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Bún bò Huế

Bún bò Huế
A bowl of bun bo
Type Soup
Place of origin Vietnam
Region or state Central Vietnam (Huế)
Main ingredients Rice vermicelli, lemon grass, beef, fermented shrimp sauce
16x16px Cookbook:Bún bò Huế  16x16px Bún bò Huế
File:Pot of Bun Bo Hue.jpg
A pot of bun bo broth with rice noodles being cooked separately at a Saigon eatery

Bún bò Huế (pronounced [ɓun˧˥ ɓɔ˧˩ hwe˧˥]) or bun bo is a popular Vietnamese soup containing rice vermicelli (bún) and beef ().[1] Huế is a city in central Vietnam associated with the cooking style of the former royal court.[2] The dish is greatly admired for its balance of spicy, sour, salty and sweet flavors and the predominant flavor is that of lemon grass.[3] Compared to phở or bún riêu, the noodles are thicker and more cylindrical.[4]


Bun bo originated in Hue, a former capital of Vietnam. Outside the city of Hue and some parts of Central Vietnam, it is called bún bò Huế to denote its origin. Within Huế and surrounding cities, it is known simply as bún bò. The broth is prepared by simmering beef bones and beef shank with lemongrass and then seasoned with fermented shrimp sauce and sugar for taste. Very spicy chili oil is added later during the cooking process.

Bun bo usually includes thin slices of marinated and boiled beef shank, chunks of oxtail, and pig's knuckles. It can also include cubes of congealed pig blood, which has a color between dark brown and maroon, and a texture resembling firm tofu.[5]

Bun bo is commonly served with lime wedges, cilantro sprigs, diced green onions, raw sliced onions, chili sauce, thinly sliced banana blossom, red cabbage, mint, basil, perilla, persicaria odorata or Vietnamese coriander (rau ram), saw tooth herb and sometimes mung bean sprouts. Thinly sliced purple cabbage is acceptable substitute when banana blossoms are not available. Purple cabbage most resembles banana blossom in texture, though not in taste. Fish sauce and shrimp sauce is added to the soup according to taste.


  1. ^ A Culinary Journey Through Vietnam, p. 75.
  2. ^ Thanh Nien Weekly 2 Dec 2011 print edition When in Hue "The most popular Hue dish would have to be bún bò Huế, a spicy beef and vermicelli soup that goes down well with Vietnamese people and foreigners alike."
  3. ^ Aruna Thaker, Arlene Barton Multicultural Handbook of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics 2012 Page 171 "Bún bò Huế" p408 "Bún bò - Spicy beef noodle soup originated in the royal city of Hue in central Vietnam. Beef bones, fermented shrimp paste, lemongrass and dried chilies give the broth its distinctive flavour. Often served with mint leaves, ... "
  4. ^ Danh, Cathy, "Hot and Happening", Outlook Traveller, p. 89, Mar 2008.
  5. ^ Andrea Nguyen Into the Vietnamese Kitchen: Treasured Foodways, Modern Flavors Ten Speed Press 2006 ISBN 978-1580086653 p10 "people from the central region will at first demur and then counter that bún bò Huế, a chile-and-lemongrass-seasoned beef and rice noodle soup from the former imperial capital, is equally good" full recipe p212-214

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