Vietnamese Recipes & Cuisines (Rice & Noodles)

Noodles with Crab and Mushrooms Recipe

(Mien Xao Cua)

This is a dish of contrasting flavors, textures and colors, and in Vietnam it is cooked with skill and dexterity. While one hand gently turns the noodles in the pan, the other takes chunks of fresh crab meat and drops them into the steaming wok to seal. When you watch the expert cooks who specialize in this dish, mien xao cua, they make it look like an art form. Here the crab meat is cooked separately to make it easier for the uninitiated.

Ingredients : Serves 4

25 g

115 g

30 ml


2 cloves



5 ml

45 ml

15 ml

400 ml

225 g

1/2 teaspoon

1 sprig

Dried cloud ear (wood ear) mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes

Dried bean thread (cellophane) noodles, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes

Vegetable or sesame oil

Shallots, halved and thinly sliced

Garlic, crushed

Green or red Thai chilies, seeded and sliced

Carrot, peeled and cut into thin diagonal rounds


Oyster sauce

Soy sauce

Water or chicken stock

Fresh, raw crab meat, cut into bite-size chunks

Ground black pepper

Fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, for garnishing

Method :
  • Remove the centres form the soaked wood ear mushrooms and cut the mushrooms in half.

  • Drain the soaked noodles and cut them into 30 cm pieces.

  • Heat a wok or heavy pan and add 15 ml oil. Stir in the shallots, garlic and chilies, and cook until fragrant. Add the carrot rounds and cook for 1 minute, then add the mushrooms.

  • Stir in the sugar with the oyster and soy sauces, followed by the bean thread noodles.

  • Pour in the water or stock, cover the wok or pan and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the noodles are soft and have absorbed most of the sauce.

  • Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a heavy pan. Add the crab meat and cook until it is nicely pink and tender. Season well with black pepper.

  • Arrange the noodles and crab meat on a serving dish.

  • Garnish with coriander leaves.

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