/Traditionally, Vietnamese Bun Rieu is cooked with crab. This is a vegan and vegetarian version, so the crab has been replaced with a fluffy tofu)
Whenever my mom cooks this soupy noodle dish, my mind scurries back in time to when I was a little girl trailing after my grandma at temple.
After Vietnamese school on Sundays, my grandparents often picked my sister and I up, and then they’d buy us a $6 bowl of vegetarian bun rieu for lunch. Delicious. Hearty. Tomato-ey. A big hug for my stomach. That’s what this bowl of noodle-y soup feels like: a big warm hug.
It pulls on my nostalgic heartstrings and I can almost feel the warmth of the plastic bowl of soup in between my hands, smell the incense burning from the building behind me, and see my grandma’s wrinkled face smiling at me from across the table.
This bowl probably won’t be pulling on your heartstrings, but I guarantee that it’ll make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. The recipe is below and some photos of the steps are included after the recipe.
- 6.06 oz. Tofu mix (soybean curd mix)
- 5 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 quarts of water
- 1 onion
- 2 apples
- 2 carrots
- Napa cabbage (as much as you want)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- Salt to taste
- 24 oz. Baby Bella mushrooms (halved)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 full tsp of oriental mixed chili (chili, paprika, ginger, onion powder)
- 4 large roma tomatoes (cut in eights)
- 3 Ladies Brand Rice Stick (fine noodles) - 10.58 oz or 300 grams
- Add the tofu packet and 5 cups of water into a pot. Whisk until there are no more lumps.
- Strain the lumps by using a strainer to scoop them out of the pot, then using a spoon to push them back through into the pot. Add 1 tsp of salt.
- Bring the pot to a boil and stir occasionally as it is heating up.
- Once the pot is boiling, lower the heat and add the lemon juice.
- Turn the heat down to low/medium heat. Watch it closely as it simmers.
- Do Not stir. Tilt the pot back and fort occasionally. The soy will puff up, rise, and separate from the water.
- The Tofu comes together and solidifies.
- Turn up the heat to medium and let it boil for ten minutes.
- In a separate large pot, add 3 quarts of water, 1 onion, 2 carrots, 2 apples, and napa cabbage and boil until the vegetables are soft. Remove the vegetables once they are soft, then add the 4 cups of vegetable broth and salt to taste.
- Then stir in the oriental mixed chili, add the broth, tofu, and roma tomatoes. Bring the pot to a boil and add the mushrooms.
- Follow the instructions
Tofu – step by step photos
The tofu is probably the trickiest part about this recipe and it’s my favorite part, but I think that if you’re unable to find this tofu, you can also just add in whatever other tofu you can find.
I hope you try this out and enjoy! Have a wonderful day and stay happy and healthy, y’all!