Vietnamese paddy crab noodles

(VOVWORLD) - Beside famous "Pho", there are other awesome noodle dishes in Vietnamese cuisine. For example, paddy crab noodles. The broth, the rice vermicelli noodles, the crab paste, and the beautiful selection of condiments like shrimp paste, chilies, limes, and fresh herbs are what make the soup so delicious.

A: Welcome to VOV 24/7’s Food Delight. We’re A and B. And we’re very excited to share with you some cooking tips on today’s program.
B: Hello, you guys. Hello, A.
A: Well, the summer is just around the corner. Now is the time to tighten up my body before hitting the beach. I have just a little extra fat to lose.
B: O, don’t talk to me about weight. You know, I've been spending a ton of time at the gym lately trying to lose weight, but sad to say, I haven't dropped even a pound.
A: Come on, B. More time at the gym doesn't always result in a fit person. If you’re not losing weight, the first place you should be looking is your kitchen. Instead of eating fast food after your workout, feed your body something healthier. Noodles, for example.
B: Are you talking about a big bowl of pho?
A: Well, obviously, pho isn’t the only noodle dish out there. There are other awesome noodle dishes in Vietnamese cuisine. For example, paddy crab noodles. Unlike pho, which has chunks of beef or chicken, the protein component of this dish is crab meat.

Vietnamese paddy crab noodles - ảnh 1 There's nothing like sitting around a small plastic table at a street food stall enjoying a big bowl of Vietnamese paddy crab noodles (Source: ameovat.com)

B: Oh. I must admit I love the dish you're talking about. The broth, the rice vermicelli noodles, the crab paste, and the beautiful selection of condiments like shrimp paste, chilies, limes, and fresh herbs are what make the soup so delicious.
A: And you know what? I have some good news for you. I know Mrs. Nguyen Thi Dieu, who has years of experience making this dish. She's going to teach us how to cook the noodles.
B: Let’s get started. “In this dish, freshwater paddy crabs are used. The crabs are first soaked to remove any dirt and sand. Afterwards, slowly pull off the crabs’ top shells and aprons. The crabs' roes are separated and set aside. The rest of the creature is ground into a fine paste. This paste is strained and the crab liquid is a base for the soup along with tomato. Put the filtered mixture into a pot and turn the oven to a medium heat. Remember to stir frequently to help the crab meat float on the surface. I often use a spoon to skim the crab meat to a bowl. By doing so, when we add other ingredients into the pot, the crab meat pieces will not be broken.”

Vietnamese paddy crab noodles - ảnh 2The dish is served in a bowl with the broth and topped with crab meat, deep-fried tofu, and some perilla leaves, Vietnamese balm, or sliced banana flowers (Source: Eva.vn) 

B: There’re many steps to remember, A. I don’t know whether a newbie cook like me can cook the dish.

A: Oh, calm down, B. I think with just a little patience and some more instruction you can improve your cooking skills. I'll bet Dieu has many more tips for us. Let’s listen. “In a small pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of annatto seeds over medium heat, and cook until the oil becomes an orange-red color. Discard the seeds. Stir-fry the crab roe in the oil with onions and tomatoes to produce a fragrant base. Pour the soup base and the crab meat back into the pot and cook over high heat for 2-3 minutes. Then turn the heat down to medium and season the broth with a fish sauce, salt, and shrimp paste mixture.  The dish is served in a bowl with the broth and topped with crab meat, deep-fried tofu, and some perilla leaves, Vietnamese balm, or sliced banana flowers.”
A: Wow. The combination of flavors, sweet, sour, and savory, create a party in your mouth. There's nothing like sitting around a small plastic table at a street food stall enjoying a big bowl of Vietnamese paddy crab noodles.
B: Yep. The broth’s fresh sourness will chase the summer heat right away.  Delicious and healthful, paddy crab noodles are a dish you shouldn't miss when you visit Vietnam. And now, dear listeners, good bye. Join us again next week here on VOV24/7’s Food Delight.

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