Bánh Canh Cua Recipe (Vietnamese Crab Tapioca Noodle Soup)

One of the reasons that I began my blog is to find out how to cook Vietnamese food items that I can’t find in the normal way. Three dishes that pop into my thoughts when I think of that dish are Banh canh cua, Bun Rieu and Banh canh gio heo tom. In large Vietnamese American communities, these meals are not available in every restaurant as they’re not popular meals.

Many way to cook Vietnamese Banh canh cua

Banh canh cua one reason is the fact that it’s an acquired taste since it’s a soup that’s thick that is topped with chewy noodles. The texture of the soup isn’t for everyone. many. I personally didn’t enjoy it at all as a kid due to this reason. However, as I grew older, it certainly grew on me. It’s a shame I could discover it more often, and that’s why I decided to create an article on how to make it.

Ingredients for Bánh Canh Cua recipe
Ingredients for Bánh Canh Cua recipe

What is the Banh Canh Cua?

banh canh cua (which means crab soup with noodles) is a soup made of noodle consisting of a thick tapioca broth , served alongside banh canh (tapioca noodles) and served with shrimp, pork, and crab. The broth is a vibrant orange color and an extremely sticky, thick texture. The texture of the broth is similar to the texture of tapioca noodles, which are extremely chewy. Traditional toppings for banh canh cua recipe include shrimp, pork, crab and chopped green onions. Like every Vietnamese dish there are variations based on the recipe that you’re making. Some other toppings I’ve seen are blood cakes, eggs of quail and even Chinese Fried Dough (Youtiao).

Ingredients, Substitutions , and Adjustments


  • Pork shoulder Pork shoulder is my preferred cut of beef for soups due to the fat content that ensures a full and rich broth. In this recipe I used the pork shoulder that has bone as the bone increases the level of richness. If you are unable to locate pork shoulder with bones, I’d recommend buying 2 pounds of shoulder pork and the other cuts of pork that have bones.
  • The yellow onions It adds sweetness the broth. It is a good alternative to white onions.
  • dried shrimp Adds sweetness the broth. You could substitute 14 1 pound of raw shrimp If you’re unable to locate dried shrimp.
  • Daikon Daikon sweetness to your broth. If you don’t have daikon, I suggest adding another yellow onion to make up for.
  • Food coloring It adds umami and a hint of salt in the soup. My personal favorite type of brand is Three Crabs fish sauce.
  • The powder of Chicken BrothPowder of chicken broth is basically the powdered form of chicken Bouillon. An excellent substitute is 1 bottle of the chicken’s broth.
  • Tapioca starch is what gives the broth its sticky, thick texture. Since this soup is built around tapioca starch, I’d certainly try using it if I could find it. If you’re looking to replace it, I’d choose corn starch.
  • Annatto seeds and vegetable oil The simmering of these two ingredients together will create the annatto oil, which provides the broth with its orange hue. If you’re unable to locate the annatto seeds I’d simply leave it out.
Create beautiful colors for Banh canh cua soup

Noodle Soup Toppings

Here are the most popular toppings I’ve seen however don’t hesitate to play around with your own. I’ve also observed blood cake and even Chinese donuts that have been fried.

  • Crab flesh This is the main ingredient on this dish. I purchased cooked crab meat at the grocery store however, it’s better to make use of the crab meat that comes that is fresh from crabs.
  • Shrimp Any kind of shrimp can be used for this recipe.
  • Banh Canh Tapioca noodles are usually located in Asian supermarkets, however in the event that you cannot locate them, I’d replace them with Udon.
  • Fried shallots adds a crispy texture to the soup.
  • green onions It’s not required however it does add a freshness to the dish.
Soup for banh canh cua

Making my banh canh cua

Make sure you have all the ingredients ready to make your broth

The first couple of steps involve preparing the broth ingredients. The first step is to heat the oven for broiling. roast the onion in the oven for around 20 minutes, until the onion has charred on the exterior. Then to place the shrimp that have dried in the bowl of water. Set aside. Boil the shoulder of pork. Place the pork in the soup pot and cover with water , so that it is able to cover the pork. Bring it to a boil, then simmer for about ten minutes. Remove the pork bits and discard the liquid. Clean the pot, then add the pork back into the pot.

