Saturday, September 11, 2010

Bun Oc - Vietnamese Snail Noodle Soup

Snails and Vietnamese coriander are a winning combination. The Vietnamese coriander aka rau ram is the herb eaten with Fetus duck egg (balut). Try replacing Vietnamese coriander for basil when cooking clams with black bean sauce.

I like to make a dipping sauce of shrimp paste, lemon and a squirt of siracha. The perfect bite while consuming Bun Oc is a spoonful of soup, noodle, a perilla and Vietnamese coriander leaf. Before slurping the spoon, I dip a snail in my dipping sauce and then sluuurp. Then, I chase the bite with tofu, morning glory, bean sprout and more soup.

It's an art.

Bun Oc -Vietnamese Snail Noodle Soup

The soup base is the same as bun rieu or banh canh cua, it is virtually the same tomato soup base. Every family has a slight variation. Since snails are not flavorful, it is more of an texture quality. I go the extra step and make homemade pork broth.

I recommend the pig's neck bone, after making the broth the bones are delicious with some soy sauce and rice.

Invite the neighborhood over, it is not everyday snail noodle soup is even seen on a menu in a restaurant.

Bun Oc - Vietnamese Snail Soup

6 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 medium shallots, chopped
4-6 fresh tomatoes, seeds removed, quartered
1 15 oz canned tomatoes
1 oz of tomato paste
1/2 pound ground pork
1 lb snails*
fish sauce to taste
salt to taste
vegetable oil
10 cups of pork broth (recipe follows)

Cover the bottom of a soup pot with vegetable oil on medium heat. Sauteed the garlic and shallots until translucent about 2 mins. Throw in fresh tomatoes and season liberally with salt and sauteed until soft about 5 mins. Pour in canned tomatoes including the juices and pork broth and bring to a boil. After the soup boils add the ground pork and stir to break up the meat. Turn down to low heat and simmer until ground pork is cooked. Add the tomato paste, season with fish sauce and shrimp paste.

* I buy frozen snails from the Asian supermarket. I defrost the snails and scrub them liberally with salt. Rinse the snails thoroughly and simmer in water for 15 mins.

Bun Oc -Vietnamese Snail Noodle Soup

Pork broth

1 1/2 Pork neck bone, fat trimmed
12 cups of water
1 thumb size ginger, cracked

Put pork bones, water and ginger into a pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to medium low. Simmer for 2 hours, skim any scum as it appears.

Reserve the pork bones. They make for 'good eating' when everyone has gone home.

To Serve:

Rice noodles (bun)


Morning Glory (Rau Muong, aka Chinese Spinach 'ong choy'), stems only, thinly sliced or curled
bean sprouts
Vietnamese coriander (rau ram)
Fried tofu
Shrimp paste

Fresh Chilies

Bun Oc -Vietnamese Snail Noodle Soup

The Bun Oc recipe is my contribution to Delicious Vietnam #5 hosted by Anh of A Food Lover's Journey. A monthly round up of Vietnamese related food or memories from bloggers. Delicious Vietnam was founded by Anh of A Food Lover's Journey and Kim and Hong of Ravenous Couple.

Delicious Vietnam


Anh said...

This is one of the must-have noodle soup in Hanoi. Amazing! :)

Ravenous Couple said...

there's so many great variations on bun rieu..this look soo enticing!

Forager said...

I'm a little obsessed about this soup - if it's on the menu i'll get it! Never tried to cook them before though - but very keen on trying now!

foodhoe said...

awww, I wish I lived in your neighborhood! Your combination sounds so fragrant, I love perilla. In fact my herb garden is over run by it at the moment.

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