Among the top 10 horror dishes in the world, Vietnamese blood soup (Tiết canh in Vietnamese) is a familiar dish to locals, but brings fear to many foreigners. Vietnamese tiet canh can be made from the blood of a variety of animals, most commonly pigs and ducks, along with minced meat and cartilage. How to make blood pudding seems simple, but the difficulty lies in each stage, requiring the meticulousness of the cook.

Table Contents
vietnamese blood soup
Source: cuisineofvietnam

Possessing a diverse and unique cuisine, Vietnam brings to the world not only familiar delicious dishes but also quite strange ones. Among them, Vietnamese blood soup is the most prominent example, which has made even the most fearless foreign tourists hesitate. So let’s find out below, to see why a supposed horror dish like blood soup is so loved by the locals.

I - What exactly is Vietnamese blood soup?

vietnamese blood pudding

Duck blood soup - Source: laudekhothubeo 

Known as a unique raw dish found nowhere else in the world, Vietnamese blood pudding is a typical feature of the country's culinary culture, especially in the North. Many foreign tourists could not hide their horror when they saw a bowl of bright red blood, cluttered with minced meat and cartilage, as well as peanuts and herbs. When thickened, this dish will be dark red, having a sweet, meaty, and cool taste, crispy like jelly, harmoniously mixed with the freshness of basil, coriander, and roasted peanuts.

Many people love Vietnamese blood soup to the point of being “addicted”, having to eat two or three bowls a week to reduce their cravings. You can also find this dish at big feasts in the countryside, partly because its red color is considered lucky. But more importantly, on this occasion people often process a lot of dishes from chickens and pigs, so blood is also processed so as not to waste. Blood pudding is said to be a “cold” dish that can easily cause stomach aches, so it is often eaten as an appetizer, with strong rice wine, or a variety of “hot” herbs and vegetables such as basil, coriander, pepper, chili,…

II - Should I eat Vietnamese blood soup? 

vietnamese duck blood

Pig blood soup - Source: vietnamnet 

In fact, the blood of animals carries many bacteria, viruses, and parasites that are harmful to humans. Meanwhile, the blood pudding dish does not go through any sterilization process, making it not too clean or safe. In particular, pig blood soup is susceptible to swine streptococcus or tapeworms, which can cause severe sepsis, multi-organ failure, or brain fluke,… with a mortality rate of 90%. Therefore, medical experts and the Ministry of Health have recommended that people should not eat this kind of dish much.

III - How many types of Vietnamese blood soup?

1 - Pig blood soup

This type of Vietnamese blood pudding is usually brick red and glossy on the surface, with many large air holes inside, slightly hard and tough but also easy to break. The “filling” of this dish is the pig’s boiled scalp, ears, heart, and meat have been minced, adding a few pieces of thinly sliced boiled liver and crushed roasted peanuts.

2 - Vietnamese duck blood pudding

Meanwhile, duck’s blood is quite soft, and easier to chew and digest, usually having a darker red color with less gloss on the surface than that of pig’s blood. In addition to blood, there are chopped grilled onions, lemon leaves, crushed roasted peanuts, and minced meat from duck neck, thighs, intestines, gizzards, and liver,…

In addition to the 2 above popular types of Vietnamese blood soup, it is also common to see crab blood soup, goat blood soup, snake blood soup, lobster blood soup, and so on. Seafood blood pudding is usually white and thick like jelly, with a rather sophisticated way of making it because it is not as much as from other animals. Meanwhile, it is very rare to see dog blood soup because this type of blood is very smelly and often harmful when eaten raw.

IV - How to make authentic Vietnamese blood soup? 

vietnamese tiet canh

Source: youtube

Vietnamese tiet canh has many different ways of processing, but in general, it is made from fresh animal blood taken immediately after slaughtering, adding a little fish sauce or saltwater to prevent clotting. Then, the cook will stir with chopsticks and pour into a bowl that already has minced meat and cartilage, add peanuts, and green onions, and wait for the blood to coagulate to be enjoyed with raw vegetables.

1 - How to make Vietnamese pig blood pudding?


To make this type of Vietnamese blood soup, you should prepare the following ingredients: 

- Fresh pig blood (cut when make)

- Boiled pig’s heart, liver, ears, scalp, and meat

- Grilled and minced onions

- Washed basil, laksa

- Roasted peanuts

- Anticoagulant mixture (choose 1 of 2) with ratio:

+ Water - salt: 2 - 1

+ Water - fish sauce: 3 - 2

Processing steps

- Chop the pig’s heart, meat, ears, and scalp into small pieces, add the minced onion and mix well, then divide into bowls.

- To make this type of Vietnamese blood soup, you have to put fresh pig’s blood straight into the prepared anticoagulant mixture, stirred with filtered water or meat broth.

- Pour the blood into the bowls above and leave them in a firm place until frozen.

- Slice the liver into thin pieces and place it in the bowl, adding basil and laksa leaves.

2 - How to make Vietnamese duck blood pudding? 


- Fresh duck blood (cut when make)

- Boiled and minced duck’s gizzards, intestines, heart, liver, duck neck

- Grilled onions

- Washed basil, coriander, and lemon leaves

- Roasted peanuts

- A small bowl of water mixed with monosodium glutamate or defatted duck broth.

- Anticoagulant mixture (choose 1 of 2) for 1kg duck with ratio:

+ Water - salt: 3 - 1

+ Water - fish sauce: 2 - 1

After all items are ready, you follow the below recipe to make Vietnamese blood soup: 

- Chop the lemon leaves, mix well with the minced meat from the duck’s gizzards, intestines, heart, and neck, and put them into different bowls.

- Mix the fresh duck’s blood with the prepared anticoagulant mixture, then with the monosodium glutamate water or defatted duck broth.

- Pour everything into the bowls of minced meat and leave them in a fixed place to freeze completely.

- Sprinkle the crushed peanuts and minced liver on top, and enjoy.

Vietnamese blood soup is a rather bizarre specialty in the international community, but it is very popular and loved by many locals. This is a dish that is not too complicated to make but still requires meticulousness and precision in each stage and ratio. If you can get over your initial fear and apprehension, you might fall in love with Vietnamese blood pudding.

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