Banh canh for Vietnamese Crab & Shrimp Tapioca Noodle Soup

Then, you can make your banh-canh cua broth and noodles bowls

Now it’s time to make your broth. Add the onions that have been broiled as well as the soaked shrimp, daikon and salt into the pan. Pour water to the pot until it covers ingredients. Bring the soup to a boil, then let it simmer for about 45 minutes. Be sure to inspect the soup at least every 15 minutes for any impurities. Clean up any impurities you find. While the broth simmers make your toppings. Bring your shrimp to a boil and then banh canh. Set aside. After simmering for about 45 minutes the pork should be cooked. Remove the pork and remove the bones from the meat. Slice the pork into pieces that are bite-sized. Return the bones to the broth. Add the chicken broth powder as well as fish sauce, and cook for an additional 30 minutes.

While the broth is simmering make the Annatto oil. Combine the annatto seeds and vegetables in a saucepan. Cook for about 1-2 minutes or until the oil begins to turn orange. Set aside. After the soup simmers for about 30 minutes Mix the tapioca starch into two thirds cup of the water, and add it to the broth. Let it simmer for 5 minutes, to increase the thickness. Finally include the oil from annatto and the broth is ready! The next step is to make your bowls of noodles. Put banh canh in the bowl. Add pork, crab meat shrimp, green onions and crispy shallots. Serve!

How do you cook the pork?

A clear, clean broth is created by simmering the pork. This is a fundamental method to make Vietnamese soup-based broths. Pork is full of gross, squishy pieces that pop out when you first begin boiling it. The broth becomes dark and unappetizing. To boil pork, mix both water and pork in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer for 10 minutes, then remove the pot from the heat. Remove the pork and drain the liquid. Bring the pork back to the pot, and cover with fresh water. Make sure you clean the pot before adding the pork as those unclean pieces will remain in the pot. If you can master this method then you will be able to master not just this particular dish, but other Vietnamese dishes that are popular, such as Canh Chua Ca or Bun Rieu.

Additional tips on how to create an ideal banh canh cua

Use only a little water while making the broth.

If you use excessive amounts of water while making your broth, this can reduce the flavor of the different ingredients. Be sure to include enough water to over the ingredients.

Keep the broth at a simmer

When you’ve started boiling your broth, you must make sure that the broth doesn’t get to an amount that causes it to start boiling over. If the broth is boiling too often, it can cause a cloudy broth.


My mom Banh canh cua recipe

Which crab do you prefer to make use of to prepare Banh Canh Cua?

We used mud crabs for this recipe, however any crab can work. In general, males tend to have more meat whereas females have more orange roe , so it’s really up to your preference. The majority of the time, we get just the one we like.

How can I prevent my noodles from adhering to each other?

Tapioca noodles tend to form clumps if removed from water to dry. To prevent this from happening you can apply a drizzle of vegetable oil to stop the particles from sticking to each another.

What can I make to replace potato starch?

In the event that potato starch doesn’t seem to be readily available the corn starch can be an option that is available in a majority of Asian grocery stores.


  • Utilize freshly caught crab. Not only will it naturally enhance the flavor of the broth, but you’ll also enjoy a deep crab flavor that isn’t able to be replicated using frozen crabs.
  • Place the prawns on the surface of a hard surface. To give it a more springy taste Take the prawn mixture in your hands and then toss it into the bowl or on a chopping board a few times in order to make it more springy when it is cooked.
  • Chargrill your vegetables. Keep the skin on and gently char the vegetables until they begin to blacken and then remove the skin before adding them to the broth. This adds dimension.

