How to Make Canh Cà Chua Trứng (Tomato Egg Soup)
Canh cà chua trứng is like a Vietnamese tomato egg drop soup. I like it sour with extra tamarind powder! It’s one of the first things I learned how to make when I moved away from my parents. Definitely a comfort food for me, especially with a big bowl of rice!
What is Canh Cà Chua Trứng?
Canh cà chua trứng is a Vietnamese soup. Canh means soup, cà chua means tomato, and trứng means egg. Another name for it is canh mây because the eggs look like clouds (mây means cloud). This soup is basically a tomato egg drop soup. My family likes it sour so we always put tamarind powder in it. I learned recently that not everyone does this but I think it’s the best way to have it.
This is not a dish that you’d find at restaurants but it’s definitely classic Vietnamese home cooking, comfort food. There are many ways you can make it with different proteins, how much of each ingredient you add, and how long you cook it for. The recipe I’m sharing here is my favorite way of making it with some tips for how to adjust it to your liking!
The main ingredients, as the name states, are tomato and egg. The egg is my favorite part. I like it dense but my parent’s like it thin and silky. Add more or less to your preference but I would not recommend more than 1 egg per cup of broth. I also don’t like mine to be super tomato-y. I add just enough to get the tomato flavor but not to where there is a piece of tomato in every bite. My parents on the other hand, love tomatoes. However, you also don’t want to add too many so that it’s more like a tomato sauce than soup.
For the broth, I like for it to have a seafood flavor so I add in dried shrimp but you can also use fresh shrimp. Pork is another great option. It also tastes great as a vegetarian soup, just leave out the seafood or protein and fish sauce. For seasonings, I use water and flavor with mushroom seasoning which can be substituted for chicken bouillon or chicken broth. The most important ingredient, in my opinion, is tamarind powder which makes it sour. The more you add, the more sour it will become. I love the tang of the sour soup and it compliments the tomato flavor so well. Lastly finish it off with fish sauce. Taste test and adjust everything to your preference. Turn off the heat, then add green onions and cilantro for freshness.
How to Cook
Just like how you can add more or less of an ingredient, you can also cook it more or less to change the flavor. I like to start off by sautéing onions and tomatoes until the onions are translucent to get it fragrant. I don’t like to cook the tomatoes for too long here to where it is completely soft. The longer you cook the tomatoes, the more tomato-y the soup will taste. If you opt to use pork or fresh shrimp, I would also sauté it here as well. It does not need to be fully cooked through at this point since it will continue cooking in the broth.
Next, add in the water, dried shrimp, and seasonings. I always add fish sauce last. Boil until the tomatoes soften to your liking. Again, I don’t like it super tomato-y so I boil for about 10 minutes to where it’s soft but still retains the original shape and not mushy. To create silky egg ribbons, stir the soup in a circular motion to create a tornado effect. Slowly pour whisked eggs into the tornado. If you like the strands of egg to be thin and distributed, stir to break it apart. I prefer it to be thicker pieces of egg so I usually don’t stir. Let the soup boil until the eggs cook through and rise to the top. I like to add green onions and cilantro with the heat off, right before serving so they stay fresh and green.
How to Eat
In the Vietnamese culture, every home cooked meal is eaten family style. Growing up, our dinner table always had the main components of rice, salty meat dish, vegetables, and a soup. Canh cà chua trứng is usually eaten like a side soup with our meals. We also put white rice into the soup and eat it like that. It is so comforting!
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Canh Cà Chua Trứng (Tomato Egg Drop Soup)
- ¼ cup dried shrimp
- ¼ onion, chopped
- 2 roma tomatoes, deseeded & quartered
- 4 cups water
- 1 tbs mushroom seasoning or chicken bouillon
- 4 tsp tamarind powder
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 2 green onions, sliced
- handful cilantro, chopped
- Soak dried shrimp in hot water to soften then roughly chop and set aside.
- In a pot on medium heat with a little bit of oil, sauté onions and tomatoes until onions are translucent.
- Add water, shrimp, mushroom seasoning (or chicken bouillon), tamarind powder, and fish sauce. Taste & adjust to preference.
- Once the soup is boiling and tomatoes are softened (about ~10 minutes), stir soup in a circular motion to create a tornado effect.
- Slowly pour eggs into the tornado to create silky ribbons. Stir if you want thin strands of egg, do not stir if you want bigger strands. Boil until the eggs are cooked through and rises.
- Turn off the heat, top with green onions, cilantro, serve with rice, & enjoy!