Bun Bo Hue – Vietnamese Spicy Beef Noodle Soup Recipe

When it comes to Vietnamese noodle soup, most people immediately think of Pho. But not me. After exploring a variety of noodle soups here, Bun Bo Hue (Spicy Beef Noodle Soup) has stolen the spotlight in my culinary adventures. There’s something about its rich broth that just captivates me in a way Vietnamese Pho doesn’t. It’s like a hidden gem, underrated and overshadowed by its more famous cousin.

The dish originates from the city of Hue in central Vietnam. The name “Bun Bo” means “beef noodles,” indicating the key ingredients of the dish, just like Beef Pho. However, its broth is richer, bolder, and more spicy and colorful. The first time I tasted the Hue spicy noodle soup (Spicy Beef Noodle Soup), I was hooked by its complex flavor.

Hot and Spicy beef noodle soup
My spicy Hue noodle soup in Vietnam – Bun Bo Hue

The spicy noodle soup is garnished with an array of toppings, including thinly sliced beef, pork hock, pork bologna, and pig’s blood cubes. It’s often served with fresh herbs, lime wedges, shredded banana blossom, or cabbage.

The traditional Bun Bo Hue recipe is too spicy for me, so I will skip the chili powder in my Spicy Beef Noodle Soup recipe. Here’s how to make Bun Bo Hue – Vietnamese Spicy Beef Noodle Soup:

Easy Bun Bo Hue – Vietnamese Spicy Beef Noodle Soup

An unsung hero of Vietnamese noodle soups
Total Time 2 hours
Course Breakfast, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Asian, Vietnamese
Servings 8
Calories 500 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ lbs beef brisket or beef shank
  • 1 ½ lbs pork hock or pork knuckle
  • 1 lb beef tendons optional
  • 8 stalks lemongrass smashed
  • 1 onion halved
  • 5 shallots
  • 1 ½ tbsp annatto oil
  • 2 ½ tbsp rock sugar
  • 1 inch ginger peel
  • 2-3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup green onion
  • Salt, MSG, and pepper to taste
  • Rice vermicelli noodles Bun
  • Fresh herbs cilantro, mint, basil
  • Bean sprouts and lime wedges for serving

Instructions
 

  • Heat the dry pan on high heat until it's visibly hot. Add shallots, half an onion, and ginger and fry until shallots and onion are soft and ginger is fragrant. Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the stove.
  • In the pressure cooker, combine 5 liters of water, beef brisket (or shank), pork knuckle, lemongrass stalks, ginger, onion, and shallots from step 1. Add 2 tbsp of rock sugar, 1 tbsp of fish sauce, 1/2 tsp of salt, and 1/4 tsp of MSG. Stir thoroughly, then set the pressure cooker to simmer for approximately 60 minutes.
  • Once the simmering is complete, release the pressure valve, carefully open the lid of the pressure cooker, and transfer the tender beef brisket and pork knuckle to a plate. You can put it in an airtight container to prevent it from changing color and drying out.
  • Strain the broth to a big pot to remove solid ingredients, then return the lemongrass to the strained liquid. Add 1 ½ tsp of salt and 1/2 tbsp of rock sugar to the broth, adjusting the seasoning to your taste. Stir well.
  • Bring the broth to a vigorous boil over high heat. When it reaches a rolling boil with large bubbles, taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Finally, add annatto oil to enhance the broth
  • Thinly slice the other half of the onion and soak them in the cold water with cilantro.
  • Cook rice vermicelli noodles according to package instructions.
  • Slice the cooked beef and pork thinly.
  • Arrange a handful of rice vermicelli in each serving bowl. Top with sliced beef and pork. Ladle the hot broth over the noodles and meats.
  • Garnish with sliced onions, green onions, and cilantro.
  • You can serve it with fresh herbs, bean sprouts, lime wedges, or shacha sauce according to your preference.

Notes

If you can’t find the exact kind of noodle for the dish, you can use the regular vermicelli noodles or any kind of rice noodles.
Keyword healthy, homemade, noodles, soup, South East Asia, vietnamese

While Pho enjoys its well-deserved fame, I can’t help but feel that this Hue-style soup deserves more recognition. I can’t get enough of its unique and flavorful allure.

Johanna Cleveland
About the author
Kate

Hi, I'm Kate, the creator of Happy Baking Days. I'm a food lover, recipe creator, and kitchen explorer. I have amateur baking knowledge gained from years spent in the kitchen with my grandma and mum, where I graduated slowly from dusting work surfaces with flour and licking the spatula to the finer arts of pastry and meringue. Now in my own kitchen, I put all those years of training into practice, experimenting with recipes and ingredients from around the world. Join me as I share my culinary journey and favorite recipes that make cooking a delightful experience.

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