Other Vietnamese Noodle Soup recipes

Vietnamese Crab & Shrimp Tapioca Noodle Soup (Bánh Canh Cua Recipe)

A simple recipe for a soup that is thick and noodle-like, made of pork, crab, shrimp as well as tapioca noodles.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 29 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Course Breakfast, Main Course, noodles
Cuisine vietnamese
Servings 5 BIG BOWLS
Calories 995 kcal



  • 3 lbs of pork shoulder with bones, cut into pieces
  • 1. Yellow onion Yellow onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 daikon
  • 1 Tbsp of fish sauce
  • 10 dry shrimp
  • 1 tbsp poultry broth powder
  • 1 Cup Tapioca Starch


  • A quarter cup of the crab's meat
  • 1/2 lb shrimp
  • 2 tbsp fried shallots
  • 2 packages banh canh
  • 2 stalks of of green onions minced

Annatto Oil


Prep broth ingredients

  • Broil the oven then bake for about 20 mins, until it's charred on its exterior. Set aside.
  • Dried shrimp should be soaked in water for 10 mins. Set aside.
  • Cook the pork shoulder in a broth to wash the meat. Place the pork into an empty soup pan. Fill the pot with water until it is able to cover the pork. Bring it to a boil and simmer for about ten minutes. Remove the pork and pour out the rest of your water. Clean the pot, then run the pork under the water to wash off any gross parts. Return the pork to the pot of soup that has been cleaned.

Make the soup

  • Now it's time to make your broth. Add the onion that has been broiled and shrimp, the daikon, shrimp that have been dried, along with salt, to your pot. Pour in the water until it covers the entire ingredients. Bring the soup to a boil, then allow to simmer for approximately 45 minutes. While simmering, be sure you check the soup at least every 15 minutes, to remove any impurities.
  • While the soup is simmering cook your toppings. Bring your shrimp to a boil and then banh canh. Set aside.
  • After 45 minutes of simmering after which the meat will be cooked. Remove the meat from the bones, and then add the bones back into the pot. The meat is cut into pieces that are bite-sized and place aside.
  • Mix in the fish sauce, as well as chicken broth powder. Let it cook for 30 minutes.
  • While the broth simmers you can make the Annatto oil. Combine the annatto seeds and vegetable oils in a saucepan and let it simmer for about a minute until the oil begins to turn orange. Place the dish on a plate to cool.
  • Make a slurry of tapioca starch in 1/3 cup water. When the soup is finished simmering and thickening, add the tapioca slurry. The soup should simmer for 5 minutes until it begins to increase the thickness.
  • Then, add the oil of annatto, and then your soup is complete.

Mix up your bowls of noodles

  • Now is the an opportunity to mix up your noodles bowls together. Put noodles in a bowl. Serve with pork shoulder and shrimp, crab meat cooked shallots, fried shallots and minced green onions . Enjoy!


  • How to cook the pork Clean and clear broth is made by boiling the pork. Pork is full of gross pieces that are released when you begin boiling it. The broth turns dark and unappetizing. To cook pork, mix both water and pork in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer for 10 minutes, then remove the pot from the heat. Take the pork pieces out and drain the liquid. Return the pork pieces to the pot, and cover with fresh water. Make sure you clean the pot prior to adding the pork since the gross pieces will remain in the pot.
  • Don’t overuse water while creating the soup If you use excessive amounts of water while making the soup, it can dilute the flavors of all ingredients. Be sure to add just enough water to over the ingredients.
  • Keep your broth at a slow simmer. Once you begin the process of simmering your broth, be sure that the broth doesn’t get to an amount that it begins boiling once more. If the broth gets too hot, it will result in cloudy broth. often, it can result in a cloudy and sour broth.
Keyword banh canh cua recipe, Vietnamese Crab & Shrimp Tapioca Noodle Soup

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