One of North Vietnam’s most popular food dishes is bun cha. When you travel in North Vietnam you will see signs everywhere advertising the sell of this famous dish called Bún Chả.
To Go Straight To Vietnamese Bun Cha and Video – Click On The Link Below:Jump to Recipe
Bún Chả is a Vietnamese food dish that is thought to have originated in North Vietnam. It is made from rice noodles, grilled pork, salad, and a Bún Chả fish sauce mixture. It is a dish that you can learn to make and serve in your own home.
Bún Chả became very famous when the U.S. President Barack Obama sat down with CNN’s Anthony Bourdain in a small local Bún Chả noodle shop in Hanoi, Vietnam.
What Does Bún Chả mean?
Bún Chả which is pronounced as Bún (boon) Chả (cha) is a Vietnamese dish of that is thought to have originated from Hanoi in North Vietnam. The word bún means rice noodles and chả means pork. So together Bún Chả means a rice noodle grilled pork dish.
The reason why Bún Chả is thought to have come from Hanoi is Vu Bang (1913-1984), a food writer and critic wrote this in 1959 about Hanoi and Bún Chả:
“Hanoi is a town ‘transfixed by Bún Chả.”Vu Bang
You can watch our video on how to make Vietnamese Bun Cha by clicking on the link below:
About Vietnamese Bún Chả
Bún Chả is a dish that consists of rice noodles, pork, vegetable that is served with a Bún Chả sauce. There are basically two kinds of pork that are served with Bún Chả as:
- Grilled Pork – A lot of the Bún Chả will use fatty grilled pork or pork shoulder. This is similar to bacon but not exactly the same. Sometimes this meat can have a lot of fat on it as the Vietnamese like the fat on the pork and will choose the meat cut that more fat than actual meat.
- Grilled Pork Patties – The other way that Bún Chả is served is with small grilled pork patties. These are more like a mini pork grilled hamburger.
There is another dish in Vietnam that is similar to Bún Chả called Bún Thịt Nướng. The major difference between Bún Chả and Bún Thịt Nướng is that for Bún Chả the meat is always grilled on a BBQ.
What Ingredients Are Used To Make Bún Chả?
One of the most important things in making a good Bún Chả is to have some of the right ingredients. This is a very important part of making it as authentic as possible.
The Four Parts of Vietnamese Bún Chả
A good Vietnamese Bún Chả has four main parts to it. The four parts for a good Bún Chả are:
The Four Parts of Vietnamese Bun Cha Guide
- Rice Noodles – To make Bún Chả you need to have rice noodles. The Vietnamese use round rice noodles and not flat ones. In Vietnam, they sell them fresh. If you are not able to buy the noodles fresh you can make them fresh by checking out this recipe by Epicurious. Alternatively, can also go to the Asian Grocery store and buy some dried rice noodles. You would boil them as you would spaghetti noodles. Bún Chả rice noodles are usually served cold and not hot, you can prepare these ahead of time.
- Vegetable Salad – As with most Vietnamese dishes, the Vietnamese like fresh vegetables. The traditional vegetables they use for the Bún Chả salad are lettuce, mint leaves, cilantro, marjoram, and perilla. The marjoram that we are talking about is a Vietnamese or an Asian Marjoram, and not middle eastern marjoram. If you cannot find it fresh your Bun Cha will be Ok without it. Also, perilla is a Vietnamese herb that is part of the mint family. Some other Asian countries also use both fresh marjoram and perilla so you may find them at your local Asian grocery store. If you do not find them at the grocery store, you can use lettuce, fresh mint, and fresh cilantro for your Bún Chả salad. If you have some fresh mild oregano or sweet basil you can also try to include that as part of your salad instead of the marjoram or perilla.
- Grilled Pork – The meat used in Bún Chả is pork. The two common cuts of pork used to make Bún Chả are 1) ground pork and 2) pork belly. If you really do not want to eat so much pork for the ground pork you can try to mix in some ground chicken or turkey to make it leaner.
- Sauce – The sauce for Bún Chả includes water, sugar, pepper, fish sauce, carrots, garlic, and lime or apple vinegar. Also optional is fresh red chili and green papaya.
The carrots for the Vietnamese bun cha sauce are usually cut into flowers. You can watch our video to see how they are cut.