Growing up this was one of my least favorite soups but as an adult my recipe is much different from my mom's. I think I've catered it to my own taste buds so I love it now! It's a regular recipe that gets put on the rotation menu when we can find dungenus crab in my house!
Go to an Asian market with a meat counter and ask for:
4 pounds of pork neck bones bones. (Sliced into small pieces) or spareribs cut up.
1 dungenus crab boiled and pick all meat out. Save claws for presentation.
1 small dicon cut in thick 1" pieces
1 carrot cut 1" thick
1 pound ground pork
1 can of crab rieu for bun Rieu
Pepper to taste
4 red but firm tomatoes cut in quarters.
1 package of vermicelli noodles (Vietnamese style)
Ong choy aka rau muong aka water spinach
Mint and other fresh Vietnamese herb
1 tablespoon shrimp paste
Salt & sugar
Chicken stock soup mix
In a big stock pot boil your pork bones until it comes to a rolling boil and turn off stove and dump everything into sink and wash pot and bones. Take bones and put back into pot and boil again. First boil was to clean the bone and 2nd boil is to keep so add dicon and carrots (boil on low for 2-3 hours until meat almost falls off the bones). When ready you can remove all dicon, carrots and any bones you don't want and season with salt or tablespoon of chicken flavor soup mix to your liking. Also add the shrimp paste into the broth for flavor. Continue to cook on low.
Combine in a bowl the ground pork, crab meat, crab paste, 3 eggs, salt (or little chicken flavored soup mix) and pepper. Mix well and take mini ice cream scooper and scoop into the soup pot until cooked.
Cut tomatoes into quarters and lightly sauté tomatoes and oil. Then put all tomatoes into soup along with pre-fried tofu. Add 2 tablespoon of chili oil. You can make your too rather than buying.
Vermicelli Noodles:cook as instructed. Add minced green onions and cilantro. I also put the cram claw in the bowl for presentation.
Pour broth over noodles:
Shredded ong choy
Mint leaves or various fresh Vietnamese herbs.
Serve with green toppings.