Hue Beef Noodle Soup

Traveling to Viet Nam, you may heard about many types of noodle, one of those is Hue Beef Noodle Soup. You can find it an where in Viet Nam. In fact, it is the special and traditional food in Hue, the apitol of Vietnam during the country’s “dynasty” years, when the country was still ruled by kings and emperors. Although the translated name for Bún Bò Huế is Spicy Beef Noodle Soup, it is not to be confused with Phở the other “beef noodle soup”. In Hue, the local people just call “ Bun Bo”, but in others, it named “ Bun Bo Hue” to remind if it homeland.

Ingredients for Hue Beef Noodle Soup

For 6-8 servings (1kg = 2,2 lb) – 1kg pork trotters (pig’s front feet) – 1kg beef shank – 1kg beef/pork bone – 1kg rice vermicelli noodle – 5 stalk lemon grass – 1tbsp minced lemongrass – 1tbsp minced garlic – 1tbsp minced shallot – 1tbsp chili powder – 2 tbsp Vietnamese shrimp sauce (mam ruoc) – fresh greens: herbs (mint, Viet mint rau ram, Thai basil), bean sprout, banana blossom, shredded lectuce/ cabbage etc. – garnish: chopped spring onion & cilantro, thinly sliced onion- lime, sugar, salt, fish sauce – Optional: blood cubes, Vietnamese shrimp patties, Vietnamese ham.

Bring water to boil, add beef bones and pork trotters and cook for 10 mins. Remove and wash well under cold water to clean all the impurities. Place the bones & meat to a clean big pot filled with 5 liter water. Smash 6 stalks lemongrass to release the fragrance. Tie them up and add to the pot. Also add 1 onion, 1 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp sugar. Bring to boil, then cook under medium heat for 1 hour. Occasionally skim and remove the scum. Remove the meat and soak in cold water to avoid it from blackening. Continue to cook the bones further (1-3 hours if you have time), *If you cook the stock more than 2 hours, add the bruised lemongrass only at the last hour. Heat 3tbsp vegetable oil in a pan, fry minced lemongrass, garlic and shallot (1tbsp each) until slightly golden and take off the heat. Add 1tbsp chili powder, 2tbsp fish sauce, 2tbsp sugar, 4tbsp beef broth, stir and simmer under low heat for 5 mins until smooth. Add 2/3 of this sate to the big bot. Save the rest for serving later.


Photo by Scooter Saigon Tour

Dissolve 2tbsp Vietnamese shrimp paste (mam ruoc) in 1 cup of water. Let sit for 10 mins to settle the dregs. Fill a sauce pan with 2 cups of water, add the upper part of the shrimp paste mixture (discard the dregs at the bottom). Bring to boil and let sit for 15 mins to settle the dregs again. Then extract the clear broth of the fermented shrimp paste mixture and add to the big broth pot. Leave out the dregs. Season the broth to your taste with salt, fish sauce and chicken stock Cut beef and pork to bite-size pieces In a serving bowl, add thick round rice noodle and meat Pour the broth over and Sprinkle with spring onion and thinly sliced onion. Serve Hue Beef Noodle Soup with extra sate, a fresh green platter, lime wedges.

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