Try This Delicious Canh Bau Tom Recipe Today!

Well hello there fellow foodie, have I got a treat for you today! I’m here to share with you one of my all-time favorite Vietnamese soup recipes – Canh Bau Tom, also known as Opo Squash Soup. This soup is perfect for chilly evenings and will warm you up from the inside out.

Now, let me tell you a little bit about Vietnamese Opo Squash. It’s a type of pale green squash that can be found at your local grocery store. In Vietnam, it’s called “Trái Bầu” and it’s also known as Calabash or Bottle Gourd. Once placed next to more common veggies, Trái Bầu stands out from the crowd with its unique shape and size.

This soup recipe is made with shrimp, white pepper, fish sauce, and other delicious ingredients that create a perfect balance of savory flavors. One of the best things about this soup is that it has a lightness to it that belies its complexity.

So why should you give this recipe a try? For starters, it’s incredibly easy to make and has only a handful of ingredients required. But don’t let that fool you because it’s packed full of flavor! Plus, opo squash is chock full of nutrients and boasts many health benefits.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your apron and cooking pot because you’re in for a treat with this Vietnamese Opo Squash Soup recipe – Canh Bau Tom. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Canh Bau Tom - Vietnamese Opo Squash Soup
Canh Bau Tom – Vietnamese Opo Squash Soup

Are you tired of the same old soup recipes? Looking to spice up your taste buds with something new and exciting? Then look no further than Canh Bau Tom – Vietnamese Opo Squash Soup!

This delicious soup recipe combines the unique flavors of Vietnamese opo squash, succulent shrimp, and a flavorful broth made with fish sauce, white pepper, and green onions. Add some cilantro for freshness and a sprinkle of white sugar for a hint of sweetness, and you’ve got yourself a bowl full of happiness!

The beauty of this recipe is that it’s easy to make and customizable to your liking. Feel free to adjust the levels of seasoning to match your personal preference, or even swap out the shrimp for chicken or tofu if that’s more your style.

Not only is this soup delicious, it’s also packed full of healthy ingredients. Opo squash is low in calories and high in fiber, making it a great addition to any diet. The shrimp also provides a good source of lean protein.

So what are you waiting for? Head down to your local grocery store and pick up some opo squash (also known as trái bầu or calabash), some fresh shrimp, and the other necessary ingredients. Trust me, once you try this soup recipe, you’ll be hooked!

Ingredient List

“Bite into a bowlful of tradition – Canh Bau Tom soup!”

Here are the ingredients you need to make this Canh Bau Tom recipe:

Main ingredients

  • 1 lb peeled and diced shrimp
  • 1 large Vietnamese Opo squash (around 1 lb)
  • Peel and remove seeds of squash, cut into thick matchsticks
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onion
  • Fish sauce
  • White pepper


  • Cilantro
  • Green onions (white part)

You can find Vietnamese Opo squash in most local Asian grocery stores. It is sometimes placed under the veggies section, called ‘trai bau’ or ‘trai calabash’ because of its bottle gourd shape and pale green skin color.

In case you cannot find Vietnamese Opo Squash, you can substitute it with another type of squash, such as winter squash or butternut squash. However, I recommend using Vietnamese Opo Squash for an authentic flavor.

The Recipe How-To

“The perfect blend of freshness and flavor in one comforting soup.”

Now, let’s dive into the recipe itself. Make sure you have all the ingredients ready before starting, as this soup comes together quickly.

Prep the Ingredients

First, peel and slice thinly 1 large opo squash. This pale green squash can be found at your local grocery store under several names: opo squash, Vietnamese opo, Vietnamese opo squash, or even squash calabash or bottle gourd. Then, peel and dice 4-6 shrimp and slice thinly 2-3 green onions (white part only). Finally, thinly slice 1 onion, which should yield about 2 cups.

Cook the Soup

In a pot or dutch oven, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add in the sliced opo squash and onions. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes until the squash is tender.

Next, add in the diced shrimp and let it cook for a few minutes until it turns pink and is no longer translucent.

Finally, season with 1 tbsp fish sauce, 1 tsp sugar, and white pepper to taste. Stir well and adjust seasoning as needed.

Garnish and Serve

To serve, ladle the soup into individual bowls and sprinkle with thinly sliced green onions and cilantro leaves.

This recipe makes four servings of warm, comforting soup that’s great for any meal of the day. If you want to make more or less, adjust accordingly but keep in mind that you may need to adjust the seasoning as well.

Enjoy your homemade Vietnamese Opo Squash Soup – Canh Bau Tom!

