Oi Vietnam - - Contents -

Bun cha, one of the cap­i­tal’s iconic dishes

THIS IS A GREAT VIET­NAMESE noo­dle dish that's light and just packed with fla­vor. It's like a salad with a de­li­cious dip­ping sauce, or dress­ing, and it's so easy to put to­gether too.

It is hard to find some­one with greater knowl­edge of food and cul­ture in Hanoi than writer Thach Lam. In his fa­mous work, Hanoi – 36 Old Quar­ters, a rus­tic Con­fu­cian scholar, upon smelling bun cha, or rice noo­dles with grilled pork pat­ties, dur­ing his first visit to the cap­i­tal, breaks into verse: “In 1000-year-old Thang Long, is it the most pre­cious ob­ject?”

Bun cha, served with small, sa­vory, crispy, caramelized pork and thin rice ver­mi­celli on a bed of fresh veg­eta­bles and mixed fish sauce, is con­sid­ered one of Hanoi’s 15 quin­tes­sen­tial noo­dle dishes.

Though the ori­gin of bun cha is not clearly known, it has for long been a pop­u­lar dish that can be found on a tra­di­tional shoul­der pole at street cor­ners as well as in restau­rants around Viet­nam and in Viet­namese restau­rants abroad.


• Pork belly 500 g

• Lean pork shoul­der 500 g

• Rice ver­mi­celli 1 kg

• Lemon­grass 4 stems

• Shal­lot 5

• Gar­lic 3 cloves

• Herbs 200 g

• Caramel syrup 2 tbsp

• Lime juice 2 tbsp

• Salt, fish sauce, pep­per,

sea­son­ing enough

Dip­ping Sauce

• Fish sauce 50 ml

• Lime juice 2 tbsp

• Gar­lic 3 cloves

• Chili 1

• Sugar 2 tbsp

• Sea­son­ing 1/2 tbsp

• Wa­ter 50 ml

• Green pa­paya 100 g

• Car­rot 100 g

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