The Vietnamese Bun Bo Nam Bo- A Warm Beef Noodle Salad Recipe

Bun Bo Nam Bo - Vietnamese Warm Beef Salad

The Vietnamese dish of Bún Bò Nam Bộ translates from Vietnamese into English to – The beef noodle dish from the southern region. What is interesting about Bún Bò Nam Bộ is that even though the North Vietnamese consider it to be from South Vietnam it is actually a more popular dish in North Vietnam than South Vietnam.

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Vietnamese Bun Bo Nam Bo - The Warm Beef Noodle Salad

Some people say that Bún Bò Nam Bộ was brought from South Vietnam to North Vietnam. Others say that it originated in North Vietnam but as the dish is considered to have a more southern Vietnamese style to it that is why they consider it to be from South Vietnam. The truth is that no one really knows for sure where Bún Bò Nam Bộ came from or how it became so popular in the Northern Vietnamese capital of Hanoi, Vietnam.

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Bún Bò Nam Bộ is one of the top 10 dishes that CNN Travel says everyone should try to eat in Vietnam. CNN Travel has said this about Bún Bò Nam Bộ:

“This bowl of vermicelli noodles — widely popular in Hanoi — comes sans broth, keeping the ingredients from becoming sodden and the various textures intact.”

cnn travel
Vietnamese Bun Bo Nam Bo - The Warm Beef Noodle Salad

About the Bun Bo Nam Bo Ingredients

Here are the different parts to Bún Bò Nam Bộ or the Vietnamese Warm Beef Salad:

Watch our video on producing Bun Bo Nam Bo by clicking below.

In this video, we will show you how we:

  • Marinate and cook the beef for the Bún Bò Nam Bộ
  • Make the Bún Bò Nam Bộ sauce
  • Prepare the vegetables for the salad
  • Prepare and serve your Bún Bò Nam Bộ
Vietnamese Bun Bo Nam Bo - The Warm Beef Noodle Salad

The Vietnamese Bun Bo Nam Bo- A Warm Beef Noodle Salad Recipe

Serves 6

For this recipe, you will need about 100 grams or 3.5 ounces of garlic that is finely cut up or pressed.  This is about 6 gloves of small size garlic.  You can feel free to add or take out the garlic as to your own preferred tastes. 

The Vietnamese Bun Bo Nam Bo- A Warm Beef Noodle Salad Recipe

Recipe by Anita L Hummel Course: Vietnamese Bun Bo Nam Bo, A Warm Beef Noodle SaladCuisine: Vietnamese, AsianDifficulty: Medium


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  • 600 grams or 1.3 pounds of thinly sliced beef.

  • 2 Tablespoons sugar

  • 1 Teaspoon sea salt

  • 2 Teaspoon pepper

  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 Teaspoon Fish Sauce (feel free to add more if you like the fish sauce taste)

  • 2 heaping teaspoons of minced garlic

  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil

  • Vegetable oil for cooking the meat

  • Extra garlic to fry the meat with.

  • 4 cups water

  • 1/2 Cup Sugar

  • (You can add or delete the sugar according to your taste. You can put in less sugar or more.)

  • 1/2 Cups Fish Sauce

  • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

  • 3 heaping teaspoons of garlic

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper

  • 3 pieces fresh small red chill cut up in small pieces, or about 2 heaping red chili peppers cut up. (you can add more or less depending on how spicy you want it)

  • 225 grams or 1/2 pound peanuts (cut up in small pieces)

  • 400 grams or about .88 pounds of fresh bean sprouts

  • 1 kilo or 2.20 pounds of rice noodles (cooked)

  • 2 large heads of lettuce or about 300 grams or .66 pounds of lettuce.

  • 67 grams or 2.35 ounces of cilantro (this is about one bunch of cilantro)

  • 30 grams fresh mint or 1.05 ounces of fresh mint (about 1/2 bunch of fresh mint)

  • You should serve the following warm (they do not need to be hot) – noodles, beef, and bean sprouts. You can also heat up the Bun Bo Nam Bo sauce.


  • Mix the sugar, salt, pepper, garlic, fish sauce, and vegetable oil into the thinly sliced beef Let it marinate at least 1 hour. You can also prepare ahead of time and let it marinate overnight.
  • While the beef is marinating, you can mix up the Bun Bo Nam Bo sauce. Just add the water. sugar and then stir until the sugar dissolves in the water. Then add the fish sauce and apple cider vinegar. Red chili peppers, garlic, and black pepper. You can allow this to sit, but this sauce is usually best if used the same day you make it.
  • For the salad cut up all the salad in small bite-size pieces. For the fresh bean sprouts, quickly steam or blanch them in water. You want them to be slightly crunchy. You can also do a quick fry on these if you prefer that.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in the pan until hot. Then put in about a tablespoon of garlic. Cook the garlic until it is brown, add the beef, and let the beef cook. You may need to do this twice with the amount of beef you have. Cook the beef right before serving.
  • Boil the noodles so you can serve them hot.
  • Cilantro and mint cut up at the bottom
  • Put noodles on top of it.
  • Add the Lettuce, beef, peanuts, and more cilantro and mint on top.
  • Pour in as much of the Bun Bo Nam Bo as you want. Some people like it dry, but I prefer to use a lot of sauce. Mix it all up and eat it with the sauce.

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Anita L Hummel

Hi, I live in Hanoi, Vietnam but spend time traveling the region. I love to share with you things I see and learn through my travels.

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