Bun Cha

When I see Bún chả I always remember the episode of Parts Unknown when Anthony Bourdain and Barack Obama dined in a small restaurant in Vietnam to have this dish. It must be a really special dish especially when you want to serve it to one of the most powerful person in the world.


Bún chả is a Vietnamese dish of grilled fatty pork, pork meatballs and vermicelli rice noodles served with raw green leafy vegetables and papaya pickles. The moment this food is made up until it is served is a delight to one’s senses, imagine the aroma of pork meat grilling over charcoals and the smell of the dipping sauce as well as the pickled vegetables together with the different textures of the fresh green vegetables and slimy rice vermicelli, it is one of those dishes with a huge array of texture, flavour and colour in one bowl.

Bún chả is a lunchtime-only dish and it is very popular in Hanoi and highly possibly its place of origin but unlike its other popular dishes like bánh cuốn, chả cá and phở the origins of Bún chả seems to be a mystery, undocumented and unknown.

Bun Cha
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
Grilled Pork
  • 400 g pork shoulder or pork belly
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 shallots minced
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Grilled Meatballs
  • 400 g minced pork, 30% fat
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pcs spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Pickled Carrot and Papaya
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • ½ small green papaya, shredded
  • ½ cup cane vinegar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup water
Dipping Broth
  • 3 cups pork broth
  • 6 tbsp fish sauce
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp cane vinegar
Noodles
  • 500 g rice vermicelli, cooked according to packet instructions and served on room temperature
  • cos lettuce
  • spinach
  • Thai basil
  • coriander
Instructions
Grilled Pork
  1. In a bowl combine all Grilled Pork ingredients except for the pork, mix well.
  2. Add the pork and let it marinate for an hour.
  3. Grill pork over prepared charcoal until cooked and lightly charred.
  4. Slice into small bite sized pieces then set aside.
Grilled Meatballs
  1. In a bowl mix using your hand all Grilled Meatball ingredients.
  2. Form into small sized meatballs.
  3. Grill meatballs over prepared charcoal until cooked and lightly charred.
  4. Set aide
Pickled Carrot and Papaya
  1. Combine vinegar, sugar and water, mix well until sugar dissolves.
  2. Add the carrots and papaya, submerge everything in the pickling liquid. Set it aside for 2 hours.
Dipping Broth
  1. Place all broth ingredients in a small pot, heat it but do not boil.
Serving
  1. Place greens on a plate, broth on a small bowl, meats on a separate plate and pickled papaya and carrots on a small platter.
  2. Eat by dipping everything all at once or one by one on the small bowl of broth using your chopsticks.

 


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1 Response

  1. suituapui says:

    I think I will make some meat balls today, got me craving for some.

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