Bánh Canh Cua

Bánh canh cua is a Vietnamese noodle soup made with thick noodles, crabs, pork, and a rich broth.

Lastest Updated January 6, 2024
Verified by A-Z Cuisines Team
  • Street Food
  • Traditional
Home » Dishes A-Z » Bánh Canh Cua

Fact: In Vietnam, bánh canh cua typically has a higher price than other bánh canh variants, all thanks to the addition of crabs.

Basic Information

Bánh Canh Cua: Basic Information

Pronunciation

/bɑːn kɑːn kwaː/

Alternative Name(s)

No

Dish Type

Noodle soups, rice dishes

Course

Main Course

Mealtime

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Origin and Region

Bánh Canh Cua: Origin and Region

Origin

Vietnam

Continent’s Region

Southeast Asia

Country’s Region

Nationwide Origin

Associated Region

Unspecified
Vietnam Map
A Deep Dive

Popular Bánh Canh Cua Variations

Ingredients and Preparation

Bánh Canh Cua: Ingredients and Preparation

Main Ingredients

Noodles (tapioca or rice), crab, shrimp, mushrooms, pork

Main Cooking Method

Boiling and simmering

Preparation Process

Crab boils are used to infuse the broth with seafood flavor, then add other ingredients to the soup along with the noodles.
A Deep Dive

Bánh Canh Cua: A Deep Dive

Cultural Significance

A more luxurious version of bánh canh with crab meat

Taste

Savory

Texture

Thick, slippery noodles, tender meat

Aroma

Seafood

Color

Clear broth or orange

Serving Style

In a bowl

Serving Temperature

Hot

Accompaniment

Fresh vegetables

Occasions

On any occasions

Seasons

Year-round

Special Diets

Gluten-free

Calories

379 calories, according to data of MyFitnessPal for 1 bowl of banh canh cua.

Popularity

Vietnam

Popular Similar Dishes

  1. Bánh Đa Cua
  2. Bún Riêu Cua

Popular Dining Area

Street food stalls, restaurants, and home kitchens in Vietnam.

Bánh canh cua is a Vietnamese thick noodle soup with noodles made from either rice or tapioca. As for the main highlight, crabs are the main attraction as it’s often boiled and served cut in half in a bowl.

Banh Canh Cua Overview

To make the street-side dish more flavorful, the broth fully utilizes the water of boiling crab to infuse a strong seafood flavor. Additionally, the crab meat is only a part of the topping as the pork knuckles, shrimp, and straw mushrooms are also used to diversify the experience.

Besides the clear broth, some versions of bánh canh cua even employ cashew oil to produce a more attractive orange broth.

After getting to know the features of bánh canh cua, make sure to follow along to figure out its variants, how this dish is made, and the spots to find this dish in Vietnam before diving deeper into the advantages and disadvantages of eating it.

Plus, I’d like to give you some answers to common questions revolving around the dish. Then, explore some dishes that have similar features to bánh canh cua.

Key Points

  • Bánh canh cua is a Vietnamese noodle soup with crab and thick, slippery noodles.
  • The broth is made from boiling crab shells and meat and has a strong seafood flavor.
  • The dish has toppings like pork knuckles, shrimp, and straw mushrooms.

Bánh Canh Cua Images

What Are the Many Versions of Bánh Canh Cua?

Bánh canh cua is not about crab only, as many ingredients are used to produce various versions of this treat:

Banh Canh Cua Cha Ca

Features slices of fish cake alongside crab in a rich broth

Banh Canh Cua Ghe

Utilizes the distinctive taste of blue crab, known for its sweet meat

Banh Canh Cua Gio Heo

Includes pork trotters for a gelatinous texture and richer flavor profile in the broth

Banh Canh Cua Xao

Offer stir-fried crab meat that provides a caramelized flavor
Served in a broth with toppings

Banh Canh Cua Lot

Highlights the soft profile of peeled crab

Banh Canh Cua Nuoc Cot Dua

Characterized by the creamy, sweet taste of coconut milk in the broth

Banh Canh Cua Phong Tom

Distinguished by the crunchy texture of shrimp crackers added on top

Banh Canh Cua Roi

Named after the separation of the tapioca noodles when served

After knowing about the variants of bánh canh cua, you should have a look at the process of making a standard bowl of this lovely crab noodle soup.

How to Make Bánh Canh Cua?

Making bánh canh cua is all about balancing the flavor that ideally brings out the flavor of the crabs in the dish:

Step 1: Broth Preparation

Start by boiling crab shells in water to create a rich seafood stock. This may take a couple of hours to extract all the flavors. Season the broth with salt, fish sauce, and a bit of sugar to taste.

