Bún bò Huế is a deliciously tasting Vietnamese noodle dish that has been gaining popularity in recent times. It is a rich and spicy soup that is filled with tons of amazing flavors. Topped with slices of beef, pork and sides of veggies, this Vietnamese soup dish is one dish you definitely can not miss out on.
One of my most favorite noodle dishes to eat ever is something called Vietnamese Spicy Beef Noodle Soup / Bún bò Huế.
It is a spicy noodle dish from the city of Huế in Vietnam.
Unlike its cousin Phở who is incredibly popular all around the world, Bún bò Huế is somewhat of a lesser known family member. It’s like a hidden little secret that only Vietnamese people know about.
But just because it’s not as popular, doesn’t mean it isn’t as good when compared to Phở. In fact, in my opinion Bún bò Huế completely blows Phở out of the water. There isn’t really a competition in my mind.
When I was a kid, my dad would always make this dish for me every few weeks as it was something that he really enjoyed doing. I would watch my dad for hours while he was preparing the ingredients and making sure the dish tasted as good as possible.
I decided to get the recipe from him and write about it so that I can always make it in the future if I ever wanted to. Not only that, but I also want to share it with the world as I believe this dish is something everybody needs to try at some point in their lives.
It is literally life changing!
Difference Between Bún bò Huế and Phở
To be honest, there are a few differences between Vietnamese Spicy Beef Noodle Soup / Bún bò Huế and Pho.
For starters, the broth used to make phở is usually made with either all beef or even chicken. They also serve the dish with cuts of meat from the same animal. Where as bún bò Huế is different because it typically uses both beef and pork to make the broth. Bún bò Huế is also a spicy dish whereas phở is normally not as spicy.
Another difference is that phở typically uses flat noodles for their noodle soup dish. On the other hand, bún bò Huế uses round noodles for their noodle soup dish.
How Do You Pronounce Bún Bò Huế
Vietnamese Spicy Beef Noodle Soup / Bún bò Huế is pronounded as “Boon + Bo + way”. The H in Huế is silent.
This name can easily be broken down as Bún means noodles, Bò means beef, and Huế is the city where this noodle dish originated from.
Why Does It Have Pork?
Now I know it’s kind of weird where the name of the dish actually means beef noodle soup. But even with beef in the name, this dish can have just as much pork if not more pork than the beef.
I tried to figure out why, but my Dad who is Vietnamese doesn’t know either, so sadly I can’t explain why it has pork in it.
In this recipe, aside from the beef, the pork meats we are going to use are pork trotters, Vietnamese ham as well as pork blood.
Ingredients In Making Bún Bò Huế
Making Vietnamese Spicy Beef Noodle Soup / Bún bò Huế requires a ton of different ingredients. However most of them if not all should be pretty easy to find at any of your local Asian supermarkets.
The ingredients you’ll need to make Bún Bò Huế is as followed:
- Oxtail – 2 pounds
- Beef Shank – 2 pounds
- Pork Trotters/Pork Feet – 2 pounds
- Vietnamese Ham – 1 roll
- Pork Blood – Optional – 1 pound
- Chicken Broth – 2 Cans
- Water – Fill to Brim
- Lemon Grass – 3 Stalks
- Ginger – 1 chunk
- Onion – 1 medium onion
- Pineapple – Half a large pineapple
- Tablespoon Salt
- Tablespoon Rock Sugar
Sate/Chili Sauce Ingredients:
- Vegetable Oil – 1/3 cup oil
- Minced Garlic – 2 tablespoon
- Minced Lemon Grass – 2 tablespoon
- Anatto Powder – 2 tablespoon
- Minced Shallots – 2 tablespoon
- Chili Powder – 2 tablespoon
- Red Pepper Flakes – 2 tablespoon
- Fish Sauce – 3 tablespoon
- Shrimp Paste – Optional 1 teaspoon <—This is very salty
Vegetable Sides Ingredients:
- Thai Basil
- Bean Sprouts
- Green Onions
- Lime Wedges
- Banana Blossom – Optional
- Dried Rice Noodle
How To Make Bún Bò Huế
Making Bún bò Huế is a pretty long process.
But the end result will be worth it!
The process to make Bún bò Huế is as followed:
The first thing you’ll need to do is get all your meat and clean them as thoroughly as possible. After that you’ll want to grab a large stock pot and fill it with water. Then put the meat inside the stock pot. Now you’ll want to turn on the heat and bring the stock pot to a boil.
After it is boiling for about 10 to 15 minutes, turn off the heat and drain the water from the pot.
Give your meat another rinse through some running water so that they can be clean from all the gunk.
Now you’ll want to add all the meat and broth ingredients into the large stock pot. Then fill the pot with water until it is almost reaching the brim. Bring the pot to a boil and drop the heat to medium high and maintain a steady low boil.
Let it boil and cook like this for about 3 hours.
While your stock pot is cooking, you’ll want to prepare the Sate or chili sauce.
So gather all of your sate/chili sauce ingredients and have them ready.
