Vietnamese Pumpkin Soup – Canh Bi Do

I was trying to cook pumpkin soup like the way my mom cooked this for me when I was pregnant.  It turned out I had bought the wrong type of pumpkin, but my toddler liked it.  My preggo belly liked it. I’ll have to research and learn more about the specific type of pumpkin mom used to make the naturally sweet pumpkin soup.

Cooking time: ~35 minutes
Ingredients: (cooked in a 5-quart pot)
1 lb baby back pork ribs (or pork neck bones)
2.5 lb pumpkin (bi do)
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 bunch of scallion
2 qt water
black pepper to taste
1 tsp pink sea salt
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
sugar to preference
*Since I bought the wrong kind of pumpkin, I added sugar (unmeasured) halfway while cooking when I tasted the pumpkin.  My pumpkin mom bought to make this soup for me was super naturally sweet and no sugar was needed.  I will update this recipe in the future when I know what kind of pumpkin I need to make it like my mom’s.


1.  Chop scallion, mince garlic, peel and cut pumpkin, chop ribs into short pieces.   Since this is my first time cooking with any kind of pumpkin, I cut it like I would with a cantelope.  Marinate ribs with black pepper, minced garlic, and pink salt for 30 minutes.   (I normally would use pork neck bones to make my soup whenever it’s available at the market.)
2.  In a pot, heat up oil.  Sear ribs with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar until brown.  This made my pork ribs tender.
3.  Pour in water and bring it to a boil.   Cook the pork broth for about 20 minutes on medium heat or constant boil.
4.  Add pumpkins and cook until the pumpkin is soft for about 20 minutes.
5.  Add scallion and turn off stove. Add more salt to your preference.    Serve with rice or eat it by itself.  The pumpkin will eventually falls apart by the time it cooled off.  Enjoy!
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