Step 2: Crab Preparation

Once cooked, remove the crab meat from the shells. However, some often just cut the crab in half for serving.

Step 3: Additional Toppings

Prepare additional toppings like pork knuckles, shrimp, and straw mushrooms. Pork knuckles are typically simmered until tender, shrimp are peeled and deveined, and mushrooms are cleaned and sliced.

Step 4: Noodle Preparation

Bánh canh noodles, which are thicker than most other Vietnamese noodles, are either homemade or store-bought. They are boiled until they are just tender and then rinsed under cold water to stop the cooking process.

Step 5: Assembling the Bowl

Place a portion of the cooked noodles in a bowl. Add the prepared toppings, including the crab meat, pork, shrimp, and mushrooms.

Step 6: Finishing the Broth

Before serving, ensure the broth is seasoned to your liking and hot. Some versions of the dish may also include a spoonful of annatto oil for color.

Step 7: Serving

Pour the hot broth over the noodles and toppings into the bowl. Garnish with chopped green onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. Chili paste or fish sauce can be added to taste.

The process of making bánh canh cua is relatively laborious, but it’s worth it. However, you should prepare yourself with some of the locations that sell bánh canh cua in Vietnam.

Where to Eat Bánh Canh Cua in Vietnam?

When in Vietnam, these destinations are your ticket to get a lovely bowl of bánh canh cua to enjoy the flavor of Vietnamese cuisine:

In Vietnam

Bánh canh cua Trần Khắc Chân
Address: 87 Tran Khac Chan, Tan Dinh ward, District 1, HCMC
Opening time: 11 AM – 8 PM
Bánh canh cua Bà Ba
Address: 84/6 Nguyen Bieu Street, Ward 1, District 5, HCMC
Opening time: 3 PM – 9 PM
Bánh canh cua Tôn Thất Đạm
Address: No. 8, Ton That Dam, Nguyen Thai Binh ward, District 1, HCMC
Opening time: 7 AM – 11 AM

Remember, these are just some of the locations that specialize in bánh canh cua to deliver the best experience. Now, you should also be aware of the benefits and drawbacks of eating bánh canh cua to determine whether this dish fits your taste buds or not.

Pros and Cons of Eating Bánh Canh Cua

These are the features that many should consider carefully when eating bánh canh cua:

Pros

  • Flavorful: The use of fresh crabs and a rich broth offers a depth of flavor that is both satisfying and complex.
  • Satiety: The combination of protein, fat, and carbohydrates makes for a filling meal that satisfies hunger effectively.
  • Versatility: The dish is customized with various toppings and spices to suit individual tastes and dietary preferences.

Cons

  • Preparation time: Making bánh canh cua from scratch is time-consuming and is not suitable for a quick meal option.
  • Seasonality: The quality and taste of the dish depend on the crab’s seasonality, affecting its year-round availability.

Before you head out to enjoy bánh canh cua, make sure to learn about some of the inquiries that people often have about the dish.

Bánh Canh Cua FAQs

In case the noodles are made solely from tapioca, then bánh canh cua is gluten-free.

Bánh canh cua can be part of a healthy diet if consumed in moderation due to its balance of protein, carbs, and fats.

It’s best enjoyed fresh and hot, often garnished with fresh herbs and a squeeze of lime.

It’s eaten with a spoon and chopsticks, enjoying the soup and solid ingredients together.

Similar Dishes of Bánh Canh Cua

Banh Da Cua

Bánh đa cua is a Vietnamese noodle soup from Hai Phong, featuring flat rice noodles, crab-and-pork broth, and various toppings.

Bun Rieu Cua

Bún riêu cua is a Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of rice vermicelli, a clear crab-based broth, crab cakes, and other toppings.

Truc Tran (Kris)

Truc Tran (Kris)

Senior Food Editor

Expertise

Home Cooking, Meal Planning, Recipe Development, Baking and Pastry, Food Editor, Cooking-video Maker, Vietnamese Food Evaluation Expert

Education

  • Hospitality (Commercial Cookery) at TasTAFE
  • Culinary Arts at Kendall College (Australia Branch in Sydney)
  • Vietnamese Cuisine Head Chef at HNAAu School (Vietnam, International Joint Training Program)

Truc Tran (Kris), an experienced food writer and editor, is great at exploring and describing global cuisines, from simple street food to fancy dining. In her writing, she skillfully mixes different flavors, cooking methods, and culinary traditions, showing the unique character of various cultures through their food and drinks. On azcuisines.com, Kris highlights her knowledge, especially in Asian cuisine and worldwide traditional dishes.

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