Sunday, June 5, 2016

Banh Canh Cua (Vietnamese Crab Thick Rice Noodle Soup)


2 lbs. Pork Bones
1 Onion
1 Dried Squid
1 Turnip
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
14-16 cups Water
Kosher Salt (season to taste)
Sugar (season to taste)

Shrimp Paste
1 lb. Shrimp
1 tsp. Tapioca Starch
1/2 tsp. Annatto Seed Oil
1 tsp. minced Garlic
1 tsp. chopped Shallots
1/8 tsp. Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp. Sugar
Frying Oil
Black Pepper

Crab Meat
1 Crab
1 Tbsp. Oil
1 tsp. chopped Shallots
1 tsp. minced Garlic
2 Tbsp. Annatto Seed Oil

Other Ingredients
Thick Rice Noodles (2-3 bags)
Tapioca Starch with Water Mixture
Green Onions (White portion)
chopped Cilantro
chopped Green Onions
Chili Pepper
Fried Shallots
cooked Shrimp (optional)

First, fill a pot with water add in 1 tsp. Kosher Salt. Add in the 2 lbs. Pork Bones and blanch the bones. Rinse and set aside.
Roast 1 Dried Squid and set aside. Cut 1 Turnip into smaller pieces and peel 1 Onion.  When you have all of that done.
Fill a different large pot with water, about 14-16 cups.  Add in 1 tsp. Kosher Salt and the blanched Pork Bones.  Bring to a simmer.
Add in the roasted Dried Squid.  Let it simmer for about 15 minutes.  Remember to skim the broth.  After 15 minutes add in the peeled Onion and the Turnip.
Continue to let it simmer for about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

While you let the broth cook, steam 1 Crab.  Let it cool and remove the crab meat.  You should have about 1-1 1/2 cup. Set it aside.
Add 1 Tbsp. Oil.  Add 1 tsp. chopped Shallots and 1 tsp. minced Garlic. Saute for a few seconds. Add in 2 Tbsp. Annatto Seed Oil. Add in the Crab Meat.
Stir for 2-3 minutes and remove from heat.

After 1 hour and 30 minutes, the broth should be done.  Remove the Pork Bones, Dried Squid, Turnip and Onion.  You should be left with only the broth.
Add some Kosher Salt and Sugar, season to your taste.  Add in the cooked Crab Meat. Continue to let it simmer on low heat.

To make the shrimp paste balls add 1 lb. Shrimp into a mortar. Add 1 tsp. Tapioca Starch, 1 tsp. minced Garlic, 1 tsp. chopped Shallots,
1/8 tsp Kosher Salt, 1/2 tsp. Sugar, some Black Pepper and 1/2 tsp. Annatto Seed Oil. Using a pestle, pound until it becomes a paste.
Fill a pan with some oil, scoop the paste onto a spoon and drop it in the oil to fry.  Once it's golden, remove place on paper towel to remove the excess oil.
Set it aside.

Boil some Thick Rice Noodles, drain out and rinse then add it into the soup. Take some Green Onions and cut the white portion and add it into the soup as well.

Mix some Tapioca Starch with Water.  Bring the soup to a high simmer and pour in the mixture to thicken the soup. Add in the Shrimp Paste and serve. You can boil some Shrimp and add into the soup bowl. Have some chopped Cilantro, Chili Pepper, Fried Shallots and Lime to garnish.
Enjoy Banh Canh Cua!

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