Posted by: SV | April 27, 2009

Rau Đay

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

Serves 4-6

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.

Rau Đai, originally uploaded by simpleviet.



  1. This is my favorite dish…it drives my Dad crazy because that’s all I ever want to eat when I come home (with ca gem or ca/tom kho)

    • you 4got to state when to put in shrimp.

  2. Thank you! I made the addition.

  3. Is there an American name for this vegetable? There aren’t many Asian markets around where I live.

    • You won’t find it at Western markets – not an English name for it that I can find. It’s hard to find, even in the Asian markets unless it’s an area highly populated by Vietnamese.

      • Here in Detroit it’s sold in Arabic markets, called Malukhiyah. The Latin name is Corchorus olitorius.

  4. Thanks for the recipe! I miss my mom’s canh rau day. I believe it is called Jute Leaf or Jew’s Mallow in English.

    • I’ll have to remember that! Thanks.

  5. I stumbled on a blog where they said the greens are called Jew’s Mallow, Egyptian Spinach, Molokhiya. Sometimes incorrectly called ‘okra leaves’ but it’s not really leaves from an okra plant – just has the same sliminess when cooked like okra….

  6. you can find ” Jew’s Mallow” in HONGKONG Supermarket!!!

  7. Vietnamese people rarely cook with salt and never had onion in this soup. My mom would also cook it with Thai Okra.

    • I guess we are learning that there are different interpretations to this dish. This is the version I’ve learned from my parents. This dish originate from the region my father grew up – the north (bac).

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