My Canh SF

Tonight i had my first bowl of banh canh cua at My Canh on Broadway. Tender pork in a thick broth with fat, slippery (tapioca) noodles and blood cakes topped with about a quarter Dungeness crab in the shell. The broth was starch thick, like a Chinese hot and sour or egg drop soup, which surprised the friend that recommended the place. He didn’t recall it being like that. However, this is one of the two things everyone orders and posts on yelp, and a look at the photos over the years look consistently like what we ate tonight. Except the amount of crab. It seems it used to come with more.

I thought it was delicious, and the thick soup stayed hot for a long time, very welcome on this cold night. I loved the slippery noodles, about the thickness of udon, though I’m pretty sure they’re made of tapioca. I did want more crab, but for $13 it was fine.

We split a fairly crispy decent banh xeo. If I were still in my drinking days I would have been more thrilled to learn its open late. 2-3 AM, I believe. So if you’re having a late night in Chinatown or north beach, here’s another option just down the street from yuet lee.

I drained the bowl of the porky, crab broth which absorbed the flavor of the fried shallots after they softened and dissolved. The starch eventually broke and the soup thinned midway through eating. I can’t stress how much I enjoyed the texture of those noodles.

Funny enough there was a Korean bbq rice plate special on the wall. Two of us are Korean, joining a viet and a Cambodian tonight because all four of us had neglected to do anything for lunar new year.

We did not order the Korean bbq.


Tapioca getting into the broth from a whole day of cooking the noodles in the broth?

Looked at a few things online. I think the gravy like soup is traditional, not incidental from cooking large quantities of noodles.

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Bessarabsky Market, Kyiv. Ukraine
Credit: Juan Antonio Segal, Flickr