Banh Canh Gio Heo (Vietnamese Clear Noodle Soup with Pork)

January 23, 2010

Today I decided to cook up some warm soup for this some-what chilly weather we have here in Houston. This soup is called “Banh Canh Gio Heo” in Vietnamese which basically translates to a clear broth soup with pork. Although I did a little revision on this soup and added chicken and pork to as the stock and for meat toppings it was pork, chicken and shrimp balls. Tasty! Below is my recipe for the following item and pictures to help for your enjoyment while viewing.

Banh Canh Gio Heo
Serves 10 people

1 Whole Young Chicken
1 1/2 lbs Pork Butt with Skin (Trim off skin) The skin is what we’ll be using. –OPTIONAL
1 1/2 – 2 lbs of small shrimp
1 Pig Leg with trotter attached
5 Bags of Banh Canh Noodle
1 42-48 oz Chicken Broth
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 bunch of chives
1 Bunch of Cilantro
1 Bulk of Green onions
Chicken Flavored Soup Based (Granulated Mix)
– Any Kind would do, but an Asian Brand would work best
Fish Sauce to taste

1. Fill 2 Large pots (32 qts) with water.

***You can always cut the recipe down in half if you do not plan on making a lot of the soup. I always enjoy freezing one pot and saving it for the next time I crave for some more.***

2. Set the Burner on High

3. While waiting for the water to boil, Bring out Chicken, Pork Butt, Pig legs, and shrimp.

4. Begin by Cutting the whole Chicken into pieces as well as the Pig’s Trotter

5. Once water starts boiling, drop the Pork and Chicken Meat into the raging water, add about a table spoon of salt.

6. As the Meat begins to cook, bring the shrimp out in a bowl. As to your desire add black pepper and salt to your shrimp. For a little extra flavor add Garlic powder to your liking. Once this is done, in a food processor, mince the shrimp until they are done finely. If no food processor is present, a blender or hand mincing your shrimp will work fine.

7. Once the shrimp have been mince. Transfer to a bowl and with your hand create a ‘ball form’ with your minced shrimp. Keep in mind a more home-made look with your shrimp ball can be made by balling up your mince shrimp but leaving it in a more “clumpy” form. A compact shrimp ball will do fine but for a textured feel, avoid balling it up like a meat ball.

8. As the pot boils with your meat inside, skim off the residue left from the cooked bones. You can use a hand skimmer or if none is present, a large spoon should work fine. Transfer these into a bowl that will later be discarded. Keep an eye on more residue that forms through out the whole period.

9. As you wait for more bone residue to skim off bring out your chives, green onions, cilantro and limes. Slice limes into small eighths  and coarsely chop the cilantro. Transfer to a plate and slice the green onions as well as cutting the chives into 2 inch piece discarding the ends. Transfer the remaining to the same plate for the soups garnish later.

10.  –OPTIONAL ITEM– with the pork fat that was earlier trimmed off, store the meat in the freezer for another dish. Slice off any loose fat under the skin. Once that is done slice the fat into small bits. Once this is done, heat a small pot full of oil and fry until a light golden tone comes out. You know these are ready when the fat is a little hard. Transfer into a small bowl with a napkin as a oil guard.

11. After an hour or so of boiling the meat, remove all the chicken bones and meat into a large bowl. When cool enough to grab start tearing the meat off the bones, they should come off quite easily. Once meat is off, tear the meat into bite size strips as shown below. Before the tearing is done, make sure meat is fully cook inside. Return any bare bones back to the pot.

12. Once bones are returned to the pot, let it simmer for another 20 mins on med heat. Once that is done skim on excess residue once more. After that is completed, add some 1/2 of chicken stock to each pot, about 4 table spoons of fish sauce to each pot and more salt if needed. Add about a table spoon of the chicken flavored soup base to each pot. If more is needed for your taste, add a little more.

13. Let the pot simmer some more and soak up the rest flavor from the chicken bones. As the soup starts to boil again, drop in the shrimp balls being careful not to break the shape. The balls should be done with in a few minutes, and they should be a pink color that’s floated to the surface. Remove shrimp balls to a separate plate once done.

14. Wash any dirty dishes as you wait for the soup to finish to get them out of the way. Bring out to boil the noodles in. Add enough water so there is room to boil the noodles. Turn the heat up high and once the water boils add the noodles. *Be sure to keep an eye on the noodles, to long of a boil can cause the noodles to break and it is not very enjoyable eating the noddles this way* Once noodles are done, transfer to a strainer.

15. Add about a 1  table spoon of MSG to the stock. After you have done stirring the soup, add any addition salt, chicken base, or fish sauce as needed. Keep in mind fish sauce is used similar to salt, but with added flavor. This sauce helps bring out the flavor of the soup to where it needs to be.

16. Once the broth is to your liking transfer the banh canh noodles to a bowl and add chicken, shrimp balls and garnish with the fried pork fat, cilantro, onions, and a few chives. Pour the soup into the bowl and wait a min or 2 for the fat to get soft.


Add any additional salt & pepper to your bowl, and if desired add some chili oil.



2 Responses to “Banh Canh Gio Heo (Vietnamese Clear Noodle Soup with Pork)”

  1. samantha Says:

    I have a family recipe homework so my mom went to this website and found me HOMEWORK.

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