Bun Bo Hue – Learn About Spicy Hue Noodle Soup

Bun Bo Hue - Hue Noodle Soup - Culture Pham Travel

What Is Bun Bo Hue?

Bun Bo Hue (Hue Noodle Soup or Rice Noodle Soup with Beef) is one of the best specialties in Hue. As you might care about, Hue Noodle Soup is not only famous in Hue and different parts of Vietnam but also all over the world. It can be called “bun bo” for short, referring to its basic ingredients: rice vermicelli and beef. However, since bun bo is sold in many places, people add “Hue” to the dish’s name to remind people of its origin. Bun Bo Hue means beef noodle soup that originates from Hue.

Spicy Hue Noodle Soup

As many people might know, Hue City was once the capital city of the Nguyen Dynasty in Vietnam for 143 years. Therefore, the cuisine developing in Hue mainly served the emperors and royal families. That’s one of the reasons why it must be the best. Indeed, Hue’s culinary art creates foods that are not only tasty but also beautifully decorated. Bun Bo Hue is no exception.

So, what is special about Bun Bo Hue? Obviously, its taste gives itself a trophy. Many foodies have stated that it’s the perfect combination of sour, spicy, sweet, tenderly salty, and umami flavors. Also, with a blend of the best local ingredients and good culinary skills, Hue-style noodle soup gives off heavenly aromas and appears vividly in front of customers.

Does it sound appetizing? If you want to take a bite, join the Hue tours by Culture Pham Travel to enjoy the best foods in Hue: 

How To Make Bun Bo Hue?

Bun Bo Hue Ingredients

The main ingredients of Bun Bo Hue are round rice noodles (vermicelli), fresh lean beef, pork, typical red broth, lemongrass, and shrimp paste. Additionally, sometimes there are some additional ingredients, such as crab meat, lean pork, etc., depending on the cook.

Spicy Hue Noodle Soup

Also, in the typical red broth, the Hue people always add some shrimp paste to make the unique and typical flavor of Hue. Besides, after the beef bone is cooked, they often add pork blood curbs and pork or crab rolls to the mixture.

When preparing to serve, the beef will be thinly sliced and dipped in boiling broth before being put into a bowl of vermicelli. It is also common to add a little chili powder and spices to a bowl of noodles and serve with raw salads, including herbs, beansprouts, baby lettuce, and sliced banana blossom.

Bun Bo Hue Recipe

Bun Hue Noodle Soup is not too hard, but it requires some effort to make. If you love this dish, you can prepare the ingredients and cook it at home. We will suggest a recipe for a delicious Hue spicy noodle soup for 3–4 people. It is supposed to finish in 2.5 hours, mainly for processing time.

Main Ingredients Spices
  • Chopped pork bone: 0.5 kg–1.5 kg
  • Pork leg: one leg/0.8 kg
  • Crusted beef: 0.5 kg
  • Lemongrasses
  • Water: 3 liters
  • Pork bologna: one
  • Rice vermicelli noodle
  • Salt: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Fish sauce: one tablespoon
  • Onions: 2
  • Green onions: a small bunch
  • Chili powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Cashew nut soup: 1 teaspoon
  • Cilantro: a bunch
  • Cinnamon: a bunch
  • Banana blossom: one
  • Bean sprouts and lime
  • Morning Glory: a bunch
  • Firstly, to cook the best Bun Bo Hue, we boil the water in the pot and wait until it’s boiled.
  • After that, we drop chopped pork bones, crusted meat, 2/3 bunch of lemongrass, and salt into the pot. Then, wait until the water boils again while skimming the foam thoroughly to avoid bad broth.
  • After removing the foam, turn down the heat to low and simmer until the meat is cooked. Make sure that the meat broth is well-cooked.
  • The pork rolls are cooked first, taken out, and soaked in water. Meanwhile, we add 1/2 teaspoon of pickled salt to prevent the meat from becoming black.
  • Next, the well-cooked meat is picked out and soaked in brine. Stew the beef tailbone until cooked, take out the lemongrass, and then season the sauce through the sieve.
  • Later, season the dish with a teaspoon of sugar and 2 tablespoons of fish sauce (seasoning to your taste).

Bun Bo Hue- Culture Pham Travel

How To Enjoy Hue Noodle Soup

So, how to enjoy Hue beef noodle soup properly? You should know about the ways that locals should eat this dish.

