vegan bun rieu chay vietnamese tomato soup with rice noodles and pair of chopsticks

    Grab those chopsticks and dig into this vegetarian Vietnamese tomato soup with rice noodles, or bún riêu chay

    Bún riêu chay is a traditional Vietnamese soup & noodle dish featuring thin rice noodles in a flavor-packed, tomato-based broth and loaded with fresh vegetables. This “crab” noodle soup recipe is a modified Vietnamese tomato soup in rice noodles dish that uses a variety of vibrant garnishes to make your bowl pop with textures and colors.

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    vegan bun rieu chay vietnamese

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    Time:60 min (15 prep, 45 cook)
    Calories:547 (per serving)
    Good For:Asian comfort food, lunch or dinner

    What is Bun?

    Bun is a type of noodle made up mainly of rice and water, with some tapioca starch to give them chewiness and is usually translated as “rice vermicelli noodles.” It is probably the most commonly-used noodle in Vietnamese cuisine, and you’ve likely already eaten it before if you’ve ever had summer rolls. Bun is used in a wide variety of other Vietnamese dishes, but those dishes are not as well-known in mainstream America.

    Bun noodles are usually sold dried, in various thicknesses, in Asian markets. Some recipes traditionally call for one thickness over the other, but we feel that you should just go with whatever your personal preference is. The difference between thin versus thick noodles is similar to how angel hair pasta compares to regular spaghetti noodles.

    Bun is not difficult to cook; just follow the package directions but always remember to rinse the noodles thoroughly in cold water immediately after cooking them to prevent the noodles from sticking together.

    bun or rice vermicelli noodles, dry

    Bun is the Vietnamese term for thin rice noodles, which you may know as rice vermicelli.

    What is Bun Rieu?

    Bun rieu is a Vietnamese soup-and-noodle dish of rice vermicelli noodles served in a tomato-based soup, and traditionally topped with a type of crab cake. Of course, our vegan version eliminates the crab cake altogether, which makes cooking this dish a whole lot easier and faster.

    This recipe uses the technique of slowly simmering aromatics, vinegar, sugar, and diced tomato to create a flavor-packed sauce that is added to the broth afterwards, as opposed to cooking all of the ingredients together at once in of the broth. In addition to intensifying the flavors, this method also generates a delicious aroma that will draw people to your kitchen and build up their appetite!

    vietnamese tomato soup with rice noodles ingredients - lemon, garlic, tofu, mushrooms, tomato, basil

    Ingredients and garnishes to make this easy Vietnamese tomato-based soup

    Ingredients

    Garnishes:

    • Beansprouts, raw or blanched
    • Mint leaves
    • Lemon wedges
    • Fresh aburage (fried bean curd)

    Supplies

    vietnamese tomato soup with rice noodles, bean sprouts, basil, lemon wedges

    Rice vermicelli with regular and fried tofu and tomato chunks. Add freshness to this noodle dish with bean sprouts, basil, and lemon.

    How to Make Bun Rieu – Step by Step

    Step 1. Saute garlic & onions in 1.5 Tbsp olive oil on medium heat in a medium sauce pot for 5 minutes or until onions soften

    Step 2. Add 1 teaspoon sugar, rice vinegar, Bragg’s Liquid Amino, and the entire can of stewed tomatoes including the liquid.

    Step 3. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Step 4. In the meantime, cook the bun (rice vermicelli noodles) in a separate large stock pot according to the package instructions. Be sure to rinse thoroughly in cold water afterwards.

    Step 5. After the bun noodles are done cooking, rinse out the pot and use it to cook the soup. Start by bringing the vegetable broth to a boil.

    Step 6. Add the tofu, 1 tsp raw sugar, red pepper flakes, dried mushroom powder, and salt, then simmer for 3 minutes.

    Step 7. Add tomato quarters and mushrooms, then simmer for another 3 minutes.

    Step 8. Add the tomato mixture from the other sauce pot to the broth and stir thoroughly.

    Step 9. Serve soup with noodles and any desired garnishes.

    Variations & Substitutions

    If you don’t need to keep this recipe vegan but want to stay vegetarian, there are several ways you make your dish more reminiscent of traditional bun rieu by adding a crab-like element. There are several ways you can do this:

    • Add vegetarian crab cakes that are made with tofu & eggs (via House Foods)
    • Reheat and add frozen pre-made vegetarian crab cakes, which you might be able to find in Chinatown or at Vietnamese grocery stores
    • Create faux crab meat using coagulated soy milk (via Viet World Kitchen)
    Vegan Bun Rieu Chay (Vietnamese Tomato Soup w/ Rice Noodles)
    Prep Time
    15 mins
    Cook Time
    45 mins
    Total Time
    1 hr
     

    A traditional Vietnamese soup & noodle dish featuring thin rice noodles in a flavor-packed, tomato-based broth that’s loaded with vegetables. An Asian tomato soup with rice noodles.

    Course: Main Course, Soup
    Cuisine: Vietnamese
    Keyword: vegetarian vietnamese soup
    Servings: 3 large portions
    Calories: 547 kcal
    Author: Stacy
    Ingredients
    • 3 cloves garlic minced
    • 1 small onion sliced into half-moons
    • 14 oz can stewed tomatoes
    • 1 Tbsp white or rice vinegar
    • 1 tsp Bragg's Liquid Amino
    • 2 tsp raw sugar divided
    • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
    • 3 portions bun (rice vermicelli noodles)
    • 4 cups vegetable broth
    • 8 oz firm tofu cut into cubes
    • 1/2 Tbsp dried mushroom powder
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 small tomato cut into quarters
    • 4 oz beech mushrooms with stems cut off
    • beansprouts (to garnish)
    • mint leaves (to garnish)
    • lemon wedges (to garnish)
    • fresh aburage (fried bean curd) (to garnish)
    Instructions
    1. Saute garlic & onions in 1.5 Tbsp olive oil on medium heat in a medium sauce pot for 5 minutes or until onions soften.

    2. Add 1 teaspoon sugar, rice vinegar, Bragg’s Liquid Amino, and the entire can of stewed tomatoes including the liquid.

    3. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    4. In the meantime, cook the bun (rice vermicelli noodles) in a separate large stock pot according to the package instructions. Be sure to rinse thoroughly in cold water afterwards.

    5. After the bun noodles are done cooking, rinse out the pot and use it to cook the soup. Start by bringing the vegetable broth to a boil.

    6. Add the tofu, 1 tsp raw sugar, red pepper flakes, dried mushroom powder, and salt, then simmer for 3 minutes.

    7. Add tomato quarters and mushrooms, then simmer for another 3 minutes.

    8. Add the tomato mixture from the other sauce pot to the broth and stir thoroughly.

    9. Serve soup with noodles and any desired garnishes.

    Recipe Notes

    Variations & Substitutions

    If you don't need to keep this recipe vegan but want to stay vegetarian, there are several ways you make your dish more reminiscent of traditional bun rieu by adding a crab-like element. There are several ways you can do this:

    • Add vegetarian crab cakes that are made with tofu & eggs (via House Foods)
    • Reheat and add frozen pre-made vegetarian crab cakes, which you might be able to find in Chinatown or at Vietnamese grocery stores
    • Create faux crab meat using coagulated soy milk (via Viet World Kitchen)

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