Sup Nui Suon Heo: A Complete Guide to Cooking and Reheating

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Written By Hot Thai Restaurant

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We’re diving into the heartwarming world of Vietnamese cuisine with a dish that’s as comforting as it is delicious. Meet “Sup Nui Suon Heo,” a delightful pork rib noodle soup that’s been warming hearts and bellies across Vietnam for generations. This dish is a beautiful symphony of tender pork ribs, flavorful broth, and hearty pasta, making it a perfect meal for any day.


Diving into the comforting embrace of Sup Nui Suon Heo, we’ll need a medley of ingredients that blend harmoniously to create this heartwarming dish. Here’s what you’ll need to bring this Vietnamese pork rib noodle soup to life.

For the Broth

  • 1.5 pounds of pork ribs, cut into chunks
  • 2 large onions, quartered
  • 4 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 2 carrots, chopped coarsely
  • 3-inch piece of ginger, sliced
  • 2-3 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce, adjust to taste
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 8 cups water

For the Soup

  • 1 cup elbow macaroni or any small pasta
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced thinly
  • 2 cups of bok choy, chopped
  • Additional salt and fish sauce, to taste
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Green onions, sliced thinly
  • Lime wedges
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chili slices (optional for heat)
  • Crispy fried shallots (optional for added crunch)

Gathering these ingredients is the first step in crafting a bowl of Sup Nui Suon Heo that envelops you in its warmth and complexity of flavors. Each component, from the pork ribs to the garnishes, plays a vital role in creating a symphony of tastes that is truly representative of Vietnamese cuisine.

Kitchen Tools and Equipment

To bring the comforting flavors of “Sup Nui Suon Heo” to life, having the right kitchen tools and equipment is just as crucial as the ingredients themselves. Here, we’ll guide you through the essentials you’ll need to prepare this heartwarming Vietnamese pork rib noodle soup. Let’s dive in and make sure your kitchen is fully equipped for this culinary journey!

Large Stock Pot

First and foremost, you’ll need a large stock pot. This is where the magic happens, combining pork ribs, onions, garlic, ginger, and a variety of spices to create a flavorful broth. A pot with at least a 6-quart capacity is ideal, ensuring there’s plenty of room for the broth to simmer and develop its rich flavors.

Skimmer Spoon

A skimmer spoon will be your best friend during the cooking process. It’s indispensable for skimming off any foam or impurities that rise to the surface of the broth, ensuring a clear, clean taste that’s essential for a high-quality soup.

Sharp Knife and Cutting Board

A sharp knife and a sturdy cutting board are necessary for prepping your ingredients. You’ll be dicing onions, mincing garlic, and chopping carrots and bok choy. A good knife will make these tasks much quicker and safer, while a large cutting board provides enough space to work efficiently.

Pasta Pot or Colander

A pasta pot with a built-in strainer or a separate colander is needed to cook the pasta. Since “Sup Nui Suon Heo” incorporates noodles, cooking them properly is crucial. The noodles should be al dente, adding texture and substance to the soup without becoming mushy.

Measuring Cups and Spoons

Accuracy is key, especially when it comes to the spices and seasonings that give “Sup Nui Suon Heo” its distinctive flavor. Measuring cups and spoons will help you add the exact amounts, ensuring a perfect balance between warmth, depth, and brightness in every spoonful.


A ladle is essential for serving. It helps you scoop up the generous portions of broth, pork ribs, noodles, and vegetables, creating a perfect harmony of ingredients in each bowl.

Preparation Steps

Diving into the heart of our cooking journey, let’s ensure every step is followed to bring the authentic taste of “Sup Nui Suon Heo” to your table.

Marinating the Pork Ribs

To begin, we’ll marinate the pork ribs, which is the cornerstone of flavor for this dish. In a large bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 2 minced garlic cloves. Add 1 pound of pork ribs to the bowl. Make sure each piece is well-coated with the marinade. Let them sit for at least 30 minutes, or for optimal flavor, refrigerate them overnight. This process not only infuses the ribs with a depth of flavor but also tenderizes the meat.

Preparing the Vegetables

While the ribs are marinating, let’s prep our veggies. Peel and slice 2 medium carrots into thin rounds. Next, take 2 bok choy heads, and after washing them thoroughly, chop them into bite-sized pieces. Dice 1 onion and mince 2 more garlic cloves. These vegetables will add not just nutrition but layers of flavor and texture to our soup. It’s crucial to cut the vegetables into sizes that will cook uniformly, ensuring every spoonful is perfectly balanced.

