Bún riêu is a traditional Vietnamese meat rice vermicelli soup. There are several varieties of bún riêu, including bún riêu cua, bún riêu cá, and bún riêu ốc. This dish is well-known in the country and in the world.
Bún riêu cua is served with tomato broth and topped with freshwater crab. In this dish, various freshwater paddy crabs are used, including the brown paddy crab found in rice paddies in Vietnam. The crabs are cleaned by being placed in clean water to remove dirt and sand. The crabs are pounded with the shell on into a fine paste. This paste is strained and the crab liquid is a base for the soup along with tomato. The crab residue is used as the basis for crab cakes. Other ingredients for this dish include tamarind paste, fried tofu, mẻ or giấm bổng (kinds of rice vinegar), Garcinia multiflora Champ., annatto seeds (hạt điều màu) to redden the broth, huyết (congealed pig's blood), split water spinach stems, shredded banana flower, rau kinh giới (Elsholtzia ciliata), spearmint, perilla, bean sprouts and chả chay (vegetarian sausage). This dish is rich in nutrition: calcium from the ground crab shells, iron from the congealed pig's blood, and vitamins and fiber from the vegetables.
"Bún riêu" has a fresh sour flavor, so Vietnamese like to enjoy it in summer. There are many restaurants in Vietnam that sell this dish.
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