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Best Bun Bo Hue in Hue

Bun Bo Hue

Bun Bo Hue is one of the most famous soup noodle dishes within Vietnam, with most places having their own take on how to do it. As the name suggests though its origins lie in the imperial city of Hue. With that in mind we decided to not just try it, but review it here!

Often touted as one of the “must try’s” of Vietnamese cuisine you will see this dish everywhere from Saigon to Hanoi with each region having their own take on it. In Hue though they take particular pride in their invention, and you will literally find it everywhere.

So, what is Bung Bo Hue?

Bún bò Huế also known as Bun Bo is a spicy noodle soup that is a mainstay of Vietnamese cuisine. The meaning of the dish is Bun (rice noodle) bo (beef) Hue (the city). As perviously mentioned the dish is from here.

It origins lay in the former imperial status of Hue, with said dish supposedly being of the style of former royal court. Despite this it is now a mainstay for the workers, as well as street food scene in Hue and beyond.

Aside from the beef and the noodles other ingredients include raw onions, lemongrass (of which the dish is most associated), as well as cilantro, purple cabbage and fish sauce. The fish sauce, much like the Vietnamese herbs and peppers are added afterwards and to your own flavor. Chill sauce is also present, although quite how spicy it ends up partly depends on you and where you eat it. Always work on the theory that the Vietnamese will assume foreigners – especially in tourist areas cannot handle heat.

Bun Bo Hue Recipe

One day I will launch www.streetfood.recipe, but until then I will share what rough outlines, less to show how to make the dish, but more to share what is in it…

How does Bun Bo Hue taste?

I will enter this part taking into account the many time that I have had this dish, rather than just in Hue. Initially Bun Bo Hue can be a little bland, but that is in part how Vietnamese do a lot of their dishes, with the onus being on you to add the herbs spices and fish sauce to match your pallet.

Generally speaking this makes the meat element one of the most important parts of the dish. Generally the beef should be of the shank variety and marinated and boiled just right. Unlike other dishes, the meat should not be too big, or spicy, but have its own unique hue (not pun intended).

Before you then add your own herbs and spices that main favors this come from there meat, which should include pork knuckles, as well as lemongrass another key ingredient and selling point of the dish. These are also two key factors that differentiate form other soup noodle dishes such as pho, as well as bun thit nuong.

Eating Bun Bo Hue in Hue?

So, what to eating Bun Bo Hue in Hue? Well this well depend greatly on where you go and get it. For me I tried it in two places, one of which was in a hole in the wall restaurant near walking street, while the other was at Madame Thu Restaurant not so far away from the former.

At the hole in the wall I was fairy non-plussed, but I feel this was for a few legitimate reasons. Firstly most dishes at this restaurant seemed to be dumbed down for tourists, but also done on the cheap.

At Madame Thu on the other hand a real emphasis seems to have been put on trying to give authentic flair to the food and for at least not only was the meat better seasoned, but the lemongrass really shone through.

Yes Madame Thu will be getting their own article….