Canh Bầu (Opo Squash Soup)

During the summer, Mom’s friend always hooks it up with fresh veggies and herbs from her garden. One of my favorite things I will never say no to accepting is opo squash. I love making Canh Bầu with it for the girls.

Opo Squash, bầu, is super nutritious and delicious. If you’ve never tasted it, it tastes like a cross between summer squash and cucumber. It’s perfect for soups!

For the ground shrimp, I added cornstarch to it to hold the shrimp together better and make them look more like little shrimp balls. I feel like it gives it a little bouncier and tastier texture too.

1 pound opo squash/calabash, peeled and cut into strips
1 pound ground shrimp
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
6 cups water
5 green onions, finely chopped
Garlic oil
2 teaspoons salt, more to taste
1 teaspoon sugar, more to taste

Ground Shrimp Ingredients:
1 pound ground shrimp
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch


Ground shrimp – Aggressively chop shrimp and white part of green onions finely with a cleaver or a large chef knife on a cutting board until the shrimp turns into a sticky paste. Add fish sauce, black pepper, sugar, and corn starch to the shrimp paste and mix well. Set aside.

Make Canh– In a medium stockpot, bring chicken broth and water to a boil on the stovetop. Shape and scoop the shrimp paste (about 1-2 teaspoons) into a ball and slowly drop it into the canh. Add opo squash and mix well. Cook for about 5-10 minutes or until shrimp floats to the top. Add chopped green onions, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Adjust the seasoning of the canh to taste.


  • Use other greens or veggies if Opo Squash is not available
  • Always adjust seasonings to taste

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