Bun Cha Ha Noi ( Hanoi Style Rice Vermicelli Soup With Grilled Pork)

Next to phở, Bún Chả Hà Nội, is the second headline as the quintessential northern noodle dish. It consist of grilled pork soaked in luke warm dipping sauce/ lightly fish sauce/ broth, which adds a wonderful acidity to the BBQ meat which is prepared both thinly sliced and ground into seasoned patties. It is also served with rice vermicelli (bún) and an assortment of greens and pickled vegetables (green papaya/ carrot…).

Although I am a southern Vietnamese girl, but bun cha is still one of my favourite dishes, so that, i did research and asked my friend – a hanoian girl for real the recipe. After having my own recipe ( learn from my friend+ internet), i could be honourable to say that i mastered this dish… So sorry my bun cha chef, I have to say byebye you! 😛

Bun Cha Hanoi

(photo:kenh14.vn)

Serves: 4

Grilled Sliced Pork

  • 300grams pork shoulder ( Pork belly is traditional, but i founf its quite fatty, so i changed it to this cut)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp seasoning powder (or salt)
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced, make to paste
  • 3 large shallots minced
  • 1sp dark thick soy sauce
  • 1 tbs white cut of spring onion (finely chop)

Grilled Pork Patties

  • 300grams minced meat ( at least 30% fat)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp seasoning powder (or salt)
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced, make to paste
  • 3 large shallots minced
  • 1sp dark thick soy sauce
  • 1 tbs white cut of spring onion (finely chop)

Slice the pork shoulder into slices about 5 cm length, 4 cm width, and about 1/2 cm thickness. Place into a zip-lock bag with the rest of the ingredients. Marinate for at least two hours at room temperature or 6 hours to overnight in the refrigerator. In a bowl mix the ground pork and the rest of the ingredients and place in the refrigerator to marinate exactly same time with the sliced pork

To prepare the pork patties, form the ground pork mixture into round flat ball ( 5 cm diameter, 1 cm thickness)

Now, time to grill them

Put the patties and sliced pork on the grill-rack of Charcoal BBQ griller, Grill they both until golden brown, and cook through (about 10 minutes per side, depened on the thickness and and the fire)

Same way with grilling by oven (set the oven to 200C and grill/broil the meat until golden brown)

(photo:badboyben.com)

Lightly fish sauce / Broth / dipping sauce

  • make follow this direction: 1 sugar : 1 1/4 vinegar : 1 fish sauce : 10 water ( or pork broth)

Example: if you want to have 540ml broth enough for 4 people, you will need: 40ml sugar : 50 ml vinegar : 40 ml fish sauce : ml 400 water ( or pork stock, reduced salt)

In a medium saucepan, combine all the ingredients above and cook over low heat until the broth is luke warm (not boil).

Pickled Carrot and papaya

  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 small green papaya
  • Make follow this direction: 1 vinegar: 2 sugar: 2 water (like u make the dipping sauce)

Thinly slice carrot and papaya ( 1 cm sq ) Make the liquid enough to pour until the surface or the veggies. let it sit at room temperature for at least 2 hrs

Garnish/ How to serve

  • 1 pound vermicelli rice noodles cooked and cooled to roomtemperature
  • 1 bunch of green leaf lettuce
  • 1 bunch Vietnamese Balm (kinh giới)
  • 1 bunch mint
  • 500 grams of fresh vermicelli (250grams dried vermicelli package)
  • 4 deep fry Crab Spring rolls (optional)
  • Minced garlic optional)

When meats are done, place in a covered medium sized sauce pan containing the dipping sauce. Top with pickled papaya and carrot and miced garlic. The juices of the meat will darken and meld with the fish sauce. Transfer to large serving bowl and serve family style with vermicelli and fresh herbs and lettuce.

Notes

+Thick soy sauce is sometimes referred to as dark soy sauce and contains molasses, if you dont have, use my home made vnese caramelize sugar ( just double or triple the recipe) or store bought one

+For a more intensely flavored patty add minced lemon grass and minced chilis (either fresh or dried).

+For the Dried vermicelli cooking methods and times vary, for most the noodles are soaked in warm water for about 20 minutes brfore cooking, are then place in boiling water until cooked through, and then immediately cooled with cold water. If Vietnamese Balm (kinh giới) is unavailable basil can be substituted in. Also, other greens can be used including cilantro, bean sprouts….

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