crab noodle soup

Crab Noodle Soup (Vietnam)

In Vietnam and in many Vietnamese restaurants, this soup is served with the crab ground almost to a powder or even in patties. Serves 4 as a complete meal.

8 shallots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons peanut oil
3 cups flaked crabmeat
6 tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 pound rice vermicelli, cooked
1/2 head lettuce, finely shredded (Romaine
    is preferable to iceberg)
1 cup mung bean sprouts
2 limes, quartered

Heat a large heavy pan over medium-high heat. Saut? the shallots in the hot oil until soft. Add the crabmeat, tomatoes, fish sauce, sugar and salt. Pour in 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for about 30 minutes.

To serve, divide the vermicelli among 4 large individual bowls. Ladle the soup over the noodles, and top each serving with a handful of lettuce and bean sprouts and squeezes of lime juice.