Recipe video above. Everything you know and love about Vietnamese food - fresh, healthy and full of flavour! Bun Cha in Vietnam is served slightly differently (read in post), but here I've made noodle bowls which are more familiar to those outside of Vietnam. See Notes for what this tastes like!
Keyword: Bun Cha, Vietnamese Food, Vietnamese Meatballs
2tsplemongrass paste or fresh finely chopped, optional (Note 4)
1.5tbspoil, for cooking
Nuoc Cham (Vietnamese Dressing / Sauce - Note 2):
3tbspfish sauce(Note 2)
2tbsprice wine vinegar
1/3 cup (85 ml) water
1birds eye chilli, seeded and finely chopped (Note 3)
3clovesgarlic, finely chopped
Serving (Note 4):
100 g / 3.5 ozvermicelli noodles, dried
Big handful beansprouts
Few lettuce leaves, folded or shredded
Julienned carrot and white radish(daikon), optional quick pickle (Note 5)
Handful of coriander/cilantro sprigs, mint
Sliced red chilli, lime wedges (optional)
Sauce: Mix ingredients. Set aside 10 minutes+.
Noodles: Pour over boiling water and soak per packet directions. Drain, set aside.
Mix all ingredients except oil until combined.
Shape into 6 mini hamburger patties with your hands.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add patties and cook for 2 1/2 minutes or until golden. Flip, cook 2 minutes then remove.
Place noodles in bowl. Top with a handful of beansprouts, wedge in lettuce, carrots and radish in.
Place meatballs on top, top with coriander and mint.
Spoon over a generous amount of Sauce (it's supposed to be like a soup broth), eat and be happy!
1. Pork: Can use chicken or turkey. Fattier the better - juicier!2. Nuoc Cham: This sauce is not as strong / fishy as others you may have tried. It's intended to be used almost like a soup broth. Adapt this to your taste by adjusting the quantities. You probably will not use all this sauce - but I don't want you to run out!3. Chilli: Birds eye chillies are small red chillies that are quite spicy. To make it less spicy, use large red chillies instead (which are not as hot) or skip it.4. Lemongrass will gives this an extra Vietnamese flavour that westerners are familiar with. But not all Vietnamese recipes have lemongrass in it - and if I included it in everything, then they would all taste the same! Traditional Bun Cha does not have it in it, and it's really tasty without. But it's an optional extra!5. Serving sides: Traditional Vietnamese food is served with lots of fresh sides. Bean sprouts and herbs such as mint and coriander/cilantro are the most common, but also pickles. You're supposed to pile them on top of whatever your eating and eat it together.There's plenty of optionshere, so sub ingredients as desired! Shredded cabbage or other leafy greens, cucumber and even finely sliced asparagus and green beans would be ideal. I'd even throw in some cherry tomatoes!Lettuce - if using soft lettuce (like I've used), tear then fold. If using crisp lettuce (eg iceberg), finely slice. 6. Quick Asian Pickled Vegetables: 1 cup julienned carrot (1 medium) 1 loosely packed cup julienned white radish / daikon 1 cup (250 ml) warm tap water 1/3 cup white sugar 1 tbsp salt 1/2 cup (125 ml)rice wine vinegar Directions: Combine sugar, salt, vinegar and water. Stir until sugar and salt are dissolved. Add vegetables and let stand for at least 1 hour to pickle. Drain.7. What this tastes like: The pork is savoury with a touch of sweet, and caramelised on the outside. The sauce is not that strong (supposed to use alot) - sweet, balanced with mild tang and savoury. Not that spicy because there's only 1 small chilli spread across almost 1 cup of liquid. If concerned, use a large red chilli (not as spicy) or skip it altogether. Though fish sauce is used in abundance here (as with most Vietnamese recipes!) it does not taste fishy. 8. Adapted from a few Vietnamese cookbooks, including My Vietnamese Kitchen by Uyen Luu and Hanoi Street Food by Luk This and Tom Vandenberghe.9. Nutrition is for meatballs and sauce only, assuming all sauce is consumed.