Named after Huế the former capitol of Vietnam during the country’s “dynasty” years; when the country was still ruled by kings and emperors. Although the translated name for Bún Bò Huế is Spicy Beef Noodle Soup, it is not to be confused with Phở the other “beef noodle soup”. Phở is from the northern region and the flavors are much more settled, bún bò huế on the other hand, is hot and spicy with essence of lemongrass and shrimp paste. Noodles for phở are flat, while noodles for bún bò huế are fat and round (there are many types of noodles with unique names, but in English there is only the term “noodle” which all must be grouped under…sad). As with many Vietnamese noodle dishes, Bún Bò Huế is also served with a generous helping of herbs, bean sprouts, shredded banana flower, shredded cabbage, and shredded lettuce. BTW, the recipe might seem like a lot of work but it's really not, chả huế and chả tôm could be bought premade if you know a well stocked Vietnamese grocery store or deli.

For the Broth and Noodles:
-2 lbs beef bones (approximate)
-1 beef shank about 2lbs (approximate)
-1 pork feet (cut into small serving size pieces)
-1 piece of ginger about 3 inches long
-1 bunch lemongrass (6-7 stalks)
-small slice of pineapple (about 100-200g)
-4 shallots
-4 tabs mắm ruốt (Belacan shrimp paste)
-1 small piece of rock sugar
-salt to taste
-rice vermicelli (“thick and fat” kind)

**Boil bones, pork feet, and beef shank for 10 mins., drain and wash before using to make broth. Boil together bones, beef shank, and pork feet with enough water to make broth. Crush lemongrass, tie into a bundle and add to broth. Grill ginger and shallots, crush and add to broth along with pineapple. Mix shrimp paste with a bowl of water and let sit for a few hours, remove the clear liquid on top (to be added to broth later). Remove beef shank and pork feet when they are chopstick tender (can be easily pierced with a chopstick). Add sugar, shrimp paste liquid, and salt to taste. Add meat balls (recipe follows) to cook in broth remove a few mins after they float to the surface of the broth. Add a couple tabs of spiced pepper oil for color (recipe follows). Boil noodles until tender drain before serving.

Meat Choices:
-Beef shank: from making broth, sliced thinly
-Pork feet from broth
-Fresh Shrimp Paste (recipe follows) sliced thinly
-Chi Huế Style Meat Balls (cooked in broth, recipe follows)
-Blood Jelly, cubed and cooked separately

-Green Onions
-Ngò Gai (saw tooth herb)
-Rau Răm (Laksa Leaves)
-1 large onion

*Wash herbs and chop finely. Slice onion into thin slices.

To Serve:
Lay noodles in a bowl, add meat choices, add onions, and ladle on the hot broth finish of with garnishing herbs. Serve with fresh herbs and shredded veggies. Condiments include spiced pepper oil, lime, fish sauce, and fresh chilies.

Serve with:
-Bean sprouts
-Shredded Banana Flower
-Shredded Cabbage
-Shredded Lettuce
-shredded rau muống (ong choy) or celery
-Fresh herbs (General)
-lime, fresh chilies

Chả Tôm (Huế Style Fresh Shrimp Paste):
*Measure by Volume
-1lb shrimp (peeled and cleaned)
-3 cloves of garlic
-3 tabs fish sauce
-1 shallot
-pinch sugar
-pinch salt

**Chop garlic and scallion, add to shrimp along with fish sauce, sugar, salt and pepper. Grind into a smooth paste. Steam or cook shrimp paste in broth until done.

Chả Huế (Huế Style Meatballs):
-1lb ground pork
-3 cloves of garlic
-1 tsp fish sauce
-1 shallot
-2 tabs sugar
-1 tsp salt
-2 tabs potato starch

*Chop garlic and scallion. Mix everything together and freeze until nearly but not frozen (this will help make the meatballs bouncy). After freezing, process the mixture in a meat processor into a smooth paste (as quick as possible “refreeze” if necessary). Add rounded tablespoons of meat paste into broth and remove a few mins. after they float to the surface of the broth.

Pepper Oil:
-1/2 cup oil
-1/2 cup lemongrass finely chopped
-pepper flakes or powder (as just too desired level of spiciness)
-1/2 garlic finely chopped
-3 tbs annatto seeds
-2 tsp mắm ruốt

*Fry annatto seeds in oil to obtain rich orange color, remove seeds; add garlic and lemongrass, stir fry until fragrant, add pepper and shrimp paste, mix well. Add a few tbs of this oil to the broth for color, use the rest as a condiment for anyone who likes the noodles spiced up a bit.

Comments (9)

On 11:14 PM , Anonymous said...

If you had not mentioned here, I would have thought this noodle dish is the same as pho, looks good cos I love spicy food! Yum!

On 6:45 AM , culinary said...

i always wanted to know wat is beef noodle soup made up of. Thank you for sharing this recipe

On 11:12 PM , jadepearl said...

Hi tt! Are you tt from Jo's Deli? If you are, hope you don' mind me adding your link at my blog.

Happy New Year to you and your family!!! May 2006 be another wonderful and properous year for you all.

On 2:36 AM , rokh said...

tt, nice blog you have here. i had just linked you up ;)

On 12:20 PM , hoangtam/tt said...

I like spicy foods too :D

thanks for stopping by

yup you're right I'm "tt" from jo's deli and also from rainbow connection, and nurkochen.

Happy New Year to you too.

hi! happy new year :)

On 1:27 AM , Zurynee said...

thank you for sharing the recipe. I just love vietnames food :)

happy new year to you and your family.

On 5:16 PM , Anonymous said...

Wow, this is like a dream come true, being able to cook my own bun bo hue, thanks to you.

On 10:53 AM , Anonymous said...

If you could write some of the recipe in English to Vietnamese, since my mother like your recipes very much. But one problem is she can't read English, so I would be very glad if you could do that.
(I'm not so good in English to, but I try my best to translate it for her)
- Cam on rat nhieu. (She will be very happy if can do it :) )

On 3:50 PM , hoangtam/tt said...

sorry, but i just don't have the time to translate recipes. however, there are plenty of vietnamese language food sites out there for you and your mom to explore