• Vietnam Food Safari

Traditional Vietnamese Recipe - BÚN BÒ HUẾ

Hue-Style Spicy Beef Noodle Soup


***For the broth***

1 kg pork bones.

1 kg pork trotters

1 kg beef shank

1 kg rice noodles – Hue Style Bun Noodles – medium/large round noodles.

100g Ginger – crushed

1 fresh pineapple – sliced into rounds.

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

1 onion peeled kept whole.

8 stalks lemon grass bruised and tied together in a knot

***For the Saté***

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp annatto oil

2 tbsp minced lemongrass

3 tbsp minced garlic

3 tbsp minced shallot

1 tbsp chili powder/ chili flakes

2 tbsp fish sauce

2 tbsp sugar

4 tbsp beef broth


2 tbsp Vietnamese fermented shrimp paste (mam ruoc)

1 kg dried round thick rice vermicelli (normally labeled as Bun Bo Hue)

500 g boiled blood cubes (Huyet)

250 g Vietnamese shrimp patties (Cha Hue)

250 g Vietnamese ham (Cha Lua)


50 g spring onion - chopped

50 g coriander chopped

1 medium onion paper-thin sliced

Fresh greens: mint, Vietnamese mint (rau ram), bean sprouts, shredded banana blossom or shredded lettuce.


Place the pork bones and the pork trotters in a stockpot filled with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 5-10 minutes until the impurities rise to the top. Dump out the whole pot, rinse the bones well to wash off the scum. Wash the pot clean.

Return the bones and pork trotters to the pot and fill with 5 liters water. And add the beef shank.

Smash the lemongrass with a pestle or a knife handle to release the fragrance. Tie them up and add to the stockpot, with the crushed ginger, pineapple and peeled whole onion. Add 2 tbsp salt, 2 tbsp sugar and two tbsp of Vietnamese Fish Sauce.

Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower to medium and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.

Occasionally skim off the scum.

When the beef shrank and pork trotter is cooked, remove the meat and soak in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes to prevent it from turning dark. Then drain, let cool and slice the beef thinly into bite-sized pieces. Cut pork trotters into nicely round pieces

Meanwhile continue to simmer the bones for 1-2 more hours.

To make the Saté, heat vegetable oil in a pan, sautee minced lemongrass, garlic and shallot until fragrant and slightly golden. Then take off the heat. Add chili powder, annatto oil, fish sauce, sugar, beef broth, stir well and simmer under low heat for 5 mins until smooth. Add half of this saté to the stockpot. Save the rest in a small bowl for serving later.

Cook the rice vermicelli following package instructions. Then rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process and remove the outside starch. Then rinse again under hot water. This helps the noodles to get dried faster (hot water evaporates quicker) and become more fluffy (rather than stick to each other and turn lumpy).

Dissolve Vietnamese fermented shrimp paste (mam ruoc Hue) in 1 cup of cold water. Let it sit for 10 minutes to settle the dregs. Fill a saucepan with 2 cups of water, add the shrimp paste liquid (discard the dregs at the bottom). Bring to boil, then remove from the heat and let it sit for 15 mins, undisturbed, to settle the dregs again. Then extract the clear broth on top and add to the simmering stockpot. Discard the dregs. Adjust the flavor of the broth to your taste with salt, fish sauce and pork stock.

To assemble the dish, place a handful of the rice vermicelli in a serving bowl. Top with the sliced beef and pork. Also add boiled blood cubes (Huyet), Vietnamese shrimp patties (Cha Hue) and Vietnamese ham (Cha Lua). Ladle the broth over the noodles and garmish with the chopped spring onion, cilantro and paper-thin sliced onion. Serve with extra sate and the fresh herb platter.