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A pink bowl of Vietnamese pork and thick noodle soup with black chopsticks and a white soup spoon.

Vietnamese Pork and Thick Noodle Soup (Banh Canh)

This Vietnamese pork thick noodle soup or Banh Canh is a very popular dish in Vietnam. It is made with thick round noodles, tender pieces of pork that is all cooked in a flavoursome broth. You can load it up with extras or keep it simple.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Vietnamese
Keyword Banh Canh, Vietnamese Pork and Thick Noodle Soup
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people
Calories 621kcal
Author Scruff


  • 4 L stock pot


  • 1 kg rice starch noodles, or tapioca / udon noodles

Soup Ingredients

  • 2.5 L water
  • 1 kg pork shoulder, washed and cut into 2 pieces
  • 2 tsp salt
  • cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 star anise (optional)
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 10 gm dried shrimp, washed
  • 1 tbsp fried shallots
  • 1.5 tsp pork stock powder (Optional but highly recommended. Available at Asian groceries)
  • 10 gm sweet preserved radish (Optional but highly recommended. Available at Asian groceries)
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce or to taste


  • 2 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fried shallots
  • 5 sprigs coriander, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Optional Extras

  • 200 gm sliced fish cake / fish balls
  • 200 gm cha lua / Vietnamese ham cut into thin strips
  • 4 fried bread sticks / dau chao quay / youtiao


  • Bring 2.5 L of water to the boil in a 4L capacity pot and add the pork shoulder.
  • Allow the pot to return to the boil and cook for 5 minutes. Skim off any impurities that form on the surface.
  • Add the remaining soup ingredients, other than the fish sauce. Simmer partially covered for 50 minutes on medium low heat.
  • Prepare the garnishes.
  • After 50 minutes remove the meat and check if it is cooked. If no, put the meat back into the pot until done. If yes, then wash the meat under cold water. Place a damp paper kitchen towel over the top and allow to cool before cutting into thin strips.
  • With a pair of tongs, remove the onions and star anise from the soup.
  • Add the fish sauce and adjust the seasoning of the soup to your taste.

Prepare the Noodles

  • Put the noodles in a large bowl with a piece of damp paper towel over it. Heat the noodles in the microwave for roughly 5 minutes or until soft.
  • Check the noodles are warmed through then pour enough boiling water to cover them. Loosen the noodles up with chopsticks then strain.

Prepare the Noodle Bowls

  • Bring the soup back to a rolling boil on medium high.
  • Once the water is boiling, add the slices of fish cake/balls (if using) and the noodles. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Fill the bowls up with noodles and soup.
  • Add the pork slices, cha lua (if using) and garnishes on top, and serve with the bread sticks (if using).


Calories: 621kcal | Carbohydrates: 79g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 2674mg | Potassium: 667mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 247IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 2mg