Hue-Style Hot and Spicy Beef Stew

Bún Bò Huế

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Little Saigon Cookbook: Vietnamese Cuisine And Culture In Southern California's Little Saigon

Little Saigon Cookbook

By Ann Le

Published 2011

  • About

Originating in Hue, this soup reflects Central Vietnam’s love for hot, spicy foods and lemongrass. The heat of the broth, contrasted with the cool fresh herbs (cilantro and Thai basil) and the tang of lemongrass, creates bright bold tastes and an extraordinary bowl of soup. Use the thickest vermicelli noodle here (bun day), which has the thickness of spaghetti. These noodles are not often used in Asian dishes, which adds to this dish’s distinctive taste and texture. Ideally, bun bo Hue includes pork trotters, but if you are averse to pork hocks or pig’s feet, you can substitute pork shoulder or another fatty pork cut. My mom’s best friend, who is from Hue, says that bun bo hue should not be served with a salad platter. Showing her Hue pride, she says that all the people in Little Saigon from South Vietnam have ruined the dish by adding the salad platter. The only garnish she thinks should be served with soup is banana blossom; even that, however, isn’t necessary if you cannot find it. But many restaurants enjoy serving fresh, crisp herbs and lettuce to enhance the broth and provide a cool, refreshing contrast to the heat of the soup.