Banh Canh Noodles Soup with Red King Crab Legs
Today, Fishermen's Net want share something special with you.
Banh canh is a Vietnamese Soup made with large, thick noodles. There are two popular kinds: “Banh Canh Cua” is made with crab, and sometimes shrimps. It is thick, chewy, slimy transparent noodles, and a thick broth with a bright orange oil layer on the top. While “Banh Canh Gio Heo” is made with pig legs, less chewy opaque white noodles, and a clear broth. Banh Canh is sold in packages at Asian stores. Homemade Banh Canh is also easy to cook. Rice Flour and Tapioca Starch is needed and you can cook depends on how you like it. To come up with chewy texture, you have to use more tapioca starch and less rice flour. Annatto seeds or “the poor man saffron” are the ones that made this soup complete with its bright orange color.
Here are the ingredients:
- 2 quarts chicken, pork stock (homemade or store bought)
- 2 quarts water
- 1 medium sized white onion, quartered
- 2 garlic cloves, mashed
- 2 tsp. of salt
- 1/2 tsp. of ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 tbs. fish sauce and extra for taste
- 1 tbs. sugar or a small chunk of rock sugar
- 1 meaty bone from 1 chicken or 2 lbs. pork bone (neck, leg, ham hock bone, etc.), washed and drained
After making sure that you prepared all your ingredients. Time to proceed on cooking.
Bring the water to a boil, add the bones, onion, garlic, rock sugar, salt and black pepper. Make sure the bones are completely covered by water. Bring it back to a boil uncovered, the broth will look cloudy, then lower the heat down to medium. Let it boil gently for a few minutes until you see the broth starting to get clear. Then adjust the heat down to medium low, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add sugar (if use granulated sugar) and fish sauce, taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Skim any foaming then add 2 tbs. of Annatto oil; this is the excess from topping which is written below. After it is done, you can serve it right away because soup it more delicious when it is served hot. Meat from the bones can be shredded or thinly sliced to add to the soup later.
- 1 1/2 lbs. cooked red king crab legs but any kind of crab can be used raw or cooked
- 1 shallot, coarsely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
- 1 tsp. fish sauce and extra for serve
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 2 green onion, thinly sliced
- A few sprigs of cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 red Thai chili, thinly sliced or chili garlic sauce
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- 4 tbs. vegetable oil
- 1 tbs. annatto seeds
After cooking the broth, you can now start the procedure of the toppings of the soup.
Heat 3 tbs of oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat. When it starts making popping sound and the oil turns a bit orange you can now put annatto seed. Then you can now remove it from heat, cover and let it cool down. Once it is already cold enough, strain it with a small metal mesh sieve and set it aside. Return the seeds to the pan, add a little hot broth to remove all the oil color. Strain the broth back to the stock pot. Discard the seeds.
Use a kitchen shears to cut the crab legs and remove the crab meat. If you used raw crab, clean and cook it whole first in salted water. Save the salted water and add it the broth later on.
Heat 1 tbs oil in a large skillet, stir in shallot and garlic. Add the crab meat, big chunks of crab meat are better, then gently fold it with shallot and garlic oil. When crab is getting warm, add 1 tbs. annatto oil, 1 tsp. of fish sauce, 1/2 tsp. sugar. Stir well, then set aside. Lastly, add 2 tbs. of annatto oil to the broth.
Banh Canh Noodles: homemade or store bought (need two 15-oz packages of fresh or 1 lb. dried noodles)
These are the ingredients if you prefer the chewy style noodles.
- 2 cups rice flour
- 2 cups tapioca
- 2 cup boiling water
While these are the ingredients if you want the soft style noodles.
- 3 cups rice flour
- 1 cup tapioca
- 2 &1/4 cups boiling water
In a large bowl, add flour and hot water then mix it. After mixing let it cool then knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 10 to 15 minutes. Form a smooth dough texture. Cover and let it rest for 1 hours. If you have a stand mixture use the paddle at low speed while adding boiling water and when the flour in cooperated, change to the dough hook and beat at medium high speed about 5 minutes. On a slightly floured surface, roll a small piece of dough into a 1/4-in layer then cut into 1/4-in trips. A potato ricer with a large round hole can be used to press the noodle. Sprinkle the tapioca over the noodles to prevent sticking. Cover and set aside.
Assembly Banh Canh
1. Reheat the broth until it boils and keep it spiking hot but not rolling boil to prevent a cloudy broth.
2. In a medium sauce pan, add water and let it boil. When it is already boiling add noodles, cook until the noodles start floating. Then drain and add the noodles to the broth stock for about 5 minutes then divide into individual bowls. Uncooked noodles can be cooked right into the broth to make a thick body broth.
3. Add crab and meat from the bone if use. Sprinkle with green onion, cilantro, ground black pepper. Cover with hot broth, serve with hot pepper and lime wedge, and extra fish sauce at the side.
A mixture of ground shrimp and crab may be added to the topping too and it is called Cha Tom Cua with different shapes depending on the vendor: round, triangle or square.
Banh Canh Cua is just one of the many recipes that includes King Crab Legs. King Crab Legs are known for its expensive price but still a lot of people are so eager to spend to be able to eat this special King Crab Legs. Why? Because King Crab Legs has a lot of health benefits. It is rich in protein; in fact, it is high quality protein because it doesn’t have much connective tissue which makes it be digestible for all ages. All shellfish are good source of Selenium but Crab Meat is particularly rich in it. Selenium plays a key role in the human’s antioxidant defense system, preventing damage to cell and tissues. We could go on and enumerate all the health benefits that Crab Meat brings but to sum it up, crab meat is so special specifically King Crab legs. Some local markets do not regularly sell King Crab legs, that’s why some sellers made it available ordering through online. If you think you could only buy clothes online, then you will be glad because you can also now avail seafoods through online.
Fishermen's Net is one of the sites that offers fresh King Crab Legs and other special seafoods. Visit the site to know more about them.