Delicious Vietnamese Spinach Soup: A Must-Try Travel Delight

Vietnamese Spinach Soup, a beloved dish in Vietnam, embodies the country’s rich culinary heritage. Its vibrant flavors and cultural significance make it a must-try for foreign tourists seeking an authentic taste of Vietnam.

See more: Vietnam Food – Exploring the Flavors of Authentic Vietnamese Cuisine

Discovering Vietnamese Spinach in Vietnamese Cuisine

What is Vietnamese Spinach?

Vietnamese Spinach, scientifically known as Basella alba, is an esteemed leafy green vegetable that flourishes in Southeast Asia. Referred to as “Rau Mồng Tơi” in Vietnamese, this nutrient-rich plant is cultivated widely for its culinary prowess and health benefits. Its vibrant green leaves and succulent stems make it an enticing addition to a wide array of dishes.

One of the outstanding qualities of Vietnamese Spinach lies in its delicate yet distinctive earthy flavor. The tender leaves offer a delightful taste that harmoniously combines hints of spinach and watercress. This unique flavor profile has established Vietnamese Spinach as a highly sought-after ingredient in the realm of Vietnamese cuisine, where it graces an extensive range of culinary creations.

Vietnamese Spinach (or Malabar Spinach)
Vietnamese Spinach (or Malabar Spinach) – Source: Internet

Vietnamese Spinach in Vietnamese Cuisine

The versatility of Vietnamese Spinach in the kitchen is truly remarkable. Its tender leaves and stems lend themselves beautifully to various cooking methods, including stir-fries, salads, soups, and stews. You can explore a wide range of culinary possibilities with Vietnamese Spinach, as it easily adapts to your preferred cooking techniques.

One exemplary dish that truly showcases the splendor of Vietnamese Spinach is the traditional Vietnamese Spinach Soup, commonly known as “Canh Mồng Tơi.”

This nourishing soup unites the tender spinach leaves with aromatic herbs, vegetables, and occasionally proteins, resulting in a wholesome and flavorsome culinary delight. I highly recommend trying this delightful soup to savor the unique flavors and textures of Vietnamese Spinach.

It’s worth noting that Vietnamese Spinach not only tantalizes your taste buds but also offers a host of nutritional benefits. Packed with essential vitamins such as A, C, and iron, this leafy green vegetable fortifies your immune system and promotes optimal eye health.

Furthermore, its high dietary fiber content aids in digestion and contributes to a healthy digestive system. Including Vietnamese Spinach in your diet can provide you with a range of health benefits, making it a valuable addition to your meals.

Explore the unique flavors of Vietnamese dry noodles—a culinary delight.

This Soup Has Different Ingredients Depending On The Region
This Soup Has Different Ingredients Depending On The Region – Source: Internet

Where to Buy?

Vietnamese Spinach in various places:

  • Local Market: Local markets are a prime destination for a truly authentic and fresh experience. Here, you can connect with local farmers who sell their produce directly. They often offer a bountiful supply of Vietnamese Spinach, sourced locally and in sync with the seasons. Shopping at the local market supports the community and ensures you’re getting the freshest and most flavorful Vietnamese Spinach available.
  • Supermarket: If convenience is a priority or you’re seeking Vietnamese Spinach outside the local market’s operating hours, supermarkets are a reliable option. Many supermarkets stock Vietnamese Spinach under different vegetable brands, making it easily accessible year-round. When shopping at the supermarket, it’s advisable to check the label for the spinach’s place of origin if you specifically desire Vietnamese Spinach. This way, you can ensure that you’re selecting the authentic variety that meets your culinary preferences.
  • Farmers’ Markets: If you’re looking for a vibrant and community-oriented shopping experience, farmers’ markets are worth exploring. These markets bring together local farmers, artisans, and food producers. Vietnamese Spinach can often be found at farmers’ markets, allowing you to interact directly with the growers and learn more about their farming practices. This direct connection to the source ensures the freshest, sustainably grown Vietnamese Spinach for your culinary creations.
  • Online Sources: In the digital age, online platforms have become increasingly popular for purchasing groceries, and Vietnamese Spinach is no exception. Numerous online retailers specialize in delivering fresh produce straight to your doorstep. This option provides convenience and accessibility, allowing you to enjoy Vietnamese Spinach without leaving the comfort of your home.

Make sure to sample the renowned “pho types,” a must-try dish.

Crafting Vietnamese Spinach Soup

Vietnamese cuisine is a tapestry of flavors, and Vietnamese Spinach Soup, also known as Canh Rau Mồng Tơi, is a delicious thread in this culinary fabric. 

