There is a fear when my generation hear the words ‘Giò Heo’ which translates to pig’s feet/hock/trotter. But I promise it is one of the best piece of meat you can gnaw on! When you bite through that soft skin, you will then sink into the sweet tender meat. After you finish all the meaty parts you will have to work through the chewy tendons and cartilage, my favorite part. I love the layers of texture of ‘Giò Heo’ and if you love that too, you will love this soup!
Unlike the familiar thicken soup from Banh Canh Cua, Banh Canh Gio Heo has a more traditional soupy broth. It’s simple, clean, and to the point that brings out the natural flavor of each ingredients.
While most Banh Canh Gio Heo has more of a pork base broth I like to use ground shrimp for that extra sweetness. ‘Giò Heo’ is already heavy as it is so I try to lighten the broth as much as possible by using shrimp.
2 lbs of shrimp
8-10 pork hock
1 large sweet onion ( quartered)
fresh banh canh noodles
1. Par boil the pork hock with plenty of salt and 1/4 cup of vinegar. Drain dirty water and wash hock thoroughly with cold water.
2. Rinse and peel the shrimps but save the shell.
3. Add the shrimp shells, pork hock, and 3/4 of the sweet onions to a pot and add 4 quarts of water. Simmer everything in pot to make the broth. Season with 2 tablespoon of salt, 1 tablespoon mushroom seasoning, and 1/2 tablespoon of sugar. Remove scum as needed.
4. Divide peeled shrimp in half. Take 1/2 of the shrimp and ground it with a food blender then set a side.
5. Take the other half and cook the shrimp whole in the broth from step #3. Once shrimp is cooked remove from broth and set aside.
6. Pay attention to your pork hock, I like mine on the chewy side. Cook hock to your preference and remove from broth.
7. Remove the shrimp shells from the broth.
8. Scoop ground shrimp into the broth, let broth come to a boil and then turn down heat. Remove any scum as needed.
9. Make final tasting by adding additional salt and sugar as needed.
10. Chop up cilantro, green onions, and sliced the 1/4 sweet onions for garnishing. Prepare lime wedges and chili for eating.
11. Boil the banh canh noodle ahead of time.
12. Add noodles to a bowl top with pork hock and cooked whole shrimp. Ladle in the broth, add cilantro/onions mixture, fried shallots, lime, and fresh chili to your liking. Enjoy pork hock by dipping it in a little bit of fish sauce mixed with fresh chili.