Substitutions and Variations

“A nourishing and healthy choice for dinner tonight!”

Hey there foodies! Are you in the mood for some delicious Vietnamese soup, but don’t have all the ingredients on hand? Don’t worry – I’ve got you covered with some suggestions for substitutions and variations that will still give you a tasty bowl of soup.

First, if you can’t find opo squash at your local grocery store, you can substitute it with another type of squash such as calabash or bottle gourd. These vegetables have a similar texture and taste that make them great substitutes for opo squash.

Next, if you’re not a fan of shrimp or are allergic to shellfish, you can swap them out for another protein such as chicken or tofu. Simply diced into small pieces and add those into the soup instead. If using chicken instead of shrimp, consider marinating it with a little bit of fish sauce before adding it into the soup for added flavor.

If you prefer vegetarian soups or want to cut down on calories, simply omit the shrimp and use vegetable broth instead of water. The result is still a satisfying bowl of warm soup bursting with bold flavors.

Lastly, add in some extra veggies to increase the nutritional value and taste of your soup. Carrots, green beans or broccoli complement this dish nicely with their crisp crunchiness.

Remember that cooking is not an exact science, so don’t hesitate to experiment and go off-recipe. Play with different combinations of ingredients to create your own customized version of this Vietnamese classic. Just keep in mind the flavor profile you’re going for – slightly sweet from sugar slightly spicy from white pepper -, which is key to making a delicious batch every time. Happy cooking!

Serving and Pairing

“Vietnamese soup that will make your taste buds dance.”

The Canh Bau Tom Vietnamese Opo Squash Soup is a simple yet flavorful dish that can be enjoyed at any mealtime. To serve, ladle it into individual bowls and garnish each with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro and thinly sliced green onions.

For an authentic Vietnamese experience, serve the soup with a side of steamed jasmine rice, which will help to balance the sweetness and saltiness of the soup. The lightness of the soup makes it perfect for pairing with savory snacks such as crispy spring rolls or shrimp chips.

If you’re looking for a heartier meal, consider serving the soup alongside grilled meats such as pork chops or chicken skewers. The richness of the protein pairs perfectly with the brightness of the soup.

In terms of beverages, you might want to consider pairing this soup with light and crisp white wines like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. If you prefer something nonalcoholic, try matching it with refreshing drinks like iced jasmine tea or coconut water.

Whether you’re serving it as an appetizer or a main dish, Canh Bau Tom Vietnamese Opo Squash Soup is sure to please everyone at your table with its comforting warmth and bright flavors that will transport them straight to Vietnam.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“Comforting, cozy and oh-so-delicious, this Canh Bau Tom is sure to be a winner.”

Soup is the ultimate comfort food and the Vietnamese Opo Squash Soup, also known as Canh Bau Tom, is a soup that keeps on giving. Making in advance an extra batch of soup not only ensures you have something delicious to munch on during a lazy day but also allows the flavors to deepen and intensify making it even better with some extra resting time. This hearty soup is perfect for meal prep as it stays fresh and flavorful for days.

Storing the soup in the refrigerator is an easy and convenient option, but be sure to let it cool completely before storing it in an airtight container. The soup can last up to 4 days in the refrigerator, so you can always have a comforting bowl ready for you whenever you need it.

If you want to freeze the soup, you can do so by letting it cool at room temperature then transferring it into a freezer-safe container. It can last up to 3 months in the freezer but make sure not to fill the container to the brim so that it has enough space for expansion.

When reheating, you can use the stove, microwave or oven. Just make sure to thaw frozen soup overnight before reheating. One trick to avoid overcooking or drying out shrimp is to microwave or reheat shrimp separately from the soup base and add them during plating. This way, they’re less prone to turning rubbery or being overwhelmed by the broth.

Whether freshly cooked or stored in your fridge or freezer, this delicious soup will keep your grumpy belly happy across multiple meals.

Tips for Perfect Results

“Get ready to feel the warmth of a comforting bowl of soup in your belly.”

Cooking this Vietnamese Opo Squash Soup recipe might seem easy, but getting it to taste perfect every time will require some expertise. Here are some tips to ensure that you get the best results when preparing this delicious soup.

Firstly, to get the most authentic taste, I suggest using Vietnamese Opo Squash. It is different from other types of squash in its texture and flavor. This squash has thin skin and pale green flesh that easily blends with the other ingredients, making it an ideal option for this soup.

Ensure that the soup is well-seasoned by adding sugar and fish sauce to taste. These ingredients balance the dish’s flavor profile, bringing out the sweetness in the squash and richness in the shrimp. You can adjust the amounts of these ingredients depending on your preference, but a tablespoon of each should be enough for an excellent result.

