Vietnamese Fuzzy Squash Soup – Canh Bi

I finally can cook Vietnamese fuzzy squash soup (canh bi) that is approved by my mom and my little chef!

Canh bi is a homestyle soup and mom would cook the fuzzy squash with shrimp or dried shrimp.  My little picky chef does not like eating shrimp so today I tried making pork and shrimp paste to make meatballs cooked with the squash.  Mom and my family likes it! =)

Prep and cook time: about 45 minutes
Notes:  I cooked this soup in a 6 quart pot and used latex gloves.

Ingredients:

Pork and Shrimp Paste for meatballs:
2 fuzzy squash (trai bau) about 2.5+ lbs
1 dozen large shrimp with red heads
3-4 pieces of dried black fungus
1 piece of bean thread
3/4 lb lean ground pork
1 cup chopped scallion
1/4 tsp black pepper
1.5 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp onion powder
Broth:
1 Liter water
48 oz chicken broth
1 Tbsp dried shrimp
1/2 cup chopped scallion

Direction:

1.  Soak dried black fungus and bean thread in warm/hot water for about 10 minutes.  Peel and devein shrimp.

2.  Peel, core, and cut fuzzy squash.

3.  Chop scallion, cut bean thread in two segments, slice black fungus as thin as possible, and smash the shrimp using the side of a heavy butcher knife.

4.  Mix lean ground pork with bean thread, black fungus, shrimp, and half cup of scallion together.

5.  Season the pork and shrimp paste with the following:

1/4 tsp black pepper
1.5 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp onion powder
6.  In a pot, bring chicken broth and water to a boil on high.  While you are waiting for the broth to boil, scoop the pork and shrimp paste into balls.  When the broth starts to boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and drop in the meat balls.
7.  Once all the meat balls are in the broth, add the fuzzy squash and dried shrimps.  Bring the soup to a boil.  Then turn back down to medium low and cook for about 15 minutes or until the squash is cooked.
Serve with jasmine rice and enjoy!  Hope you like this like my little foodie. =)

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