Home-made Spinach Soup Instruction


To craft a satisfying bowl of Vietnamese Spinach Soup, you’ll need the following:

  • Vietnamese Spinach (Rau Mồng Tơi): The star of the show, Vietnamese Spinach adds a mild, earthy flavor and a vibrant green color to the soup. 
  • Shrimps (or dried shrimps, ground beef)
  • Garlic
  • Cooking Spices: Basic seasonings include fish sauce for that characteristic umami, salt to taste, and a touch of sugar to balance the flavors.
    Preparing The Ingredients
    Preparing The Ingredients – Source: Internet

Step-by-Step Preparation Method

With your ingredients ready, let’s embark on the journey of crafting Vietnamese Spinach Soup:

  • Preparation: Start by washing and cleaning the Vietnamese Spinach leaves thoroughly. Trim away any tough stems or wilted leaves. If you’ve chosen shrimp, peel and devein them. For ground beef, prepare it by seasoning with a pinch of salt. Mince the garlic.
  • Broth Base: Pour a little oil into the pot, when it is hot, put the garlic into it. Add your choice of protein – shrimp, dried shrimp, or seasoned ground beef. Allow the protein to cook until shrimp turns pink or the beef is no longer pink. Pour water into the pot as well.
  • Seasoning: Enhance the broth with a combination of fish sauce, salt, and sugar to create a balanced flavor profile. Remember that the soup’s character is greatly influenced by these seasonings, so adjust according to your preference.
  • Adding Vietnamese Spinach: Once the protein is fully cooked and the broth is well-seasoned, gently introduce the cleaned Vietnamese Spinach leaves. They will wilt quickly while retaining their vibrant green color. Keep the cooking time short to maintain their freshness.
  • Garnish and Serve: Remove the pot from the heat and garnish the soup with fresh herbs like cilantro or scallions. The herbs provide both flavor and visual appeal. Vietnamese Spinach Soup is often served with steamed rice as a side.
    Yummy Spinach Soup
    Yummy Spinach Soup – Source: Internet

Exploring the Nutritional Aspects of Vietnamese Spinach Soup

Examining Nutritional Content

  • Key Nutrients in Vietnamese Spinach Soup: Vietnamese Spinach Soup is not just a flavorful delight; it’s also a source of essential nutrients. Here’s a breakdown of the prominent nutrients found in a typical serving.
    • Protein: The type of protein used, whether shrimp, dried shrimp, or ground beef, contributes to the protein content of the dish. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues.
    • Vitamins: Vietnamese Spinach, a vital component, is rich in vitamins, particularly vitamin A and vitamin C. These vitamins significantly maintain healthy skin, vision, and immune function.
    • Minerals: The soup offers minerals such as iron and calcium. Iron is important for oxygen transport in the body, while calcium is vital for strong bones.
  • Calories and Serving Sizes: The caloric content of Vietnamese Spinach Soup varies based on factors such as the choice of protein and the serving size. A standard serving size of 1 cup of Vietnamese Spinach Soup with shrimp typically provides around 100-150 calories, making it a relatively low-calorie option.

This dish will help you restore balance to your health after indulging in street food.

Dietary Adaptability and Health Considerations

  • Suitability for Vegetarian and Vegan Diets: Vietnamese Spinach Soup can be customized to align with the dietary preferences of vegetarians and vegans. Here’s how.
    • Vegetarian Option: To create a vegetarian version, animal-based protein (shrimp or beef) can be replaced with plant-based alternatives, such as tofu.
      Vegan Soup With Tofu
      Vegan Soup With Tofu – Source: Internet
  • Seafood Galore: In coastal regions, you’ll find versions that incorporate a variety of seafood, such as prawns, squid, or scallops. This transforms the soup into a seafood lover’s delight.
  • Health Considerations and Dietary Flexibility: Vietnamese Spinach Soup offers health benefits that cater to various dietary and nutritional needs:
    • Low Fat: The soup, especially when prepared with lean protein sources, is naturally low in fat, promoting heart health.
    • High Fiber: Vietnamese Spinach Soup, rich in spinach, provides dietary fiber, aiding digestive health.
    • Gluten-Free: The traditional recipe of Vietnamese Spinach Soup is intrinsically gluten-free, rendering it suitable for individuals with gluten sensitivities.
    • Allergen-Friendly: The adaptability of the dish allows for the omission of common allergens, rendering it a versatile option for those with specific food allergies.
    • Balanced Nutrition: The combination of vegetables, protein, and seasonings in Vietnamese Spinach Soup offers a balanced meal option that aligns with diverse dietary preferences.


In summary, Vietnamese Spinach Soup is a versatile dish that combines flavor, nutrition, and cultural significance. With its rich nutritional content and cultural importance, it is a fundamental element of Vietnamese cuisine. We invite you to explore this dish and experience the vibrant flavors and cultural heritage it embodies during your journey through Vietnam.