Bun Cha – Recipe of the Month

Bun Cha

This is a great vietnamese noodle dish that’s light and just packed with flavor. It’s like a salad with a delicious dipping sauce, or dressing, and it’s so easy to put together too.

It is hard to find someone with greater knowledge of food and culture in Hanoi than writer Thach Lam. In his famous work, Hanoi – 36 Old Quarters, a rustic Confucian scholar, upon smelling bun cha, or rice noodles with grilled pork patties, during his first visit to the capital, breaks into verse: “In 1000-year-old Thang Long, is it the most precious object?”

Bun cha, served with small, savory, crispy, caramelized pork and thin rice vermicelli on a bed of fresh vegetables and mixed fish sauce, is considered one of Hanoi’s 15 quintessential noodle dishes.

Though the origin of bun cha is not clearly known, it has for long been a popular dish that can be found on a traditional shoulder pole at street corners as well as in restaurants around Vietnam and in Vietnamese restaurants abroad.

Bun Cha 3

• Pork belly
• Lean pork shoulder
• Rice vermicelli
• Lemongrass
• Shallot
• Garlic
• Herbs
• Caramel syrup
• Lime juice
• Salt, fish sauce, pepper, seasoning
500 g
500 g
1 kg
4 stems
3 cloves
200 g
2 tbsp
2 tbsp


Dipping Sauce
• Fish sauce
• Lime juice
• Garlic
• Chili
• Sugar
• Seasoning
• Water
• Green papaya
• Carrot
50 ml
2 tbsp
3 cloves
2 tbsp
1/2 tbsp
50 ml
100 g
100 g


1. Slice the pork belly into thin pieces. Mince the pork shoulder.

2. Finely chop the lemongrass, stalks only. Mince the shallot and garlic. Using a fine cloth, squeeze the liquid out of the lemongrass, garlic and shallot. Reserve.

3. Divide the liquid into two equal parts and use to marinate both types of pork. Season with salt, fish sauce, pepper,
seasoning and lime juice. Let marinate for 1h.

4. Roll the pork shoulder into balls. Grill until golden brown.

5. Grill the pork belly until golden brown.

6. Serve with fresh herbs, noodles and dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce

Mix lime juice, fish sauce, garlic, chili, sugar and seasoning together. Garnish with cut carrot flowers

Bun Cha 2

BIO: With an eye for visual beauty as well as a discerning palate, Ngoc Tran has undertaken to collect and present Easy To Cook: 40 Delicious Vietnamese Dishes As Listed By CNN. Ngoc has personally traveled around her native Vietnam in search of the most outstanding variety of every recipe featured in her book. Find her book at all Phuong Nam bookstores (nhasachphuongnam.com) or on Kindle at Amazon.

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