Banh Canh Tom Cua Recipe | Instant Pot | Vietnamese Noodle Soup

Banh Canh Tom Cua is a one of my favorite Vietnamese noodle soup. This Vietnamese Shrimp and Crab Udon Noodle Soup Recipe is my simple and upgraded version of this soup.

Banh Canh Tom Cua

The different regions in Vietnam have different methods and recipe for this dish. Not only does Vietnam have different accent, and climate, but when it comes to the North, Mid, and South region, the taste preference for each region differs as well.

This Banh Canh Tom Cua is more of the mid and southern region of Vietnam. Though in the states, the ingredients used might be bit different compared to the authentic dish in Vietnam.

What Crab To Use For Banh Canh Tom Cua?

Tempura Fried Soft Shell Crab

In Vietnam, they use fresh water crabs to make the broth. Fresh crab inners along with more complicated methods to put this dish together. However, in the States, there are lots of ready to use, high quality, products to substitute many of the ingredients in the original recipe.

In this recipe, there’s no need to use whole live crabs, nor make your own udon noodles by hand. Using a pressure cooker/instant pot, the broth quick to make and is super flavorful. The soft shell crab is a major upgrade to this dish. You can also use King Crab for this dish instead of the canned crab meat that I used in this recipe.

Vietnamese Banh Canh or Udon Noodles?

This somewhat reminds me of Japanese Curry Udon or Japanese Dipping Ramen. The consistency of the broth at least… not flavor wise. Vietnamese flavors have a more complex spice compared to the light and clean flavor of Japanese Cuisine. Udon noodles are made from wheat noodles, whilst Vietnamese Banh Canh noodles are made a few different ways. Either from rice, potato starch, wheat, and tapioca. Each with its own bouncy texture and flavors. I used Banh Canh Trong for this recipe.

While there are a few different Banh Canh, this is my favorite! Maybe because it is a seafood dish? (I love seafood). The thicken broth makes it stick to the noodles which helps add more seafood flavor to tie everything together nicely.

The thickness of the broth is supposed to be from hand made noodles which are added directly to the broth to cook. Along with the flour from the noodles which makes the broth thick. But since we got pre made noodles, adding tapioca or cornstarch mixture into the broth to thicken it is one of the cooking hacks.

Let me know how this recipe turns out for you! How does it compare to the ones you had before?

Happy cooking!
Chef Q

Banh Canh Tom Cua

This is a Vietnamese Shrimp and Crab Noodle soup. A thick, seafood, starchy broth with thick noodles, top with shrimps, crab meat, and fragrant herbs and spices. Definitely one of my favorite!
Prep Time1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time3 hours
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: banh canh, banh canh tom cua, noodle soup, vietnamese noodle soup
Author: Chef Q
Cost: $150.00


  • Instant Pot Pressure Cooker


Soup Broth Instant Pot

  • 3 lbs Pork Marrow Bones
  • 3 lbs Pork Neck Bones
  • 2 oz Dried Shrimps Soaked in warm water for at least 30 min
  • 2 Each Large Yellow Onions
  • 3-4 Each Small Shallots 2 if big shallots
  • 2 oz Rock Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Salt


  • 1-2 cans Crab Meat claws/white or King/snow crab
  • 4 lbs Fresh White Shrimps Peeled & Devein
  • 8-10 pkg Banh Canh Trong Or any other type of Banh Canh (Can Substitute udon noodles)
  • 1 box Soft shell Crab Jumbo (12pcs)
  • 1 pkg Tempura Batter Mix
  • Veg/Canola Oil For Deep Frying
  • 2 cans Cooked Quail Eggs

Final Broth

  • 2 tbsp Chicken/mushroom Granulated Seasoning
  • 2 cans Vegetable Soup Broth
  • 1 lit Water
  • 1 Jar Crab Paste with Bean Oil
  • 1 Jar Shrimp Paste with Bean Oil
  • Fish Sauce To Taste
  • Oyster Mushrooms
  • Tapioca Starch

Other Condiments

  • Fried Shallots
  • Black/white Peppers
  • Sliced Green Onions
  • Sliced White Onions
  • Chopped Coriander Leaves
  • Chili Oil/ Fresh chili If want more spicy


Soup Broth Instant Pot

  • Clean the pork bones by boiling them with some salt. (10-15mins)
    Remove and rinse clean under cold water.
  • Add to instant pot. (12 Lit or bigger)
    Add 2 Yellow Onions, 4 small Shallots, 2 oz rock sugar, 2 tbsp salt, and 2 oz pre soaked dried shrimps
  • Set instant pot setting to:
    Soup Broth, 45 mins, high pressure, And close pressure cap.
  • After done, filter out broth to bigger pot.

Final Broth

  • Add to broth:
    2 cans Vegetable broth, 1 Lit Water, 2 tbsp Chicken/mushroom granulated seasoning, 2 cans cooked quail eggs.
    Bring to boil and simmer to medium heat.
    Skim off any foam that comes to the top.
  • Boil your peeled and deveined shrimps in the broth. (2.5 mins)
    Don't over cook our shrimps.
    This will flavor our shrimps and also flavor our broth.
    Remove shrimps and lightly rinse over with cold water.
    Set aside for later.
  • In a separate pan:
    Stir-fry in 1 jar Crab Paste, 1 jar Shrimp Paste with bean oil, chopped oyster/straw mushrooms.
    stir-fry till wilted and add to the broth pot.
    bring pot to boil and simmer on medium heat.
  • Add fish Sauce till to your taste.
  • Mix Tapioca/corn Starch + Water (enough to clear lumps).
    Add to broth while stirring until a thick enough consistency.
    simmer on low for another 10 mins.
    Ready to serve.

Toppings & Condiments

  • Tempura Fry Soft shell crabs. (See Package instruction)
  • Par boil your Banh Canh Noodles with a bit of salt and oil. Enough to heat up the noodles and remove lumps. (Noodles are already pre cooked.)
    Strain and set aside until ready to serve.
  • Set up your toppings:
    cooked shrimps, crab meat, sliced white onions, fried shallots, chopped coriander leaves, green onions, ground peppers, etc.

Final Product

  • Add Banh canh noodles to bowl.
    Add all toppings.
    Add thick soup broth.
  • ENJOY!


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