Everyone wants a piece of the Bun Cha. This famously fine Vietnamese street dish of grilled meat, noodle and herbs can be a contentious one to remake, if for no other reason than it tends to generate some staunch opinions about what goes in it and what can’t.
If you were to ask Hanoi’s Bun cha Huong Lien (and recent star patrons, Tony Bourdain and Barack Obama) the bun cha ha noi recipe is fairly straightforward: a liberal dose of grilled pork patties and strips of grilled pork shoulder, fused with a bowl of sweet, fish sauce-driven dressing.
Stuck in the Australian bush last summer, we didn’t have these pork options at our disposal, so we used BBQd lamb instead. We also made a few modifications and pimped the bun cha ride a little. Traditionalists may be leery of our curious incarnation, but we can attest folks: the sh.k Bowl of Nom is one flavoursome brute.
Crafted in the tradition of an old Viet favourite, our fresh take on a loved classic. Nom Nom. Chow down.
- 250g of Lamb, tofu, prawn, pork or chicken
- 1 cucumber, grated or peeled into thin pieces
- 2 carrots, grated
- 2-3 bird’s eye chillies, finely sliced
- 4 spring onions, finely sliced
- A small bunch of coriander, stalks discarded
- ½ an iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
- 1 250g packet of rice noodles
- Soy sauce
- Hoisin sauce
- Sesame oil
- Sesame seeds, toasted
- 3 tbsp palm sugar
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 bird’s eye chilli, finely sliced
- 1 stalk of lemongrass, finely sliced
- 1 tbsp of water
- Juice of two limes
- Make the dressing first by mixing together all ingredients in a small bowl. Place in refrigerator to chill while you prepare the salad
- Heat a bbq grill or pan and fry the meat/tofu you intend to use
- Cook tofu until crispy, and your meat until it's to your liking
- Set aside but keep warm
- Meanwhile, prepare and cook the noodles according to the packet, and distribute between four bowls
- Top with the salad, meat/tofu and dress with the sauce
- Mix everything together and enjoy!