Mantis Shrimp Noodle Soup (Bún Bề Bề)

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Save Recipe mantis shrimp noodle soup
  • 4Servings
  • 20 mPrep Time
  • 10 mCook Time
  • 30 mReady In
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Mantis shrimps are very popular in Vietnam, where they care called “bề bề” in Northern dialect, and “tôm tít” in Southern dialect. This mantis shrimp noodle soup is probably originated from Hạ Long city (Quảng Ninh province), but now you can find the dish in many places like Hải Phòng, Vũng Tàu, Cần Thơ, Hà Nội, or Sài Gòn. The noodle soup is either the modification of the local seafood noodle soup by focusing only on mantis shrimps, or the common bún riêu noodle soup by adding mantis shrimps.

mantis shrimp
Mantis shrimp

Mantis shrimps are highly-prized in Vietnam for the sweetness of the flesh, so the broth is actually made by boiling mantis shrimps. There is no need to call for scallops, or clams. To dispel the fishy smell of mantis shrimps, each local restaurateur has their own way. Beside the mantis shrimps as the main ingredient, other extra ingredients are often those in bún riêu noodle soup, for example fried tofu cubes. Some restaurants serve bún bề bề with both mantis shrimps and other shrimps like tiger prawns, other may add fishcakes. The noodle used in this noodle soup is bún, Vietnamese rice vermicelli, which is very soft.

Vietnamese mantis shrimp noodle soup
Vietnamese mantis shrimp noodle soup


Step by step method

  • Boiling mantis shrimps

    Boil a pot of water with mantis shrimps, crushed ginger and shallots for about 5 mins. Drain and peel the shrimps.

  • Grounding shells and heads

    In a kitchen blender, ground the shells and heads of mantis shrimps with 600 ml water and use a sieve or filter to strain. Set aside that strained water later to cook the broth.

  • Cooking the mantis shrimp broth

    In a pot, sautee some minced shallots and stir fry the tomato wedges for about 5 mins. Add the strained mantis shrimp water/juice, 3 TB fish sauce, 1 TB granule seasoning, 1 TB sugar, and cook for about 15 mins. Re-season to taste and turn off the heat.

  • Serving the mantis noodle soup

    In a serving bowl, add fried tofu, mantis shrimps fillets, vegetables and herbs, chopped spring onion leaves and sawtooth coriander leaves, fried onion flakes. Pour the hot broth onto the bowl.

Tips & variations

  • If you cook with mantis shrimp fillets, use pork ribs to cook the broth.

  • If you do not have freshly-made bún noodle, you may need to do an extra step of steaming dried noodle.

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