Making the Broth

For the heart and soul of “Sup Nui Suon Heo” – the broth. In a large stock pot, bring about 8 cups of water to a boil. Add the marinated pork ribs, the diced onion, and the rest of the garlic. Lower the heat to a simmer and let it cook for 1 hour. Skim off any foam that rises to the top using a skimmer spoon. This helps in achieving a clear, clean-tasting broth, which is a hallmark of a well-made Vietnamese soup.

After an hour, add the sliced carrots to the pot. Continue to simmer for another 20 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Season the broth with salt and a dash of fish sauce to taste. The trick here is to season gradually, allowing each addition to meld with the broth before adjusting further. It’s about building that rich, umami-packed foundation that will carry all the flavors of the added ingredients.

With these preparation steps, the foundation of your “Sup Nui Suon Heo” is set. The blend of marinated pork ribs, a bouquet of vegetables, and a rich broth promises a deliciously comforting bowl that’s a hug for the soul.

Cooking Instructions

Now that we’ve marinated our pork ribs, prepped our vegetables, and set the stage for a flavorful broth, let’s bring this comforting bowl of Sup Nui Suon Heo to life.

Boiling the Pork Ribs

Start by placing the marinated pork ribs into a large pot filled with enough water to cover them. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. As it boils, you’ll notice foam forming on the surface. This is impurities and excess fat from the ribs, so take a moment to skim it off. This step ensures our broth will be clear and appealing. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low, allowing the ribs to simmer gently. We’ll keep them cooking for about 1 to 1.5 hours or until they’re tender enough to easily separate from the bone with a fork. Remember, the longer and slower they cook, the more flavorful and tender the ribs will be.

Cooking the Noodles

While our ribs are simmering, let’s turn our attention to the noodles. Sup Nui Suon Heo traditionally uses pasta, so we’ll cook our noodles according to the package’s instructions. Bring a separate pot of water to a boil, add a pinch of salt, and then the pasta. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and cook until al dente. Once done, drain the noodles and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. This also removes excess starch, ensuring our noodles will be perfectly loose and not clump together in the soup.

Assembling the Soup

With the ribs tender and the noodles cooked, we’re now ready to assemble our Sup Nui Suon Heo. Distribute the cooked noodles evenly among bowls. Ladle the hot broth over the noodles, ensuring to strain out any solids to keep the broth clear and smooth. Now, add the tender pork ribs to each bowl. Next, it’s time to bring in the color and nutrition with our prepared vegetables. Add slices of carrot and chunks of bok choy to the soup, allowing them to slightly wilt from the broth’s heat. This not only adds a vibrant pop of color but also layers of flavor and texture.

Remember to serve it hot and invite your friends and family to enjoy this comforting, flavorful bowl of Vietnamese noodle soup.

Make-Ahead Instructions

Preparing “Sup Nui Suon Heo” can be a delightful yet time-intensive process. To make it more convenient, especially for bustling days, follow our make-ahead instructions to enjoy this comforting dish with less prep time.

Preparing the Pork Ribs

  1. Marinate the pork ribs with your choice of spices, as mentioned in the main recipe. Once marinated, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before you plan to cook them. This not only enhances the flavor but also cuts down on the actual cooking time.
  2. For an even quicker broth preparation, boil the pork ribs as instructed, then let the broth cool down. Strain it to remove any impurities and excess fat. Store the clear broth and boiled pork ribs separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. This ensures that you have the heart of the dish ready to be heated and served.

Pre-Cooking the Pasta and Vegetables

  1. Cook the pasta al dente, rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process, and toss it with a little bit of oil to prevent sticking. Store the cooled pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  2. Blanch the vegetables like carrots and bok choy in boiling water for a couple of minutes until they are just tender. Immediately plunge them into ice water to halt the cooking process, preserving their vibrant color and crisp texture. Drain well and store the vegetables in separate airtight containers in the fridge.

Assembling the Soup

When you’re ready to enjoy “Sup Nui Suon Heo,” assembling the soup is a breeze with the pre-cooked ingredients. Simply reheat the broth and add the pork ribs to it, allowing them to come to a gentle simmer. Next, add the pre-cooked pasta and vegetables into the soup just long enough to heat through, ensuring they retain their texture and don’t become overcooked. Serve hot, garnished with fresh herbs for that burst of freshness.

