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Vietnamese Kabocha Squash Soup in a ceramic pot
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5 from 6 votes

Vietnamese Kabocha Squash Soup (Canh Bí Đỏ Thịt Bằm)

Vietnamese Kabocha Squash Soup is buttery, sweet and simple to make! This recipe is the emergency soup of your dreams!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Asian, Vietnamese
Servings: 8
Calories: 147kcal
Author: Jeannette


  • 1 kg / 2.2 lb kabocha squash
  • 150 g / 0.33 lb pork mince
  • 2 sprig spring onion heads (the white part)
  • 2 L water
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 3/4 tbsp sugar (or to taste)
  • 1 tbsp chicken bouillon powder


  • Divide the squash along the grooves.
    Note: The vegetable is naturally hard, so use a large cleaver or knife.
  • Use a smaller knife to peel away the skin.
  • Run the same small knife along the part where the soft and firm parts meet to remove the seeds.
  • Cut the vegetable into chunks, roughly 10cm (4") thick or to preference.
  • Bring the water to a boil and add the vegetables in to cook.
  • Meanwhile, use a mortar and pestle to pound the spring onion heads until they're split. Alternatively, use a large cleaver to slap at it.
  • Add oil to a small saucepan on medium heat and cook the spring onion heads for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  • Turn the heat to high and add the pork mince in to cook for 5 minutes or until cooked.
  • Pour the mince into the soup and season. Let it come to a boil and simmer for another 20 minutes or until the vegetable has softened.
  • Serve hot as is!


  • Use fresh ingredients. Since this recipe only has a few, it's vital that the best ingredients are used for the purest taste.
  • Don't overcook the vegetable. It may be tempting to simmer for longer for a thick and creamy soup, but this dish is traditionally served with chunks rather than a puree.
  • Take the mince off the heat as soon as it's done. To avoid a rubbery and pasty overcooked texture, add it into the broth once it's cooked.
  • We get our Japanese pumpkin from the Asian supermarket and it's often sold whole, halved or quartered. If that's not readily available then you can subsitute it for pumpkin.
  • Some families also use pork spare ribs instead of mince. It's entirely up to your preference!


Calories: 147kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 473mg | Potassium: 936mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 3444IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 2mg