Vietnamese Recipes & Cuisines (Soups)

Tofu Soup with Mushrooms and Tomato Recipe

This is a typical canh - a clear broth form the north of Vietnam. It is designed to be light, to balance a meal that may include some heavier meat or poultry dishes. As the soup is reliant on a well-flavoured, aromatic broth, the basic stock needs to be rich in taste.

Ingredients : Serves 4

115 g

15 ml



4 cm

15 ml

350 g


1/4 teaspoon

1/4 teaspoon

1 bunch


For Stock


25 g


2 cloves

7.5 cm

15 ml


4 cloves


1/4 teaspoon

Dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in water for 20 minues

Vegetable oil

Shallots, halved and sliced

Thai cilies, seedes and slices

Fresh root ginger, peeled and grated or finely chopped

Nuoc cham

Tofu, rinsed, drained and but into bite-size cubes

Tomatoes, skinned, seeded and cut into thin strips.


Ground black pepper

Coriander (cilantro), stalks removed, finely chopped, for garnishing



Meaty chicken carcass or pork ribs

Dried squid or shrimp, soaked in water for 15 minutes

Onions, peeled and quartered

Garlic, crushed

Fresh root ginger, coarsely chopped

Nuoc cham

Black peppercorns

Star anise

Cinnamon stick

Sea salt, or to taste

Method :
  • To make the stock, put the chicken carcass or pork ribs in a deep pan.

  • Drain and rinse the dried squid or shrimp. Add to the pan with the remaining stock ingredients, except the salt, and pour in 2 liters water.

  • Bring the water to the boil, and boil for a few minutes, skim off any foam, then reduce the heat and simmer gently with the lid on for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

  • Remove the lid and continue simmering for further 30 minutes to reduce. Skim off any fat, season with salt, then strain and measure out 1.5 liters.

  • Squeeze dry the soaked shiitake mushrooms, remove the stems and slice the caps into thin strips.

  • Heat the oil in a large pan and stir in the shallots, chili and ginger.

  • As the fragrance begins to rise, stir in nuoc mam, followed by the stock.

  • Add the tofu, mushrooms and tomatoes. Bring the stock to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Season to taste and scatter the finely chopped fresh coriander over the top.

  • Serve piping hot.

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