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 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.
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.