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Authentic Bun Rieu Cua Recipe

This recipe is a little bit labor intense and takes a while to finish. The end result will bring you such a rich flavorful soup. Also, make sure to buy a lot of veggie and herbs in order to enjoy the soup to the fullest.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Vietnamese
Servings 4 people


  • Stockpot



  • 1 lb pork bones
  • 1 lb pork ham hocks
  • 1 package ground whole crab (thit cua dong xay san) optional

Raft 1:

  • 6 bulb shallot minced
  • 1 hand full garlic minced
  • 5 Thai chilies optional
  • 2 tsp ground annatto seed or ground paprika
  • 1 lb tomatoes quartered
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 8 oz dried shrimp finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced crab paste
  • 2 tsp shrimp paste
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Raft 2 (Rieu):

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 lb shrimp finely minced
  • 8 oz ground pork
  • 3 tbsp minced crab paste
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp corn starch or tapioca starch

Sides (amount based on your own references):

  • water spinach
  • banana flower
  • shiso leaves
  • basil & mint leaves
  • lime cut into wedges
  • shrimp paste
  • Thai chilies
  • bean sprout
  • Vermicelli (bun)


Making broth:

  • In a stockpot, bring water to boil then add pork bones & ham hocks. Simmer for an hour.
  • If using ground whole crab, in a medium mixing bowl, dissolve the crab mixture into 4 cup of water, Strain and discard any left over crab pieces. Let the new crab water sit for a while.
  • After an hour, remove pork bones but keep pork ham hocks inside the pot. If using ground whole crab, carefully pout the crab water into the pot.

Making raft 1:

  • When waiting for the pork bones and ham hocks to cook, in a large sauteed pan, add 2 tbsp of veggie oil, followed by shallot, garlic, ground annatto seed, Thai chilies then saute for few minutes.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients in raft 1 and mix well. Then add this mixture in the sauteed pan above.
  • Stir and saute until ground pork are completely cooked.
  • Turn off the heat. Add this mixture to the stock pot (after already discarded pork bones) and simmer for another 15 minutes.

Making raft 2 (rieu):

  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients in raft 2, mix well.
  • Make sure the temperature of the stockpot is at simmer (do not let it boil). Then using a spoon and gradually add one spoon of the raft 2 mixture into the stockpot. Rafts (rieu) will be floating on the liquid's surface when they are done cooking.
  • Simmer for another 15 minutes after spoon all the raft 2 mixture into stockpot. Adjust seasoning with fish sauce or salt. The soup is ready to eat at this point.


  • In a biggest dinner bowl, put vermicelli in then ladle the Crab Consomme soup together with ham hocks, tomatoes, rafts. Don't forget to add a little bit amount of each sides into the bowl to experience Bun Rieu to the fullest. Enjoy!
Keyword Asian food, Bun Rieu, Vietnamese Food