Whenever The Astronomer and I dine at the Crab Shack, we tend to order the usual delectable suspects—glass noodles sautéed with crab (mien xao cua), soft shell crabs prepared a variety of ways (cua lot) and crab-stuffed egg rolls (cha gio cua). On our fifth or so visit along with Hawk and Nina, The Astronomer thought that we should veer from the norm and try something different. I, on the other hand, deemed a visit to the Crab Shack without ordering our favorites plain silly, so we compromised and ordered all of our standbys in addition to something new.
The something new was mien cua—a light broth and noodle dish made with glass noodles, a crab-based broth, cilantro, onions and bits of shredded crab meat. All of the locals around us were slurping it up, so we knew it was going to be good. And indeed, it was! The crab broth was subtle, while the noodles had a certain al dente-ness that most Vietnamese noodles lack.
Compared to the rest of our spread, the mien cua was definitely the mildest. I would suggest ordering this dish if one is dining at the Crab Shack alone. If there’s a good crowd of friends, stick with the standbys because they are much easier to share and the flavors complement one another without competing for attention. The mien cua is best on its own.
See the original Crab Shack post for details.