year!


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