Bun Moc – Vietnamese Pork and Mushroom Noodle Soup

bun moc

 

My family is originally from the northern Vietnam city of Nam Dinh but moved to Saigon in 1954 after the Geneva Accords divided the country in two. As part of the Operation Passage to Freedom, the US and France helped transport close to a million northern Vietnamese to the south after this division. Kim’s family however, is from the south central city of Quy Nhon. So we both have regional differences in our tastes and knowledge of Vietnamese cuisine. Lately I’ve introduced several northern dishes to Kim, such as bun thang, and now we like to share another great northern noodle soup call bun moc.

Bun moc is a vermicelli noodle soup made from a pork and shiitake mushroom infused broth. The meats commonly include pork paste balls made from gio song (raw pork sausauge), cha lua (pork sausagewhich is gio song that has been wrapped in banana leaves and boiled). Taken all together, this is a delicious, earthy, yet light noodle soup that’s very popular in the northern parts of Vietnam, but can also be found throughout the country. Unlike pho or bun bo hue, this soup is not as time intensive and is really easy to prepare.

bun moc

Bun Moc (Vietnamese Pork and Mushroom Noodle Soup)
Printable Recipe

  • 4 lbs. pork ribs (cut into 2-3 inch pieces) or you can also use combination of ribs and bone
  • 1.5-2 cups of dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup wood ear fungus strips
  • 1 12oz container of pork paste (this is commonly found in your Asian Grocery–if frozen, defrost in the fridge the night before–this is commonly already pre-seasoned)
  • 1 tbs pepper
  • salt
  • fish sauce
  • 1 package of vermicelli noodles
  • 1 cha lua (pork sausage loaf) cut into thin pieces and also commonly found in Asian Groceries either wrapped in banana leaves or aluminum foil
  • beansprouts
  • cilantro, thinly chopped
  • scallions, thinly chopped
  • chili garlic sauce

 

bun moc 

In large stock pot, place the pork ribs/bones with enough water to cover and bring to boil for about 5 minutes or so. The gunk will surface from the ribs. Empty the water and wash the ribs/bones with cold water. Also wash the pot to get the residue off the side or have a second pot with hot water ready. Place the cleaned ribs/bones into the pot and cover with about 4 qts of water or so. Bring to boiling again, occasionally skimming any left over residue, and turn heat to low and simmer.

In the meantime, soak the wood ear fungus and shiitake mushrooms in separate bowls of warm water for about 15 min. Remove the woodear fungus, squeeze out the water and coarsely chop. Mix this along with the black pepper into the pork paste and set aside in the fridge.

Boil another pot of water to make the vermicelli noodles. Cut the cha lua, scallions, and cilantro and set aside.

After simmering the stock for about 1. 5 hrs, add the shitake mushrooms along with the water it was soaked in and continue on low heat for about another 30 minutes. Season broth with salt and/or fish sauce. Both the pork ribs and shitake mushrooms should be very tender. If you used pork bones, you can strain and discard.

When you’re ready to serve, bring the pot to boil again and use a wet spoon or wet hands to form small pork paste balls and cook in boiling broth–about 3-4 minutes or so. Ladle the soup with tender ribs, shiitake and pork paste balls over vermicelli noodles and serve with beansprouts and dab of chili garlic.

bun moc

 

The shiitake mushrooms soak in the sweet pork broth and is so juicy and delicious. Bun moc is such an earthy but still light northern Vietnamese vermicelli noodle soup that we love to enjoy and hope you enjoy it too!

 

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