Banh da cua, or crab noodle soup is a simple but very famous dish of the port city of Hai Phong. Was created 700 years ago, there are 02 regions that’s famous with making this speciality in Hai Phong are Lang Con village, Kien Thuy district and Ho village, An Duong district. With its eye-catching arrangement and intriguing taste, the speciality has made its way to all regions in the country.
The crab used in the dish should be fat crabs caught from rivers or paddys, preferably female with broad abdomens. First they are thoroughly cleaned and the carapaces and crab aprons are removed. The innards (crab butter) is separated and sautéed with onions to be aromatic, rich and custardy.
The crab body and legs are mixed with salt and rinsed before being pounded, traditionally with a stone mortar and wooden pestle. The substance is then filtered to remove big particles of shell. The remaining solution is cooked until it boils and the crab meat forms blocks floating on the water’s surface. The sautéed crab butter is then added to form an appetising colour. Afterwards, the broth is seasoned. Some people even add bone broth to enhance the flavour of the soup.
Banh da, the noodles used in the dish, are made of rice and have a reddish brown colour. They are blanched in boiling water and put into a bowl with peeled prawns, mackerel cakes, and some morning glory on top. Other toppings like pork and egg can also be added. Finally, boiling hot broth is poured into the bowl.
The crab rice noodle must be dried under sunlight then under dew to make it’s tough and having unique taste
A bowl of Banh da cua with an eye-catching appearance and fresh delicious sea flavours is truly an unforgettable dish of Hai Phong.
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