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The Crab Soup Stand That's Been Bubbling in The Heart of Saigon for 24 Years

Thursday, 12/14/2017 08:58
The stall is packed every evening thanks to its hearty soup sided with century eggs.

As the chill of winter descends on Saigon, nothing beats a steaming-hot bowl of crab soup. In a small alley on Nguyen Du Street in District 1, Tam’s crab soup stall has been serving up bowls of the delicious concoction for 24 years.

Photo by aFamily.

The stall was originally opened by Tam's mother on the corner where Nguyen Du Street cuts Notre-Dame Cathedral (Duc Ba Cathedral), but Tam moved the stall to its new location to serve the rising number of customers.

The stall doesn't have any tables, just a bunch of plastic chairs placed neatly on the side of the road.

It takes a long time to craft a tasty pot of crab soup, so Tam and his wife have to wake up early every morning to buy fresh ingredients from the market and start preparing the soup.

The main ingredients are crab, tapioca starch, shitake mushrooms, snow mushrooms, quail eggs, spices and century eggs. “For the soup, high quality century eggs are selected and cooked carefully before they're served to our customers. Uncooked eggs are set aside,” Tam said.

Of course, the delicious soup would not be anything without the crab. Fresh crabs are carefully selected and cleaned before boiling. Then they are left to chill before the meat is stripped off. According to the owners, the broth is used to enhance the flavor in the soup without using any artificial additives.

The soup is accompanied by two quail eggs, local herbs, fried shallots, black pepper, sesame oil and hot sauce. You can ask for more hot sauce or soy sauce to suit your taste.

Tam’s soup stall is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Besides crab soup, he also serves papaya salad and sugarcane juice, prices ranging from VND5,000 ($0.2) to VND15,000 ($0.7).


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