Today recipe is very special, because my Viet friend Be is sharing her famous Bún bò Huế recipe!
She is actually from the Huế area in Vietnam and hands down her Bún bò Huế is the BEST. EVER!
If you don’t know what’s Bún bò Huế, it’s Vietnamese spicy beef noodle soup!
It’s all about beef, lemongrass and spicy flavor!
The noodles is definitely thicker than Pho, actually it’s probably the thickest rice noodles they use in Viet cooking! (other than the fresh wide ones)
We went all the way by adding tendon, pork blood and all but you can make it simply by just make the main beef broth and maybe the meat balls! This soup freezes well too so no worries about the recipes size!
If you decided to use tendon and pork blood as well, make sure to start cooking them first, because it takes the longest!
Cooking the tendons (gan)
First step is to cook the beef tendons because this process will take about 3 hours. Boil a small pot of water and cook this separately for 3 hours until it softens. Rinse it once it’s done and refrigerate for firmness, then slice into 2-inch pieces. Cover and keep it in a fridge until ready to serve. (DO NOT cook this together in your stock pot. The nasty film that releases from the tendon will not be good for your broth.)
To cook the beef/pork blood (huyet)
Carefully cut the block of pork blood into thirds if it’s too big. Bring a separate pot of water covering the blood by 3-inch above. Add the 1 medium size ginger to the pot. This helps remove the smell of the blood and cook it on low heat for 45 mins to 1 hour or until cooked through. Once it’s cooked, remove from heat, rinse under cold water and let it cool in a fridge. When it’s cooled, cut into 2-inch cubes. Cover and keep it in a fridge until ready to serve. It’s important that you cook this slow and low to prevent the honeycomb holes.
Now it’s time to prepare the main stock!!
First off you want to par boil all the beef neck bones & beef shanks for about 10 minutes. Drain & wash the bones well to remove all muddy residues and wash the pot as well. This process is to remove all the dirty residues from the bones and to also maintain a very nice clean broth.
Add 28 cups cold water into now-clean-pot. Add the pineapple, onion halves, lemongrass stalks, and ginger halves, salt, chicken bouillon and rock candied sugar. Once the water starts to boil, lower the heat to medium and cook on simmer for 2 1/2 hours. Continue to remove any residues that floats up the surface of the pot as you go.
Meanwhiole, let’s make the meat balls and sate sauce:
To make this bun bo hue meatballs, you will need Vietnamese uncooked processed ham/sausage (gio song/cha lua song) It is store-bought, can be purchased at most Vietnamese grocery stores in the freezer section!
Combine all ingredients for meatballs in a mixing bowl and cover and keep it in a fridge until ready to use.
Let me tell you, this meatballs are KILLER!!! One of the best meatballs I’ve ever had!!
Heat a small sauce pan over medium heat; add cooking oil. Add the shallots and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the lemongrass. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes then turn off heat and add the garlic, red chili flakes, paprika or bun bo hue seasoning powder(it’s mixture of paprika, garlic, ginger, onion powder) and fish sauce. Continue stirring for another minute or so, until it forms a thick paste. Set aside.
After 2 1/2 hours, remove all the fragrance vegetables and fruits along with the beef shank. Rinse beef shank with cold water, cover in a tight container and refrigerate for at least 30-45 minutes before slice. Remove from the fridge and slice into 1/8-inch thickness. Cover and keep it in a fridge until ready to serve.
Add fish sauce, bun bo hue seasoning and sate sauce. If it’s not seasoned enough to your taste, then add 1 tablespoon fish sauce at a time until you reach your desire taste. If you are using shrimp paste, add at this point.
Let the broth still over medium heat and rolling boil and now, drop the meatballs into pot using a small size ice cream scoop. It will float to the surface once it’s done.
Cook the bun bo hue rice noodles by following the directions of the package. You might have to cook longer than what the direction says though, because it’s really thick noodles and takes a while. My package said 12 to 14 minutes but it took 25 minutes for me. You want to make sure it cooked all the way soft then drain, rinse under cold water to remove excess starch then drain completely with no cover. We are air-drying this noodles to absorb the flavor better, and it’s Vietnamese secret!!
Let’s assemble Bun Bo Hue!! In a serving bowl, arrange cooked noodles, the meat slices then ladle over the broth with beef neck bones and meatballs. Top with a little bit of all the garnishes as you desire. Spoon in some chili oil if you like & don’t forget a squeeze of fresh lime!
Dry bun bo hue seasoning is mixture of sweet paprika, garlic powder and onion powder, ginger powder. So if you can’t find one, just mix those ingredients!
My friend Be, who showed us how to make authentic & rustic Bun Bo Hue, she is opening a restaurant, the grand opening is right around the corner, so if you ever in Sacramento, California area, check it out!!
Author: Seonkyoung LongestServes: 20 (Makes 10 Large Bowl)IngredientsFor the Meat Toppings (Optional)
For the Main Soup
For the Meatballs
For the Sate
For the Main Soup Seasoning
For the Garnishes & Noodles
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