Hiding inside a small alley on Nguyen Du Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, is a stall that has been serving delicious Saigon crab soup for 24 years.
The shop name Tam’s which was opened by Tam’s mother, and it original location was right in the corner where Nguyen Du Street meets Notre-Dame Cathedral, but Tam has moved his stall to new place in order to serve more hunger customers.
Just like many other street food stores in Vietnam, Tam’s stall have no table at all but many tiny plastic chairs which also can be use as tables on the side of the road.
Tam and his wife’s day start earlier than most of people. They have to wake up before the sun to buy fresh ingredients from local market to prepare their store because the crab taste need a lot of time to handle.
The main ingredients are crab, tapioca starch, shiitake 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.
The most important thing of this soup is crabs, for sure. Before boiling, crabs were selected carefully and wash. 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.
Crab soup is eaten with two quail eggs, local herbs, fried shallots, black pepper, sesame oil and hot sauce. And you can customise your bowl of soup by add more hot sauce of soy sauce.
The stall opens everyday from 11.00 AM until 9.00 PM. Price is very cheap, between 5,000 VND and 15,000 VND only.0