Vietnamese Soups Recipes

Vietnamese soups recipes to round out your Vietnam meal them. Along with rice, soup is a basic item across S.E. Asia. Sometimes the meal may consist solely of a soup. Pho, a complex soup with the addition of noodles and beef, is Vietnam’s gift to the rest of the world. Make your own delicious and nutritious bowl of Vietnamese pho soup is not difficult with our pho recipe…

 Asparagus and Crab Meat Soup (Mang Tay Nau Cua)


  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tsp of nuoc mam (Vietnamese fish sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 6 shallots – chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves – chopped
  • 8 ounces lump crab meat –
  • picked over and drained
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbs cornstarch or arrowroot – mixed with 2 tbs cold water
  • 1 egg – lightly beaten
  • 15 oz white asparagus spears
  • 1 tbs shredded coriander
  • 1 scallion – thinly sliced Cut into 1 inch sections with canning liquid reserved


Combine broth, 1 tablespoon of the fish sauce, sugar and salt in a 3 quart soup pot. Bring to a boil . Reduce the heat and simmer. Heat the oil in a skillet and dd the shallots and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant .

Add the crab meat, the remaining 2 teaspoons fish sauce and black pepper to taste. Stir fry over high heat for about 1 minute then set aside Bring the soup to a boil . Add the cornstarch mixture and stir gently until the soup thickens and is clear.

While the soup is boiling, add the egg and stir gently, continue to stir for about 1 minute. Add the crab meat mixture and asparagus with its canning liquid and cook gently until heated through. Transfer the soup to a heated tureen . Sprinkle on the coriander, scallion and freshly ground black pepper.

Makes about 4 to 6 servings.

Banh Pho Bo (Beef Noodle Soup Recipe)


  • 3 large onions
  • 1 tbs peanut oil
  • 5 lb beef & chicken bones (choose ones with meat as well)
  • 4 ginger slices – julienned
  • 2 carrots -julienned
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tbs whole black peppercorn
  • 2 garlic clove – crushed
  • 1/2 lb bean sprouts
  • 1/2 lb beef sirloin – finely sliced
  • 1 scallion – finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 chilies – sliced
  • 2 limes (cut into wedges)
  • 8 oz rice sticks – soaked in hot and drained
  • 3 tbs Nuoc mam (Vietnamese fish sauce)
  • Black pepper to taste


Slice 2 of the onions into 1/4 inch slices. Heat 1 tbs oil in a frying pan and add the sliced onions Cook, stirring, until the outside has browned. Remove and drain . Slice the remaining onion into paper-thin slices and set aside.

Rinse the bones and place in a stockpot. Cover with cold water and bring slowly to a boil Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered (For a clear broth skim off foam).

After 10 – 15 minutes, add browned onion and ginger, carrots, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, cloves, garlic and peppercorns. Bring to a boil . Simmer the stock, partially covered for 6 to 12 hours, skimming regularly. If necessary add more water to keep the bones covered.

Strain the stock, skim off, and discard any fat.
To serve: Arrange the sliced beef on a platter. Garnish with reserved white and green onion. On another platter, arrange the bean sprouts, coriander, chiles and limes.

Meanwhile, plunge the rice sticks in boiling water to heat and drain. Place equal portions in each soup bowl and cover to keep warm . Heat beef stock to boiling and season with fish sauce and pepper. Pour into a soup tureen or chafing dish.

At the table, place the soup on a portable warmer to keep hot. Offer each guest a bowl of warm rice noodles. Each diner adds some beef and onion to a bowl and Ladle the hot stock over the meat, stirring to cook the meat. Add the bean sprouts, coriander, chiles, and lime to taste. Enjoy with chopsticks and a soup spoon.


Sour Fish Head Soup (Canh Chua Dau Ca)



  • 2 Scallions, white part only, -crushed with the side of a -knife
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ts Salt
  • 2 tb Plus 4 teaspoons fish sauce -(nuoc mam)
  • 1 lg Fish head or fish carcass, -split down the center
  • 1 qt Water
  • 1/2 c Canned sliced sour bamboo
  • 1/4 Fresh pineapple, cut in a -lengthwise section and -sliced
  • 1 ds MSG (optional)
  • 2 tb Mixed chopped fresh -coriander (Chinese parsley)
  • Scallion green


An excellent way to get twice the pleasure out of your fish purchase. You can use either the fish head of the fish carcass if you wish. To the people of the South, this is as much their traditional dish as Southern Fried Chicken is to our southerners++and it will meet with instant praise

Sprinkle the scallions, black pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and 4 teaspoons fish sauce over the fish head. Allow to stand for 10 to 15 minutes.

Bring 1 quart of water to a boil and drop in the sour bamboo and pineapple slices. Cook at a lively boil for 5 minutes. Drop fish head into the actively boiling water and, keeping at a boil, add the 2 tablespoons fish sauce, remaining teaspoon salt, and a dash of MSG. Boil the fish head for a total of 10 minutes. Transfer to a soup tureen, sprinkle on the coriander and scallion green, and serve.

NOTE: If the fish head is dropped into water that is not boiling, it will fall apart.

Makes 4 servings.

From “The Classic Cuisine of Vietnam“, Bach Ngo and Gloria Zimmerma


Tom Yam Goong (Hot & Sour Soup)


  • 1 qt Water
  • 2 Stalks lemon grass, cut -into 1 1/2″ lengths 4 Kaffir lime leaves, each -torn off center spine 1 lg Shallot, peeled, sliced
  • 6 sm Thai chiles
  • 2 Serrano chiles, sliced -lengthwise 1/2 lb Medium shrimp, peeled and -deveined, tails left on 1/2 c Canned straw mushrooms
  • 3 tb Lime juice
  • 3 tb Fish sauce
  • 1/2 t Salt
  • 1 sm Firm tomato, cut into wedges
  • 1 c Cilantro leaves
  • 1 tb Chopped pak chee farang


Some Asian markets now carry bags of pak chee farang leaves. If you can’t get them, omit, or add a little more cilantro. In some markets they are labled with their Vietnamese name, ngo gal. Place water in 3-quart saucepan. Add lemon grass, line leaves and shallot and bring to boil. Add chiles and shrimp. Cook 2 minutes. Add straw mushrooms, lime juice, fish sauce and salt. Add tomato and cook just until heated, not soft. Turn unstrained soup into serving bowl. (Do not eat lemon grass and lime leaves.) Top with pak chee farang and cilantro leaves.

Each serving contains about: 91 calories; 892 milligrams sodium; 86 milligrams cholesterol; 1 gram fat; 8 grams carbohydrates; 13 grams protein; 0.77 grams fiber.

Vietnamese Hue Noodle Soup (Bun Bo Hue)

My favorite Vietnamese restaurant, “Little Saigon”, serves Bun Bo Hue as a weekend special, starting on Thursday night. Since I can’t move in for the weekend, it is natural that I learn to prepare to make this delicious dish for myself. Now you, too, can enjoy it, without going far from your kitchen!


  • 1 lb ham hocks
  • 6 stalks lemongrass, crushed and sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons nuoc nam
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 ounces boneless sirloin
  • 4 ounces boneless pork loin
  • 16 ounces rice noodles, cooked
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 4 sprigs Thai holy basil (regular basil ok)
  • 4 sprigs fresh mint
  • 4 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • 4 teaspoons sambal oelek or hot chili sauce
  • 4-8 fresh Thai red chili peppers (amount optional)
  • 1 lime, cut into quarters


  1. Bring 2 1/2 quarts water to a boil; add ham hocks and lemongrass.
  2. Skim constantly for 10 minutes then cover the pan, reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2-2 hours.
  3. Strain the broth, reserving ham hocks if you desire them.
  4. Add nuoc mam, sugar, salt and pepper, sirloin, and pork loin to the broth and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until meat is cooked and tender; remove meat.
  5. Thinly slice meats into small pieces
  6. To serve, place a portion of noodles in serving bowl, top with some bean sprouts, pork, beef, and some ham hock (if using), and ladle the broth over; add herbs, chili sauce, chilies, and lime juice to taste