Canh Bau Tom - Vietnamese Opo Squash Soup

Recipe by Kiersten Phae
READY IN: 45mins


  • 1
    large opo squash, Peeled and sliced thinly
  • 6
    cups water
  • 12
    cup onion, thinly sliced
  • 12 - 1
    lb shrimp, peeled and diced
  • 4 -6
    green onions, diced, separated in half
  • 14 - 12
    cup cilantro, coarsely chopped, separated in half
  • 1 -2
    teaspoon white pepper, can use black
  • 2 -3
    tablespoons fish sauce, separated in half
  • 1
    teaspoon sugar
  • 1
    teaspoon sesame oil


  • Pour the stock into a large stock pan.
  • Add the Opo Squash and cook over medium-high heat until the squash becomes soft and translucent.
  • The squash may not become translucent if it's cut too thick. Just look for it to soften up.
  • While the squash cooks put the shrimp, green onions, and cilantro into a mixing bowl.
  • Mix and sort of blend the flavors together with a fork.
  • Do not turn this into a mushy paste. The idea is to combine the flavors together.
  • Season the shrimp mixture with the pepper, half of the fish sauce, sugar, and sesame oil. Mix well.
  • Once the squash is translucent, Turn the heat to high and Bring to a boil.
  • Add the sliced onions.
  • Add the shrimp mixture to the soup in spoonfuls, this sort of makes dumplings.
  • Cover and cook until the shrimp "dumplings" are cooked.
  • After the dumplings cook, remove from heat and add the rest of the fish sauce.
  • Stir to mix in the flavors.
  • Garnish with the additional cilantro and green onions.
  • Let the soup stand for 15 minutes before serving.
  • Serve over rice and/or Kho recipes (stews).
  • To simplify the recipe:
  • Skip mixing the shrimp all together with the seasonings. Dice the shrimp up and mix all the seasonings in the soup at the same time as the dumplings.