Bún chả is probably the second most popular dish eaten in Hanoi after Pho. Generally the Vietnamese would eat this for lunch or as a light dinner. This meal can be enjoyed all year round but it is especially popular during the summer months. Obviously in Vietnam the weather is generally hot but it can get a bit mild in North Vietnam during the month of December. When I say mild – I mean around 18 celcius which is 64.4 farenheit. It’s so funny as the last time I was there it was during the winter months and I was walking around in my vest and shorts. As to me, 18 celcius is hot especially if you come from a country like England. I was getting some mean looks from the locals as they were riding around on their mopeds with their thick winter jackets. Oh dear! They just need to come to England and experience our dreadful winter. Although, our winter is not as bad as some other places on this planet.
So what is Bún chả…
Bún basically means rice vermicelli and chả means grilled pork patties. The pork patties are placed on top of the rice vermicelli along with pickled vegetables such as carrots and daikon and lots of differnt types of herbs. Then you would pour Vietnamese dipping sauce (Nước chấm) all over it until all the ingredients are submerged. But I prefer to add enough nouc mam so it doesn’t taste so bland – I don’t want to drink the stuff!
I do prefer to fry my patties as the summer months here are short so I don’t always get a chance to grill them on my bbq. But it doesn’t really matter as they taste just as good fried in a pan. If you prefer to bbq them then I would suggest you buy a meat grill.
Bún chả vs Bún thịt nướng
Quite a few of my friends always ask me what is the difference between the two. The only difference is the meat. Basically it’s the same dish but bún chả is served with pork patties made using mince pork whereas bún thịt nướng is served with slices of grilled pork belly.
The dipping sauce recipe that I have shown you is slightly different than the dipping sauce for Vietnamese spring rolls. As I have changed the quantity of the fish sauce, water and honey that I would normally used in order to suit this recipe. You don’t want to add too much fish sauce to the dipping sauce or else it will make you real thirsty.
You may read this recipe and feel that this dish is quite time consuming, especially when there are three parts to it. But rest assure as the three parts are quite minor and will not take long to do on their own. After making this dish a few times you’ll be multitasking and doing all three, quite possibly at the same time. Yay!
Until next time. Happy cooking! 🙂
Step 1 – Make the rice vermicelli then drain, add it to a plate and leave to dry. Make them in accordance to the instruction on the packet.
Step 2 – Mix the pork, onions, garlic, spring onions, mint, honey and fish sauce in a bowl. Ensure that all the ingredients are mixed well.
Step 3 – Take around 2 tbsp of the pork mixture and form into a ball then flatten it slightly. Repeat this until there is no mixture left. Add the patties to a plate and set aside
Step 4 – Make fish sauce. Add limes, chilli, garlic, water, honey and fish sauce to a jar or a bowl. Give it a good stir and leave aside.
Step 5 – Slice some cucumbers, julienned some carrots. Add some of the julienned carrots to the fish sauce. If you want to add herbs then get them ready now. Set all to one side.
Step 6 – Add oil and start frying or grilling the pork. Fry the pork for 2.5 mins for one side and then flip them over and fry them for another 2.5 mins.
Step 7 – Start getting the bowl ready. Add the rice vermecelli to bowl first then the cooked pork patties. After that add all the other ingredients such as the carrot, cucumber and herbs. Then pour the fish sauce all over the ingredients. Top it all off with some crushed roasted peanuts and crispy fried shallot. If you would to submerge it in fish sauce then please be my guest! 🙂
- 500g mince pork
- 3 garlic cloves (minced)
- 2 tbsp of fish sauce
- 2 tbsp of honey
- 1 onion ( finely chopped)
- 1 spring onion (finely chopped)
- 1.5 tbsp of mint (finely chopped)
- pinch of salt
- 300g of rice vermicelli
- Fish Sauce
- 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
- 1 thai red chillies (chopped)
- 2 limes (squeezed)
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1/4 cup of fish sauce
- 2 tbsp of honey
- 2 carrots (julienned)
- 1 cucumber (sliced)
- bunch of mint leaves
- bunch of perilla (optional)
- Roasted peanuts (crushed) (optional)
- Crispy fried shallots (optional)
- 01. Cook the noodles, drain and leave to dry
- 02. Add all the ingredients for the pork patties apart from the oil in a bowl. Mix really well.
- 03. Take around 2 tbsp of the pork mixture and form into a ball then flatten it slightly. Repeat this until there is no mixture left. Add the patties to a plate and set aside
- 04. Add all the ingredients for the dipping sauce. Add some of the julienned carrots to the dipping sauce.
- 05. Prepare all the garnishes
- 06. Add oil and start frying or grilling the pork. Fry the pork for 2.5 mins for one side and then flip them over and fry them for another 2.5 mins.
- 07. Get the bowl ready. Add the rice vermicelli, then the pork patties, julienned carrots, cucumbers and mint. Pour some of the dipping sauce all over the ingredients. Finally top it off with crushed roasted peanuts and crispy fried shallots
- 1. Add 1tbsp of rice or white vinegar instead of lime.
- 2. You can add all the ingredient for the pork patties in a food processor in order to save time.
This recipe is:
It’s kid friendly if you leave out the chillies or children can eat it with a tiny bit of soy sauce instead of fish sauce.
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