Serving Suggestions

Serving “Sup Nui Suon Heo” is as much about tradition as it is about taste. Once our soup bubbles with the harmony of flavors, making sure it reaches the table in the best possible way is key. Let’s dive into how we can turn this hearty meal into a feast for the senses.


For a full Vietnamese dining experience, we recommend a few simple but essential accompaniments:

  • Fresh Herbs: A small plate of fresh cilantro, Thai basil, and mint can dramatically uplift the dish, allowing guests to customize their bowl to their taste.
  • Chili and Lime Wedges: For those who enjoy a tangy kick, a side of lime wedges and thinly sliced chili peppers can add brightness and heat to the soup.
  • Baguette or Crispy Bread: A common pairing in Vietnamese cuisine, a crusty baguette or slices of crispy bread on the side are perfect for dipping into the broth and savoring every last drop.


Visual appeal is crucial. Here’s how to serve it with style:

  1. Bowls: Opt for wide, deep bowls that give ample space to layer the pasta, vegetables, and ribs, showing off the ingredients’ colors and textures.
  2. Layering: Start by placing a serving of pasta at the bottom. Add the vegetables on one side and neatly arrange the pork ribs on top.
  3. Broth Pouring: Ladle the hot broth into the bowl, making sure it covers the ingredients but lets them peek out. This not only cooks the vegetables lightly but also releases the aroma, enticing the sense of smell before the first bite.
  4. Garnishing: A sprinkling of finely chopped green onions and cilantro over the top not only adds a pop of color but also a fresh flavor contrast to the rich broth.

Adjusting to Taste

Lastly, it’s essential to cater to personal taste preferences. We always place condiments on the table:

  • Fish Sauce: For those who prefer a saltier, deeper umami flavor.
  • Hoison Sauce: Adds sweetness and depth, perfect for those who enjoy a more complex flavor profile.
  • Sriracha or Chili Sauce: For an extra kick of heat.

Storage and Reheating

After savoring the warmth and richness of “Sup Nui Suon Heo,” you might find yourself with some leftovers. No worries! We’ve got the perfect strategies for storing and reheating this delicious soup so it remains just as enjoyable the next day.

Storing the Soup Properly

  1. Cool Down: Firstly, let the soup cool down but not for too long. You’ll want to refrigerate it within two hours of cooking to prevent bacterial growth.
  2. Separate Components: If possible, store the broth and pasta separately. This keeps the pasta from becoming too soft by absorbing excess broth.
  3. Airtight Containers: Transfer the soup or its components into airtight containers. This helps to maintain the freshness and prevents the flavors from being absorbed by other foods in your refrigerator.
  4. Refrigeration Timing: The soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. For best safety and quality, don’t push beyond this timeframe.

Reheating for Best Flavor

  1. Choosing the Method: The stovetop is the best way to reheat the soup. It allows for even heating and lets you adjust the consistency if necessary.
  2. Low and Slow: Start by reheating the broth over low to medium heat. You want it to reach a gentle simmer, not a rolling boil, to preserve the delicate flavors.
  3. Pasta and Vegetables: If you stored the pasta and vegetables separately, add them to the broth once it’s simmering. This will warm them through without overcooking.
  4. Adjust Consistency: If the soup seems too thick upon reheating, you can add a bit of water or broth to adjust the consistency. Just remember to taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly.

Final Touches

Bringing back the soup’s original charm might require a few final touches. Consider sprinkling some freshly chopped herbs for a vibrant color and burst of flavor. A squeeze of lime can also rejuvenate the broth, making it taste just as wonderful as when it was first prepared.


We’ve walked through the delightful journey of making and enjoying “Sup Nui Suon Heo,” from the initial preparation to savoring leftovers with just as much gusto. It’s clear that with a little effort in the kitchen and some smart storing and reheating techniques, this Vietnamese soup can bring warmth and joy to our meals more than once. Let’s embrace the process, knowing we’re not just preparing a dish but creating moments of comfort and pleasure. Here’s to making every bowl of “Sup Nui Suon Heo” a memorable one, whether it’s fresh off the stove or enjoyed the next day.

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