Friday, August 5, 2011

Summer of Cold Noodle: Bún

Today we'll take a break from Japan and head to Vietnamese noodles! Called bun bo nuong (various accent marks missing, sorry), I always have a mental breakdown choosing between this and pho when I go to Vietnamese restaurants!
Take a bed of lettuce, cucumber, bean sprouts and sometimes cilantro/basil.  Add to it a layer of cold rice vermicelli noodles. Top with a heaping of pickled daikon/carrot, peanuts and grilled meat! And if that wasn't tasty enough, pair with a dipping sauce of nuoc cham (a vinegar, fish sauce and bit of sugar mixture).
 I had the grilled beef vermicelli noodle bowl (bun bo nuong), while Sak went with the grilled pork and egg roll variety (bun thit nuong cha gio).

Just to give you an idea how much we love this stuff, pre-house we'd be at a Vietnamese restaurant at least once a week.  We've scaled back a bit to save money, but seriously - this stuff is good! These particular dishes were from the Pho Little Saigon chain here in San Mateo. I've tried to recreate it at home, but I just can't get the sauce just right. So if anyone has *the perfect recipe*, please clue me in!


  1. Yum! I can't wait to try all of these noodle dishes that you have been posting lately! Let us know when you find that sauce recipe :)

  2. LOL. Pho always wins for me. Unless I just had it and find myself at a Vietnamese restaurant within the week. :] Then the bun has a chance. :oP Those look soooo good!

  3. That grilled beef looks to die for. I'm a sucker for pho, but I might have to try this next time! (Though the Vietnamese food around Tucson doesn't compare to the Bay Area.)

  4. Bun is my favorite!!! My husband is Vietnamese, and before I met him, I had NEVER had pho before. Now I'm obsessed with Vietnamese food. Bun thit nuong cha gio is my go to meal MMMM

  5. Fish sauce
    #1, most important tip, get the right (Vietnamese/Thai style) fish sauce. I like "three crabs" (Viet Hoang, I think, just look for the crabs) brand.

    4T sugar
    8T water
    1.5 T white vinegar
    1.5 T fish sauce
    ~1t minced garlic (1 large clove or 2 small ones)
    optional: some dried chili flakes or Sriracha

    1. Put water and sugar in pot, heat to dissolve sugar into water
    2. Let water+sugar cool
    3. Add vinegar and garlic. If using, add chili in this step.
    4. If using Sriracha, add a squeeze to individual ~3T bowl of the sauce before using. Or you can bring sauce plain to guests and let them add the Sriracha.

    You can use as is, or store in fridge. You can store it for ~1 month in fridge. *Important tip* stir sauce before using, especially if you let it sit in the fridge.

    I've heard you can use lime juice instead of vinegar, except you can only store it for a few days. I have a Costco size bottle of white vinegar, no free limes, so I've never tried it with limes.

    Let me know what you think.

  6. You are my Vietnamese food twin! It is always a tough choice but typically o is my #1 and thus is my number 2 choice.

  7. Yum! I always, always get pho but also wanted to go for this stuff... it looks easy enough to make at home (I'd never dream of trying to make pho broth) so maybe I'll try it. Thanks for sharing!


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