Broken rice with crab shellfish attracts Saigonese customers

HO CHI MINH CITY – Ms. Dung mixes sea crab meat with cat mushrooms, vermicelli, minced meat, eggs and spices into crab shells, steamed to make fried rice served with broken rice.

Visit a restaurant near the beginning of Binh Thoi Street, Le Dai Hanh Roundabout, District 11 at noon, you will see many people stopping motorbikes waiting to buy rice to take home. The owner and the staff are constantly ordering rice, and charging customers, and the kitchen can’t take a break.

In the stalls of about 20 dishes beautifully presented, you will be impressed by the large, plump and weighing about 250 grams, which at first glance looks like a boiled sea crab shell. In addition to the “nail” dish, which is grilled rib rice, crab cakes are a favorite dish of many customers at the shop, selling hundreds of them one day.

The crab shell chooses a large and uniform size, packed full of fish with a strange appearance.  Photo: Huynh Nhi
The shop is crowded with staff, and customers who come to eat at peak hours do not have to wait long. Photo: Huynh Nhi

Ms. Vu Thi Ngoc Dung, 55 years old, the owner, said that her ribs rice shop has been around for about 30 years and is open for sale from morning to night. “Before, my shop had crab cakes served with grilled ribs, but they didn’t make big cakes, baked them and cut them into small pieces. About 4 years ago, I and my grandson came up with a way to put spring rolls in sea crab shells to bring them. Steamed for variety, more pleasing to the eye,” shared Mrs. Dung.

The shop uses sea crabs to make rolls, priced at 600,000-700,000 VND/kg. The shop owner chooses crabs from a familiar place, the crabs will be boiled, then the meat will be delivered to the shop with apricots. Crab meat is mixed with mushrooms, ground lean meat, vermicelli, and spices and filled with large crab shells, and a thin layer of egg yolk outside before steaming. Unlike crab cakes, mai crab cakes will have more crab meat, when steamed, they will be soft, spongy and not dry. In return, the patty is easy to falls apart and has no firmness.

Fried rice with crab cakes is 65,000 VND.  Photo: Huynh Nhi
Fried rice with crab cakes is 65,000 VND and shaped like “boiled crab”. Photo: Huynh Nhi

The price of rice is 65,000 VND/plate, customers who eat more soup such as bitter melon, and sour soup will be charged an additional fee of 15,000 to 20,000 VND/bowl. The food at the restaurant is large in size, people who eat little sometimes find it a lot and get bored easily, but there are still customers who order many dishes at the same time, such as grilled ribs and crab meat with nearly 100,000 VND/plate and still think it’s worth the amount. money spent.

Hoa and her husband stopped at the restaurant for lunch, both ordered the rice cake with crab meat, grilled ribs and fried frogs. According to her, the rice at the restaurant is spongy, and the seeds are small but a bit dry. “I find this crab cake fancy, it’s quite soft to eat, but the flavor is a bit light, I have to dip it and add fish sauce. Because the crab cake has a lot of meat, sometimes I feel bored, I can’t eat it all, I have to remove the box. back,” she said.

As for Minh, Hoa’s husband, commented that the crab cakes are unique in appearance, the portion of which is quite lean, the crab meat is a bit less: “However, the crab meat is large, although it is small, but it is very tasty and sweet. , eat a piece of that piece.”

The meat of the sea crab is still intact inside, and the meat is very sweet.  Photo: Huynh Nhi
Sea crab meat is still intact inside the cha, eat sweet meat and feel the freshness. Photo: Huynh Nhi

Because of selling for a long time, there are customers who joke about eating at the restaurant for 3 generations, from mother to child and now grandchildren, or overseas Vietnamese who have been away from home for a long time and still visit Mrs. Dung’s restaurant to eat broken rice. “My family is Chinese, so the taste is not too different, but I choose the ingredients very carefully. I go to the market to choose my own. The ingredients must be delicious, I can cook anything delicious, that’s my secret.” Ms. Dung said.

The restaurant is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and has parking for motorbikes and cars, but the restaurant has quite a few tables and chairs, serving up to 20-25 guests at the same time, cool and clean space. The price of rice at the restaurant is also slightly better, grilled ribs rice is 45,000 VND/plate.

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