Instant Pot Vietnamese Crab Noodle Soup (Bun Rieu)

Pork base broth crab noodle soup with with tomato, fried tofu, crab meatballs mixture. This bowl is comforting and delicious.

Keyword crab noodles, noodles
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 5 bowls


For broth:

  • 3 lbs pork neck bones
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 small rock sugar
  • 16 cups hot water (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste (more to taste)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon tamarind powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For crab mixture (rieu)

  • 1/2 cup crab meat
  • 1 small can crab in spices (about 5 oz) (approximately 1/2 cup) - save 2 tbps for tomato mixture
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 oz ground chicken

Tomato mixture:

  • 5 plum tomato (quartered)
  • 2 tablespoons crab in spices
  • 1 small shallot (diced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For servings:

  • extra crab meat
  • 10 oz vermicelli rice noodles cook according to package instruction
  • handul of beansprouts, vietnamese mints, cabbages.
  • chopped green onion


  1. Broth: Place pork bones in a large pot of water. Bring it to a boil. Once the water boils, discard water and rinse the bones under cold water.

  2. Broth: place clean bones, onion, rock sugar, 10 cups of hot water into the instant pot. Close lid and set the pot to "soup/broth" setting for 30 minutes. Once time's up, quickly release the pressure. Remove bones, onion and discard.

    Add 6 more cups of water to the pot. Season the broth with fish sauce, shrimp paste, salt, tamarind powder.

  3. Tomatoes mixture: While waiting for the broth to cook, prepare the tomatoes mixture.

    Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, add in garlic, shallot until fragrant. Add in tomatoes, crab in spices and saute for about 5 minutes, until tomatoes are soften. Remove from heat a set aside.

  4. Crab meatballs mixture: In a large bowl, mix eggs, ground chicken, crab meat, garlic powder, black pepper. Set aside

  5. Broth: After seasoning the broth from step 2 above, press the saute button on the instant pot. Once hot, scoop a spoonful of crab mixture and drop into the broth. The meatballs will float when cooked. Also transfer the tomatoes mixture to the broth. Add fried tofu and green onions.

  6. To serve: Divide vermicelli among bowls. Laddle soup broth over. Serve with extra crab meat on the side and a handful of herbs along with lime wedges and chilis. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

This is order I'm preparing my vermicelli to save time: