As promised a few weeks ago, I’m following up with a photo of rau đay to help identify it. Finally saw it come in at the local Asian market. Definitely, not something you would find at the Western grocery store. The leaves are very thin and textured like mint, edge of leaves have ridges.
I’m only familiar this as a soup with dried or fresh shrimp – made the same way as canh mồng tơi. One of my summer favorites – over a steaming hot bowl of rice.
To prepare the soup, pluck the leaves from the stem and use only the leaves. Similar to okra, when cooked it makes the soup slimy. I think it’s an acquired taste!
Oh, don’t forget to put the rice on ahead of time. This comes together in 10-15 minutes max!
Canh Rau Đay
8 cups of water
2/3 cup of dried shrimp
1 bunch of washed and rau đay leaves removed from stems
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tbsp shrimp paste
crushed black pepper to taste
1. Soak dried shrimp in 1 cup of warm water bath for 20-30 minutes. Drain shrimp and save the liquid. Place shrimp into a food processor, pulse grind until the shrimp is broken up into small pieces.
2. In a medium size pan, add the grounded shrimp, 7 cups of liquid and the remaining liquid used to soak the shrimp. Bring to a boil.
3. Add chopped onion and salt to stock.
4. Add rau đay leaves to stock and bring to boil over medium high heat.
5. Quickly stir the soup and add the shrimp paste. Bring soup to boil for 1-2 minutes, when the rau đay is wilted.
6. Ladle soup over a bowl of steaming, rice.