When preparing the shrimp for this soup recipe, you need to ensure they are perfectly cooked. Use fresh or frozen raw shrimp peeled and diced into 4-6 pieces each. Avoid overcooking them as they tend to become tough and rubbery. Cook for just 1-2minutes until pink in color, then remove from heat as they will continue cooking in the hot soup.

To add more flavor and depth to this dish, garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and green onions just before serving. The aroma and flavors will infuse into your soup even more!

Lastly, I recommend simmering your soup recipe slowly in order to give all of its elements time to fully blend together. With its simple ingredients list, it’s easy to rush through cooking time or boil too long by mistake. Be patient; let all those flavors emerge naturally over low heat!

Follow these tips, and you’ll be sure to have a perfect bowl of Canh Bau Tom – Vietnamese Opo Squash Soup every time!


As a chef specializing in Vietnamese and Asian cuisine, I understand that cooking can raise questions. That’s why I’ve put together some frequently asked questions about this Canh Bau Tom Vietnamese Opo Squash Soup recipe to help you along the way. From substitutions to ingredient clarifications, this section covers all the common inquiries that have come up when preparing this delightful dish in the past. So let’s dive into your most pressing matters to ensure that your soup turns out perfectly every time!

What is oppo vegetable in vietnamese?

If you’re looking to make a delicious Vietnamese dish that features opo squash as a key ingredient, head over to your local Asian or Vietnamese grocery store. Opo squash, which may also go by the names trái bầu, calabash, or bottle gourd, can typically be found in the vegetable section of these stores.

What is opo squash in Chinese?

The Opo Squash, also known as the “Chinese Long Squash” or 瓠子hù zǐ, is a type of gourd that is native to China and Southeast Asia. It has a pale green skin and white flesh, and its flavor is very mild. It is comparable to a zucchini in appearance.

Bottom Line

And there you have it, folks! One scrumptious, warm bowl of Vietnamese Opo Squash Soup. Trust me, as a chef who specializes in Vietnamese and Asian cuisine, this soup is the perfect comfort food to warm you up on cold nights or make you feel better when you’re feeling under the weather.

Don’t be intimidated by the unique ingredients or the unfamiliar name. This soup is easy to make and is packed full of flavor. With fresh cilantro and green onions, succulent shrimp, and a delicate blend of spices such as fish sauce and white pepper, every spoonful is sure to be a treat for your taste buds.

So why not give this recipe a try? You can find all the ingredients at your local grocery store easily. And remember to make it yours by adding your favorite personal twists! Whether it’s extra spice, more vegetables, or different seasoning – the possibilities are endless.

Now it’s time to grab your soup bowls, and dig in with some crusty bread or steaming rice for a complete meal.

Trust me; You won’t regret making this tasty Canh Bau Tom soup recipe. It’s an absolute must-try for any lover of Vietnamese cuisine or anyone looking for new ways of eating squash.

Once you’ve embraced this recipe’s perfection in all its glory, make sure to pass on the baton and share this recipe with your family and friends! Trust me; they’ll thank you for it!

Bon Appétit!

Canh Bau Tom - Vietnamese Opo Squash Soup

Canh Bau Tom - Vietnamese Opo Squash Soup Recipe

Bau, or opo squash, (calabash, cucuzzi, bottle gourd, etc) is a long pale green squash that can be found at Asian markets. It has a flavor similar to cucumbers mixed with zucchini. My daughter and I love this squash raw to snack on. My sister in law introduced me to this simple soup. She pairs it with Thit Kho, stewed pork, or other Kho recipes. This soup pairs nicely with salty dishes to mellow out the flavors. Can serve over rice to make a light stew. I sometimes add 2 c fish stock and 4 c of water. Prep time varies on how long the squash and shrimp needs to cook. If using this soup as a side to Kho dishes, I use the smaller amount of shrimp. If serving alone over rice, I use more shrimp.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Appetizer/Soup
Cuisine Vietnamese
Calories 92.6 kcal


  • 1 large opo squash, Peeled and sliced thinly
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2-1 lb shrimp, peeled and diced
  • 4 -6 green onions, diced, separated in half
  • 1/4-1/2 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.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 229gCalories: 92.6kcalCarbohydrates: 5.5gProtein: 12.5gFat: 2.2gSaturated Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 86.4mgSodium: 789.5mgFiber: 0.9gSugar: 2.6g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Asian, Egg-free, Free Of..., Lactose-free
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