Fuzzy Melon Soup with Pork & Shrimp (Canh Bi Dao)

Growing up, the dinner table would comprise of multiple Vietnamese dishes: one to two mains and one large sharing bowl of soup to finish. We would have our personal serving bowls filled with rice and a plate to lean our chopsticks & spoon. This fuzzy melon soup is one of the many soups my dad would make for us. Definitely one that I haven’t had in over a decade, is this soup. Seeing this melon at the supermarket, I was instantly drawn to it to finally make this nostalgic bowl of soup myself. The melon itself has a light fuzz to it, and needs to be peeled before consumption. The core is removed for aesthetics, but it is not necessary (we reserved the core for a stir-fry the next day).

This soup can be enjoyed simply, with just dried shrimp. But there’s a few ways to level up:

  • Level 1: A handful of dried shrimp
  • Level 2: + Fresh shrimp (sliced vertically)
  • Level 3: + Pork ribs
  • Level 4 (this recipe!): + Pork mince, shrimp mince, mung bean noodle & wood ear mushroom balls

Here’s how to make this nostalgic, comforting bowl of Vietnamese melon soup!

Fuzzy Melon Soup (Canh Bi Dao)

Serves: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

Shrimp & Pork Meatballs

  • 150g raw Shrimp, peeled and roughly minced
  • 750g Pork, minced (medium fat)
  • 100g Mung Bean Noodles
  • 10g Wood Ear Mushroom, dehydrated
  • ¼ cup Scallion, chopped
  • ½ tsp Chicken Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ½ tbsp Sugar
  • ¼ tsp Black Pepper

Broth

  • 2L Water
  • 3-4 tsp Chicken Powder
  • 1 tbsp Dried Shrimp
  • 1/2 cup Scallion, chopped

Steps:

  1. Soak mung bean noodles and wood ear mushrooms in hot water for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, separate the noodles from the mushrooms. Reserve the soaking liquid for broth. Roughly mince wood ear mushroom. Cut noodles into 1 inch lengths.
  2. Peel and devein shrimp. Roughly mince and chop. Add to a mixing bowl.
  3. To the mixing bowl, add hydrated mung bean noodles, wood ear mushrooms, minced pork, scallions and all seasonings (chicken powder, salt, sugar and black pepper). Mix with hands until well-combined. Create 2-3cm diameter meatballs.
  4. Peel fuzzy squash, cut into quarters, remove core and slice into 0.5cm thickness.
  5. To a large pot, bring 2L of water to boil on high. Add chicken powder. Once boiled, turn the heat to medium and add formed meat balls. Add fuzzy squash and dried shrimp. If the pot goes to a boil, bring down to simmer and skim scum. Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes total.
Canh Bi - Fuzzy Melon Soup with Shrimp & Pork Balls

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