Firstly, the cook will put vermicelli inside a bowl, then a few slices of pork meat, crusted meat, freshly sliced beef, sometimes blood curbs or pork rolls, scallions, and finally onions on top. After the toppings are ready, the flavorful broth will be poured on, creating a complete bowl of Hue noodle soup.

It will be served with bean sprouts, basil, lemon, sliced banana blossom, and water spinach. If you like it to be more spicy and sour, add some chili and squeeze some lime. Stir slightly on the surface and enjoy it!

Noodle soup with beef- Culture Pham Travel

What Does Bun Bo Hue Taste Like?

As many have praised, the taste of Hue noodle soup is delicious. It’s an incredible mixture of lean pork, beef, stew bone, a bit of spicy chili, and lemongrass. Importantly, its soul, the broth soup boasting various tastes, makes it so pleasant for anyone coming from any place to eat.

The locals often have Bun Bo Hue for their breakfast, which proves that this dish is mild enough to wake up the appetite and strong enough to energize people’s work days.

Is Bun Bo Hue Healthy?

After looking at the ingredients, you might question: How many calories are in a Vietnamese bun bo Hue? Well, typically for one bowl, bun bo Hue calories are roughly 620, with around 13grs of fat, 80grs of carbohydrates, and 45grs of protein. As you can see, this dish tends to be high-calorie, with lots of carbohydrates from rice noodles and proteins from meats.

Bun Bo Hue - Hue Spicy Noodle Soup
A Bun Bo Hue eatery in the early morning

Almost all Vietnamese people don’t have problems with the redundancy of fat, carbohydrates, or proteins. In fact, they need more of these and consume rice every day. Thus, many can eat Bun Bo Hue for every breakfast in a week without any detrimental harm to their health.

However, Hue beef noodle soup is not an ideal dish for those who want to lose weight, go on a diet, are vegetarians, or suffer from obesity.

Differences Between Pho And Bun Bo Hue

Bun Bo Hue and Pho are two noodle-based dishes that are famous in Vietnam. Their similarities might question people: What’s the difference between pho and bun Hue? Surely, they have many differences that you will notice once trying both of them. Firstly, Pho originated from northern Vietnam, while Bun Bo Hue came from central Vietnam, particularly Hue.

Differences Between Pho And Bun Bo Hue
Pho Vietnam

In terms of taste, Hue noodle soup broth is kind of spicy, and the shape of its noodles is round vermicelli. Meanwhile, Pho’s shape is flat, like fettuccine. While Pho’s broth flavor comes from star anise and cinnamon, Hue Noodle Soup’s comes from unique shrimp paste and citronella.

Obviously, we cannot compare which is more delicious. Both are great with different flavors. Thus, it would be great if you could taste both to relish the specialties from different parts of Vietnam.

Where Can You Get The Best Hue Noodle Soup?

As you know, first-time travelers who visit Hue often ask themselves, “Where is the best Bun Bo Hue in Hue?” “Is there any Bun Bo Hue near me?” and “Where is the best Bun Bo Hue restaurant?”

In Hue, it is very easy to get the Hue Noodle Soup. The open time is from 7 AM to 5 PM. Of course, there are some more prominent eateries than others. They feature the “real” Bun Bo Hue that anyone, from the locals to tourists, wants to line up for. We will give you some recommendations on where to enjoy the best Hue Noodle Soup with beef.

  • Bun Bo Hue Ba Tuyet: 47 Nguyen Cong Tru Street, Hue City (price from 20,000 to 35,000 VND/bowl)
  • Hue Noodle Soup Ba Xuan: 17 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Hue City (price from 30,000 to 35,000 VND/bowl)
  • O Phuong Noodle Soup: 24 Nguyen Khuyen Street, Hue City (price from 30,000 to 35,000 VND/bowl)
  • Cam Noodle Soup: 45 Le Loi Street, Hue City (price from 25,000 to 50,000 VND/bowl)
  • Bun Bo Me Keo: 20 Bach Dang Street, Hue City (25,000 to 35,000 VND/bowl)
Me Keo - a Hue Noodle Soup eatery
Me Keo – a Hue Noodle Soup eatery

Another way to enjoy Hue noodle soup with beef and a lot of different specialties in Hue Imperial City is to book the Hue Street Food Tour by Culture Pham Travel. By booking the tour with us, you can taste the best local foods and drink the best local beers!

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