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Bun Bo Hue Recipe

Bun bo Hue is an iconic and beloved noodle soup that has extra spice and funkiness that sets it apart. It's made from both pork and beef and has deep umami from a complex spice mix.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: bun bo hue, noodle soup, noodles
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 4676kcal
Author: Hong and Kim

Ingredients

Broth

  • 5 lb pork bones
  • 5 lb beef bones
  • 3 lb beef shank
  • 7 liters water
  • 1-2 lbs sliced ham hocks
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tbs fine shrimp paste
  • 10 stalks lemongrass using only the white and green ends, bruise and tie together in bunches. Save 1 for mincing.
  • 1/2 pineapple fresh if possible, cleaned
  • 1 yellow onion peeled

spice mix:

  • 3/4 cup oil grapeseed or canola oil
  • 3 tbs annatto seeds
  • 1 packet of bún bò Huế seasoning find in your asian market
  • 2 tbs garlic minced
  • 2 tbs shallot minced
  • 1/4 cup lemongrass minced
  • 2-3 tbs chile pepper flakes adjust according to your taste
  • 3 tbs fine shrimp paste

accompaniments:

  • bun bo hue noodles cooked al dente according to directions and drained
  • precooked pork blood
  • cha hue or cha lua
  • sliced cabbage
  • sliced banana blossom see this post on how to prepare
  • rau ram
  • bean sprouts
  • fine shrimp paste

Instructions

Broth

  • In large stock pot, add the pork and beef bones and enough water to cover. Bring to boil and immediately dump out the water and bones in a clean sink, wash the pot and then rinse the bones, placing them back into the pot.
  • Add bones, water, beef shank, pork hock, lemongrass, pineapple, onion, shrimp paste, salt, and sugar and bring to boil. With a fine mesh strainer occasionally remove any gunk that rises to the top. Then reduce the heat to lowest setting to simmer. The pork hocks should take about 45 min-1 hr to cook--when the skin is tender, remove and set aside. The 3lbs of beef shank takes roughly 3 hrs to cook. To see if the beef shank is cooked, poke a chopstick into the center, it should slide in with minimal pressure. If there is no blood oozing out, then it's done. Remove shank and place in water bath to avoid discoloration and set aside to cool until ready to slice.
  • After removing the hocks and shank, continue to simmer the broth under low heat partially covered for at least another 1 hour (roughly minimum of 4 hours total--but you can simmer longer and overnight even) to get all the sweetness from the marrow bones. At this point, you can remove the bones, pineapple, etc. and strain the broth if you like. Otherwise, you can leave the bones in and scoop around it. Season broth to taste with additional shrimp paste and or salt/sugar.

Spice Mix

  • Steep the annatto seed in hot oil until it becomes amber red, and remove from heat and strain and discard seeds. In large saute pan on medium, heat the anatto oil, add garlic, minced lemongrass, minced shallots, and seasoning packet. Saute a few minutes until the mixture becomes fragrant. Remove from heat and mix in fine shrimp paste. Allow to cool and transfer to storage container. This lasts for months.

Assembly

  • Slice beef shank thinly, cube pork blood, slice the cha. Prepare the noodles, shred the cabbage and banana blossom, rau ram, etc.
    Add the spice mix to the broth according to your level of desired spiciness. You can now season the entire large pot with the spice mix according to your taste, or do what we do, season only the amount of broth you're going to serve and adjusting the level of spiciness to your guest's tastes.
    Add noodles and cooked meats to a bowl, Ladle broth into prepared bowls of noodles and enjoy with accompaniments.

Nutrition

Calories: 4676kcal | Carbohydrates: 178g | Protein: 354g | Fat: 287g | Saturated Fat: 53g | Cholesterol: 1725mg | Sodium: 33486mg | Potassium: 6744mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 102g | Vitamin A: 5006IU | Vitamin C: 235mg | Calcium: 1095mg | Iron: 50mg
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