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Vietnam is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea, referred to as East Sea (Vietnamese: Biển Đông), to the east. With a population of over 86 million, Vietnam is the 13th most populous country in the world.

Shrimp Worm Noodle


Shrimp Worm Noodle

2 lbs shrimp in shells
6 blue crabs
1/2 lb pork paste (giò sống)
3 quarts homemade chicken stock
2 shallots, minced
2 T hot chili oil
1 T vegetable oil
3 scallions, chopped (separate white heads)
10 sprigs cilantro, finely chopped
1 small piece of rock sugar
fish sauce, salt, pepper to taste
10 oz medium rice vermicelli

Add chicken stock in a large soup pot, bring to boil over high heat.
Blue crabs: Detach the shell from the body, scoop out the butter into a bowl. Remove and discard the apron and gills. Add crabs into the soup pot. Skim off any foam that rises to the top. Lower heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes.

Shell and devain shrimp, sprinkle salt over and let stand for 15 minutes, rinse and dry. Put shrimp, scallion (white heads), salt and pepper in a food processor. Process until the paste is fine and sticky. Add pork paste, mix well. Oil your fingers and make the shrimp worms out of the paste.

Add shrimp worms into the pot and cook for 3-5 minutes until the worms turn pink and float to the top. Add fish sauce, rock sugar, salt and pepper to taste.

In a small pan, add oil and fry shallot until fragrant, add crab butter in, stir well, add hot chili oil and cook for 2 minutes. Add this chili crab butter oil into the soup pot. Turn off heat.

Put rice vermicelli in boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Turn off heat and let it sit for 2 more minutes. Rinse over water.

To serve: distribute salad greens, herbs, water spinach, banana blossom, bean sprouts into large bowl, noodle on top, ladle the hot broth amd shrimp worms over. Sprinkle with cilantro and scallion (green part). Add some fresh squeezed lime juice if preferred.

Vegetable platter
2 cups chopped green salad
1 cup herbs (perilla, spearmint)
1 cup bean sprounts, rinsed and drained
1 cup shredded banana blossom
2 cups shredded water spinach
lime wedges, hot chili pepper

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