Vietnamese soup, the miracle in a bowl of “Bún Bò Huế”
- on Mar 30, 2018       By: Hai Anh
The imperial Hue city always has a distinctive cuisine with diminutive rolls, savory pancakes, dumplings, skewers and other snack bites. However, among this gastronomy diverse, Hue is specially well known for the delicate flavor of beef soup or Bun bo Hue.
Let together find out the specialties in each bowl of Bun bo
♦ The origin of Bun Bo Hue
Bun bo or so called beef soup has it origin from Hue, a former capital of Vietnam. Outside the city of Hue and some parts of Central Vietnam, it is called Bun bo Hue to denote its origin. Within Hue and surrounding cities, it is known simply as bun bo. Since it’s reputation has been spread out widely, tourist can taste Bun bo Hue in every big city, especially Hanoi and Saigon. However, the origin and quintessence of this beef soup can only be found in Hue city.
Robert Newton - A New York chef, who traveled extensively in Vietnam while gearing up to open his Brooklyn restaurant, Nightingale 9, found himself captivated by the soup. “One of the best bowls of soup I had in all of Vietnam was from the Bun Bo Hue lady at Dong Ba,” says Newton, referring to the bustling central market, crammed with stalls where one can buy jewelry, dried fish, cookware, hot soup, umbrellas, shrimp paste and much more. Said Robert “Bun Bo Hue is soulful and rich and delicious and complex. It’s spicier than most Vietnamese soups. It’s just incredibly dynamic. I think it’s one of Vietnam’s greatest dishes.”
♦ What make the special flavour?
If Italian offers the world many type of fresh pasta and Japanese has it Ramen, Bun bo Hue is the pride of Vietnamese people, especially, people from the center region as Hue city. So, the question is what makes the distinct flavor of Bun bo Hue.
Bun bo Hue is a popular soup in Huế containing rice vermicelli and beef cooked with the former royal court style. This dish is admired for its perfect combination of spicy, sour, salty, sweet and the predominant flavor of lemon grass.
The special soup
The broth is prepared by simmering beef bones and beef shank with lemongrass and then seasoned with fermented shrimp sauce and sugar for taste. Spicy chili oil is added later during the cooking process.
The noodle or rice vermicelli
Unlike Italian pasta, most of the Vietnamese noodles are made from rice. However, in comparaison with "Phở" or "Bún", the noodles of Bun bo Hue are thicker and more cylindrical.
In general, Bun bo Hue usually includes thin slices of marinated and boiled beef shank, chunks of oxtail, and pig's knuckles. It can also include cubes of congealed pig blood, which has a color between dark brown and maroon, and a texture resembling firm tofu.
Bun bo Hue is commonly served with lime wedges, cilantro sprigs, diced green onions, raw sliced onions, chili sauce, thinly sliced banana blossom, red cabbage, mint, basil, perilla, persicaria odorata or Vietnamese coriander, saw tooth herb and sometimes mung bean sprouts. Thinly sliced purple cabbage is acceptable substitute when banana blossoms are not available. Purple cabbage most resembles banana blossom in texture, though not in taste. Fish sauce and shrimp sauce is added to the soup according to taste. Ingredients might be varied by regions due to their availability.
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♦ Where to find the best Bun bo
Common price for a bowl of Bun bo Hue: 30, 000 VND – 60, 000 VND
We suggest you to eat Bun bo Hue at the following address:
Bun bo Hue O Xuan -3A Quang Trung Street, Hoan Kiem District
60 Hoa Ma Street, Hai Ba Trưng District
Net Hue, 36C Mai Hac De Street, Hai Ba Trung District
Bun bo Hue - 22 Phan Boi Chau Street, Hoan Kiem District
Bun bo Hue - 204B Hang Bông Street, Hoan Kiem District.
In Hue city
Bun bo Hue Tuyet 47 Nguyen Cong Tru Street
Bun bo Hue 68 Tran Quang Khai Street
Bun bo Mrs. Nga 103 Xuan Street
Bun bo Hue Mr. Vong 5 Nguyen Du Street
Bun bo Thien Thanh 171 Ba Trieu Street
Bun Bo Ganh, 110 Ly Chinh Thang Street, Ward 8, 3rd District
Bun Bo Huong Giang, 130 Ni Sư Huynh Liên Street, Ward 10, Tan Binh District
Bun bo Hue Thanh Noi, Tran Cao Văn Street 47A, 3rd District
Bun bo Hue Huong river, 65 Go Gau Street, Tan Quy District, Tan Phu District
Bun bo Hue 31, 31 Mac Dinh Chi Street, 1st district.
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