Rice noodle and vermicelli is a long chapter in the Vietnamese cuisine cookbook. With simple ingredients such as rice, meat and vegetables, Vietnamese can cook a hundred noodle dishes. Aside from Pho - national symbol dish, Bun Cha (fresh vermicelli served with a bowl of sour dipping sauce & grilled pork) is an outstanding dish you should not miss.
I - What is Bun Cha Vietnam?
Bun Cha is a dish originating from Northern Vietnam, considered an indispensable dish of the quintessence of Hanoi cuisine. With simple ingredients such as rice vermicelli and pork, but by the creativity in cooking and the excellent combination of spices, Vietnamese people have made a daily dish become one of the most impressive foods in Vietnamese cuisine.
Bun Cha Vietnam (Source: Recipetineats)
1 - Ingredients of Vietnamese Bun Cha
A full set of grilled pork and rice vermicelli will include Bun ( rice vermicelli ), Cha (Vietnamese sausages), sweet and sour dipping sauce and fresh vegetables.
- “Bún” - rice vermicelli noodles: In Vietnam, fresh rice noodles are the most popular noodle. If not, you can use dried rice vermicelli.
- “Chả” - made of pork is the main ingredient in Bun Cha Vietnam. Grilled pork includes 2 types: minced grilled pork balls and grilled pork slices. In which, shoulder pork & belly pork are the best choices for making “Chả” for keeping pork juicy and soft.
- The sweet & sour dipping sauce: The dipping sauce includes Vietnamese fish sauce diluted with warm water, minced garlic, chilli, sugar, vinegar or lime juice, and some slices of pickled carrots & green papayas.
- Herb and vegetables: coriander, perilla, lettuce, Vietnamese balm and basil,...
2 - How to eat Bun Cha Vietnam?
To the locals, this dish is always accompanied with a variety of fresh vegetables such as lettuce, coriander, cilantro, perilla and lettuce in a separate basket. A serving includes a plate of rice vermicelli noodles and a bowl of dipping sauce filled with grilled pork, sliced pickles of carrots & green papayas. Some jars of minced garlic and chillies make the taste of Vietnamese Bun Cha more complete. Do not forget to add some herbs in the bowl and start to enjoy the extraordinary flavor of the dish.
You can put rice noodles in a bowl of dipping sauce or put everything in a separate bowl and enjoy. One interesting thing is that the locals often order a cup of iced tea when eating out.
President Obama is enjoying Vietnamese Bun Cha in Hanoi (Source: Znews)
3 - The story of “Bun Cha Vietnam”
This is one of the most famous Vietnamese foods that is favored by lots of international chefs and tourists. Some famous magazines and international newspapers recommend Vietnamese Bun Cha as a must try dish for its unique and perfect taste.
Popular travel site National Geographic once ranked this dish in the list of the 10 best street foods in the world. The tourism magazine Culture Trip also suggests this dish as a must try when traveling in Vietnam.
This dish especially became more popular in 2016, when the US President Obama and chef Anthony Bourdain enjoyed Bun Cha in a local restaurant. This has created an extraordinary effect that attracts the attention of Vietnamese people and foreign tourists. The image of the most “powerful man” in the world sitting on a plastic chair, drinking local Hanoi beer while enjoying Vietnamese food has grabbed the headlines of many newspapers and magazines.
4 - Other famous noodle dishes
Aside from Bun Cha Vietnam, there are plenty of other kinds of noodles that you should give a try such as Hue beef noodle soup, Hanoi combo noodles (Bún Thang) or fish & snail noodle soup.
- Hue beef noodle soup: A typical dish of Hue cuisine with a rich taste balanced by sour, spicy, salty and strong flavor of fish sauce and chilli sauce. The food contains rice vermicelli, slices of beef, meat balls, pork blood, stewed trotter and pork patties.
- Bun Thang - Hanoi combo noodle soup: Another special noodle soup of Hanoi cuisine. The dish has a mild sweet taste, created from delicate ingredients and sophisticated processing.
II - Best places to eat Bun Cha Vietnam
1 - In Hanoi
As a specialty dish of Vietnam's capital, it is not difficult to encounter a Bun Cha restaurant in Hanoi. Here is a list of great places to try this dish:
Huong Lien restaurant - place welcomed President Obama:
- Address: No.24 Le Van Huu street, Hai Ba Trung district, Hanoi.
- Price: 40,000 - 60,000 VND / serving ($1.72 - 2.58)
- Opening hours: 8am - 8:30pm
Bun Cha at Hang Than street:
- Address: No.34 Hang Than street, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi.
- Price: 35,000 - 55,000 VND / serving ($1.5 - 2.37)
- Opening hours: 6am - 5pm
Hang Quat street:
- Address: Alley No.74 Hang Quat street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi.
- Price: 35,000 - 40,000 VND / serving ($1.5 - 1.72)
- Opening hours: 10am - 2pm
2 - Bun Cha in Saigon
Bun Cha's grilled pork (Source: Sandra Luong)
Here are the places serving this dish in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh city) that are highly recommended:
- Tru Bat Gioi:
Address: No.72 Truong Quyen street, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City.
Price: 25,000 - 40,000 VND / serving ($1.07 - 1.72)
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm
- Bun Cha Ho Guom:
Address: No.29 Truong Dinh street, Ward 6, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
Price: 40,000 - 45,000 VND / serving ($1.72 - 1.93)
Opening hours: 7am - 9pm
- Bun Cha 145:
Address: No.145 Bui Vien street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Price: 30,000 - 60,000 VND / serving ($1.3 - 2.6)
Opening hours: 0:30pm - 3pm, 5:30pm - 8pm
3 - Bun Cha Vietnam restaurants in Da Nang
Bun Cha ingredients (Source: Danangz)
Here are some recommended places to eat this dish in Da Nang city:
- Quan Nho restaurant:
Address: No.169/6 Tran Phu street, Hai Chau District, Da Nang City.
Price: 12,000 - 40,000 VND / serving ($0.51 - 1.72)
Opening hours: 6am - 10pm
- Bun Cha at Ha Noi Xua restaurant:
Address: No.95 Nguyen Chi Thanh street, Hai Chau District, Da Nang City.
Price: 35,000 VND / serving ($1.5)
Opening hours: 10am - 2:30pm
- Tay Ho Quan restaurant:
Address: No.80 Quang Trung street, Hai Chau District, Da Nang City.
Price: 10,000 - 30,000 VND / serving ($0.43 - 1.29)
Opening hours: 7am - 9pm
Bun Cha Vietnam or rice vermicelli with grilled pork is an excellent mix of rice noodles, pork and vegetable & herb. For vegetarian food lovers, the vegan version is available in some vegetarian restaurants in Vietnam