• Hai Phong red noodles with steamed crab (Banh Da Cua Tron) (Luke Nguyen's Railway Vietnam)Source: Luke Nguyen's Railway Vietnam

The red noodles made from flour and coloured with a dark caramel made from granulated brown sugar are known as ‘Banh Da’ and are a speciality of Hai Phong. 






Skill level

Average: 4.5 (1 vote)

These particular noodles dry in the sun for about 6 hours before going into the cutting room. In Australia you can buy the fully dried noodles from Vietnamese supermarkets. 


  • 1 tbsp chilli oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 4 cm piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 live mud crab, about 1 kg, cooked and meat picked (see note)
  • 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
  • 200 g banh da 
  • handful water spinach, blanched and refreshed in iced water, drained
  • handful bean sprouts
  • 1 tbsp fried shallots
  • 1 tbsp roasted peanuts 


  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp Vietnamese sate or Sriracha  
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) soy sauce
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. For the sauce, place all the ingredients in a small saucepan, stir to combine well and bring to a simmer. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. 

2. Place a frying pan or wok over medium heat, add the oil, garlic, chilli and ginger and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the cooked crab meat and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add 2 tablespoons of the sauce and the spring onion and stir-fry for another 30 seconds. Transfer the crab mixture into the reserved upper crab shell and set aside. 

3. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and cook the noodles for 5 seconds if using fresh or according to packet instructions if using fully dried. Drain, then place in a bowl with the water spinach, bean sprouts and the remaining sauce. Toss to coat well, then transfer to a serving plate. Top with the filled crab and scatter with the fried shallots and peanuts.


Catch Luke Nguyen on the tracks dishing up Vietnamese fare in the brand-new series, Luke Nguyen's Railway Vietnam.