Bún bò Huế

Bun Bo Hue Dish

Spicy beef noodle soup originated from the royal city of Hue in Central Vietnam. Beef bones, fermented shrimp paste, lemongrass, and dried chilies give the broth its distinctive flavors. Often served with mint leaves, bean sprouts, lime wedges, shredded banana blossoms and shredded rau muống (water spinach, or ipomoea aquatica). Blood cakes and pig's feet are also common ingredients at some restaurants in the United States and possibly elsewhere


  • 6 litres water
  • 2 kg pork bones, cleaned
  • 500 g Pork knuckles or leg, cleaned and deboned
  • 2 stalks Lemon grass, 1 bruised and 1 finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Fine shrimps paste
  • 1 tablespoon Fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Annatto seed oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chili powder
  • 2 Thai parsley leave, finely cut
  • 500 g Rice vermicelli
  • 3 White part only, cut into 3-cm lengths
  • 1 Onion, peeled and thinly sliced


  • 50 g Bean sprouts
  • 2 Limes, cut into wedges
  • 4 Red chilies, 2 finely sliced and 2 pounded
  • 2 tablespoons Fish sauce


1. Bring water to the boil and add pork bones, pork, beef and bruised lemon grass.

2. As stock boils, periodically reduce heat to medium and skim off any scum from surface.

3. Simmer until meats are tender. Remove pork and soak in a bowl of hot water for 10 minutes until cool.

4. Rinse and slice. Remove and discard pork bones and lemon grass. Remove beef and slice.

5. Stir shrimp paste, fish sauce, salt and sugar into stock and continue to simmer.

6. Heat annatto seed oil and add chopped lemon grass and chili powder. Stir fry for a few minutes then add Thai parsley. Add to stock.

7. Blanch vermicelli and spring onions. Divide equally into 6 serving bowls. Top with pork, beef spring onion and onion. Pour hot stock over.

8. Serve with bean sprouts, lime wedges and sliced chilies.

9. Mix pounded chilies into fish sauce and serve on the side.