Crab Omelet-and-Tomato Soup

Inspired by Vietnamese bun rieu cua, blogger Shu Han Lee makes a quick broth with chicken stock, fermented shrimp paste and cherry tomatoes, then swirls in beaten egg mixed with crab and pork.

Slideshow: More Asian Soups

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
KEY: Vietnamese, Soups & Stews, Lunch, Staff Favorites, Healthy

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  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 shallots, minced  
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fermented shrimp paste (see Note)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 quart chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
  • Salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Asian chile-garlic paste
  • 6 ounces lump crabmeat, picked over for shells
  • 4 ounces ground pork
  • 6 ounces rice vermicelli
  • Boiling water 
  • 6 ounces mung bean sprouts
  • Lime wedges and mint, cilantro and basil leaves, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the shallots and garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the shrimp paste and tomato paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock and water and bring to 
a boil. Reduce the heat to moderate, add the tomatoes and simmer until just starting to pop, about 8 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, lightly crush some of the tomatoes on the side of the pan. Stir in the fish sauce and season the soup lightly with salt.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with the chile-garlic paste and a generous pinch of salt. Add the crab and pork and, using a fork, stir the mixture well to break up the meat.
  3. Bring the soup to a rolling boil over high heat. Stir in a circular motion and pour 
the egg mixture into the center of the swirl. Stop stirring and simmer the omelet in 
the soup over moderate heat for 6 minutes, then turn off the heat and stir to distribute the omelet throughout the soup.
  4. In a large heatproof bowl, cover the 
vermicelli with boiling water and let stand until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain well. Divide the vermicelli and bean sprouts among 4 bowls. Ladle the soup on top and serve with lime wedges and mint, cilantro and basil leaves.


Fermented shrimp paste is available at Asian markets and from

Suggested Pairing

This brightly flavorful soup pairs best with a wine that has lively acidity, such as Sauvignon Blanc.

Contributed By Photo © Shu Han Lee Published May 2015

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990097 recipes/crab-omelet-and-tomato-soup 2015-04-15 Shu Han Lee vietnamese|soups-and-stews|lunch|staff-favorite|healthy may-2015 recipes,crab-omelet-and-tomato-soup 990097