Then pour the oil into a pot or pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot enough, you’ll want to add in your chopped shallots. Cook the shallots around for a minute or two. Then add in your chopped garlic and chopped lemon grass. Cook it for another minute or two. Then add in your chili powder, red pepper flakes, anatto powder, shrimp paste and fish sauce.
Note: shrimp paste is very salty so depending on your taste, try not to put too much.
Continue to mix things around and cook for about 1 minute.
Then turn off the heat.
After you have made your sate/chili sauce, pour half of your sate/chili sauce into the large stock pot.
This will add a lot of flavor and color to your stock.
Save the other half for serving with your Bún bò Huế.
You’ll want to keep checking on your stock pot periodically and make sure that everything is still going well.
You will want to check your meat for doneness and remove them after they are finished cooking. Typically pork should be done after an hour and a half, while the beef should take about 3 hours long.
Also check the broth for taste, you may want to adjust seasoning or add water to the broth depending on how it tastes.
Once your meats have finished cooking, turn off the heat.
Take out the meat and let them cool off for a bit. Then slice it into thin slices.
Now its time to prepare your noodles.
Grab a pot filled with water and boil your noodles according to the packages instructions.
While your noodles are boiling, you’ll want to prepare your vegetable side dish.
So onto a plate, add your favorite vegetables to it like mint, thai basil, bean sprouts, lime, banana blossom and more.
It is all up to you on what you want to add as a side vegetable dish.
Once your noodles have finished cooking, it is time to assemble your Bún bò Huế.
Put everything together and serve with your choice of herbs and vegetables.
How To Assemble This Dish
Assembling the Vietnamese Spicy Beef Noodle Soup / Bún bò Huế dish is actually a pretty simple thing to do.
There isn’t really a right or wrong way to do this as it is totally up to you. But I can show you the most common method people tend to use when assembling this dish.
First you want to put your noodles into the bowl. After that you layer on the meats you want to eat onto the bed of noodles. Then top with some side vegetables on top. After that the final thing you’ll do is simply scoop out some delicious broth from the pot and pour it into your noodle bowl.
Here is a picture showing you how to do this!
Bún bò Huế
- 2 Pound Oxtail
- 2 Pound Beef Shank
- 2 Pound Pork Trotters
- 1 Pound Vietnamese Ham
- 1 Pound Pork Blood
- 24 Ounce Chicken Broth About 2 Regular Cans
- 3 Stalk Lemon Grass
- 1 Chunk Ginger
- 1 Medium Onion
- 1/2 Pineapple
- 1 Tablespoon Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Rock Sugar
Sate/Chili Sauce Ingredients
- 1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
- 2 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
- 2 Tablespoon Lemon Grass
- 2 Tablespoon Anatto Powder
- 2 Tablespoon Minced Shallots
- 2 Tablespoon Chili Powder
- 2 Tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes
- 3 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
- 1 Teaspoon Shrimp Paste Optional
Vegetable Side Ingredients
- Thai Basil
- Bean Sprouts
- Green Onions
- Banana Blossom Optional
- Lime Wedges
- Gather your meat together and wash them thoroughly. After the meat is clean, grab a large stock pot and fill it with the meat. Then add enough water to the stockpot to submerge the meat. Turn on the heat and bring the stock pot to a boil. Once the stock pot is boiling, turn off the heat and drain the water.Rinse the meat clean again.
- Add the meat back into your stock pot. Then add in all of the broth ingredients and fill the pot with water just till it reaches the brim. Bring the pot to a boil and then lower the heat to medium high and maintain a low boil.You want to leave it cooking for about 3 hours.
- While the meat is cooking, you'll want to prepare your sate/chili sauce.So gather all of your sate/chili sauce ingredients and have them ready.Then pour the oil into a pot or pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot enough, you'll want to add in your chopped shallots. Cook the shallots around for a minute or two. Then add in your chopped garlic and chopped lemon grass. Cook it for another minute or two. Then add in your chili powder, red pepper flakes, anatto powder, shrimp paste and fish sauce.Note: shrimp paste is very salty so depending on your taste, try not to put too much.Continue to mix things around and cook for about 1 minute. Then turn off the heat and put your sate/chili sauce into a bowl.
- Pour half of the freshly made sate/chili sauce into the large stock pot. Save the other half for serving with your dish.
- You'll want to keep checking on your stock pot periodically and make sure that everything is still going well. Check your meat for doneness and remove them after they are finished cooking. Typically pork should be done after an hour and a half, while the beef should take about 3 hours long.Also check the broth for taste, you may want to adjust seasoning or add water to the broth depending on how it tastes.Once your meats have finished cooking, turn off the heat.Take out the meat and let them cool off for a bit. Then slice it into thin slices.
- Now its time to cook your noodles. So follow the noodle package on how you should best boil your noodles.
- Assemble your Bún bò Huế and serve with a plate of your choice of herbs and vegetables.
Did you try making my Vietnamese Spicy Beef Noodle Soup / Bún bò Huế? If so, how were they? I would love to hear all about it down in the comment section below or you can connect with my on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram.