Bún Bò Huế

Bún bò Huế is a Vietnamese spicy beef noodle soup hailing from the city of Hue in central Vietnam.

Lastest Updated January 6, 2024
Verified by A-Z Cuisines Team
  • National
  • Street Food
  • Traditional
Home » Dishes A-Z » Bún Bò Huế

Fact: Bún bò Huế is easy to find at street vendors and restaurants across Vietnam, especially in Hue, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City.

Flag of Vietnam#5 in Vietnam

Basic Information

Bún Bò Huế: Basic Information

Pronunciation

Boon baw hway

Alternative Name(s)

Bún bò

Dish Type

Noodle Soups

Course

Main Course

Mealtime

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Origin and Region

Bún Bò Huế: Origin and Region

Origin

Vietnam

Continent’s Region

Southeast Asia

Country’s Region

Central Vietnam

Associated Region

Thua Thien Hue Province
Vietnam Map
A Deep Dive

Popular Bún Bò Huế Variations

Ingredients and Preparation

Bún Bò Huế: Ingredients and Preparation

Main Ingredients

Rice noodles, beef, pork, lemongrass, chili oil, fermented shrimp sauce (mắm tôm).

Main Cooking Method

Simmering

Preparation Process

  1. Preparing ingredients
  2. Simmering broth
  3. Cooking noodles
  4. Assembling foods in a bowl
A Deep Dive

Bún Bò Huế: A Deep Dive

Cultural Significance

Regional specialty of Hue, Vietnam.

Taste

Savory

Texture

Chewy, semi-thick noodles, tender meat.

Aroma

Aromatic

Color

Slightly reddish broth.

Serving Style

In a bowl.

Serving Temperature

Hot

Accompaniment

Green onions, onions, cabbage, banana blossom, mung bean sprouts, chili sauce or fresh chili, fresh herbs (mint, basil, perilla, Vietnamese coriander, sawtooth herb), and lime wedges.

Occasions

On any occasions

Seasons

Year-round

Special Diets

Non diet-specific

Calories

Approximately 750 kcal.

Popularity

Vietnam, especially Hue and other big cities (Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi).

Popular Similar Dishes

  1. Phở
  2. Bún Mọc
  3. Bún Riêu Cua
  4. Bún Măng Vịt

Popular Dining Area

Street vendors, restaurants.

Bún bò huế (globally known as Vietnamese spicy beef noodle soup) is a traditional dish hailing from Hue, Vietnam (a Southeast Asian country). The specialty features tender beef, pork, chewy rice noodles (bún in Vietnamese), and aromatic broth seasoned with lemongrass, fermented shrimp sauce (mắm tôm), and chili oil as key components.

Bun Bo Hue Overview

Therefore, bún bò Huế is a complex dish full of flavors and textures. In a bowl of hot, spicy beef noodle soup, you can feel the richness of the beef and pork bones, the zest of lemongrass, the subtle heat of chili oil, and the saltiness of fermented shrimp sauce in the broth.

Overall, bún bò Huế is a main meal that captures Vietnamese cuisine and showcases a harmonious blend of tastes. To fully enjoy this spicy noodle soup, you should also know what foods it serves and how to eat it as a native. There are some tips to make this delicacy perfectly at home.

I also introduce the best places to get top-notch bún bò Huế, other famous types of noodle soup in Vietnam, or similar dishes. So follow me for a comprehensive view of Vietnamese spicy beef noodle soup, beginning with a table of its quick facts.

Key Points

  • Bún bò Huế hails from Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam in the Central region.
  • The noodle soup is known for its spicy, savory, and salty broth infused with lemongrass, fermented shrimp sauce, and chili oil.
  • It is a time-consuming noodle soup in preparation.
  • It is easy to find them at street vendors and restaurants across Vietnam, especially in Hue, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City.

Bún Bò Huế Images

What Is The Origin Of Bún Bò Huế?

Bún bò Huế has its roots in the ancient city of Hue, which is located in the central part of Vietnam. Hue City is also famous for its royal cuisine. Over time, the spicy beef noodle has spread throughout Vietnam and has also gained international popularity.

In Hue, locals normally enjoy this spicy beef noodle soup as a main meal in the mornings, though you can eat it at any time of the day in other Vietnamese cities. The ingredients also vary depending on the region.

What Are The Major Ingredients of Bún Bò Huế?

Three key ingredients to create an authentic bún bò Huế recipe including:

  • Rice noodles (medium-thick with a cylindrical shape)
  • Meat (beef and pork)
  • Broth

Other common components are:

  • Thin slices of beef shank
  • Vietnamese sausage (cha lua)
  • Oxtail chunks
  • Pork knuckles
  • Pig blood curds (optional)

The broth’s ingredients include:

  • Beef and pork bones
  • Lemongrass
  • Fermented shrimp sauce and chili oil (for flavoring)

For a vegan alternative, you can use:

  • Vegan beef slices
  • Vegan Vietnamese sausage
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Essential components: noodles, chili oil, and lemongrass

In Vietnam, you can find Hue spicy noodle soup at restaurants or street vendors. Local vendors selling this noodle delight typically feature a large pot of broth, a big basket of noodles, and a glass display case for meat, other toppings, and vegetables.

When someone orders a bowl of bun bo, the seller parboils the noodles, places them in a big bowl, then arranges the meat and toppings, diced onions, and green onions on top, and finally, pours the broth into the bowl.

Other foods are served alongside bun bo, so make sure to combine them to relish your noodle dish at its finest.

How To Serve And Enjoy Bún Bò Huế?

Bún bò Huế is best served hot. Other accompaniments that locals normally add to their noodle soup are:

Fresh Herbs And Fresh Vegetables

Fresh herbs and fresh vegetables

Examples: mint, basil, perilla, Vietnamese coriander, and sawtooth herbs for herbs and diced green onion, thinly sliced onion, banana blossom, mung bean sprouts for vegetables.

Chili

Chili

Can be in fresh form or sauce

Lime

Lime

A bowl of bún bò usually goes with some wedges of lime

On the other hand, shrimp paste and fish sauce are sometimes added if you want to enhance the taste of the broth. However, shrimp paste is a pungent condiment, so add a bit of it and adjust.

Eating bun bo Hue is a good way to get familiar with chopsticks. Next, let’s find out the greatest places in Vietnam to enjoy this delicacy.

Enjoy Bun Bo Hue
Common side foods for bun bo Hue are fresh vegetables and herbs.

Where Are The Best Places To Eat Bún Bò Huế in Vietnam?

If you prefer the authentic flavor of bún bò Huế, visit Hue City and enjoy this delight. However, as one of the most popular Vietnamese noodle soups across the country, you can easily order a bowl of spicy noodle soup in big cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

In Hue

Bún bò bà Tuyết
Address: 47 Nguyen Cong Tru Street, Phu Hoi Ward, Hue City
Opening time: 7 AM to 9 PM
Bún bò Mệ Kéo
Address: 20 Bach Dang Street, Phu Cat Ward, Hue City
Opening time: 7 AM to 10 PM

In Ho Chi Minh City

Bún bò Huế Song Anh
Address: 28A Ban Co Street, 3 Ward, District 3, HCMC
Opening time: 6 AM to 10 PM
Bún Bò Gánh
Address: 110 Lý Chính Thắng, 8 Ward, District 3, HCMC
Opening time: 6:30 AM to 9 PM

In Hanoi

Bún Bò Huế 65
Address: 65 Duong Lang Street, Dong Da Ward, Hanoi
Opening time: 6 AM to 11:30 PM
Bún Bò Huế O Xuân
Address: 5D Quang Trung Street, Hoan Kiem Ward, Hanoi
Opening time: 6:30 AM to 9:30 PM

In general, many street stalls offer bún bò Huế at a very reasonable price (around 2 to 5 USD, normally depending on the topping variations), especially at the street vendors, making it an advantage of this noodle soup. However, there are other drawbacks of consuming it that you might be concerned about.

Pros and Cons Of Eating Bún Bò Huế

Check the table below for the good and bad sides of having a bowl of Vietnamese-style spicy noodle soup with beef.

Pros

  • Flavorful and Spicy: Bún bò Huế is known for its rich and spicy broth with complex flavors from various ingredients.
  • Variety of Ingredients: This noodle soup typically includes many ingredients with different textures and flavors.
  • Nutrient-Rich: Bún bò is a nutritious dish, as it contains protein from the meat, vitamins and minerals from the vegetables and herbs, and carbohydrates from the noodles.
  • Customizable: You can customize the soup to your liking; for example, adjusting the level of spiciness with chili or choosing your preferred meat cuts.
  • Affordable Price: Bún bò Huế is not a luxury treat in Vietnam, particularly at street vendors.

Cons

  • Calorie Content: Bún bò is relatively high in calories due to the combination of meat, noodles, and a rich broth.
  • Allergens: Some individuals may have allergies or sensitivities to ingredients used in the soup, such as shrimp paste. 
  • Preparation Time: Preparing bún bò Huế from scratch can be time-consuming.
  • Availability: Depending on your location, finding authentic dishes may be challenging.

Now, let’s dig into some FAQs about this Vietnamese spicy beef noodle soup.

Bún Bò Huế FAQs

Below are three commonly asked questions about bún bò Huế that many people want to know about the noodle soup.

Bún bò Huế has a spicier, lemongrass-infused broth and uses different noodles, while pho is milder in flavor with flat rice noodles.

Bún bò Huế features beef and lemongrass noodle soup from central Vietnam, whereas bun rieu is a northern tomato and freshwater crab noodle soup.

Traditionally, yes, but spice levels can be adjusted to preference.

Similar Dishes of Bún Bò Huế

Pho

Phở is a popular Vietnamese noodle soup with beef or chicken in an aromatic broth.

Bun Moc

Bún mọc is a Vietnamese noodle dish from the Moc village, made using a pork base with pork baby back ribs, auricularia auricula, ground meat, morning glory, coriander, and lime juice.

Bun Rieu Cua

Bún riêu cua is a Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of rice vermicelli, a clear crab-based broth, crab cakes, and other toppings.

Bun Mang Vit

Bún măng vịt is a Vietnamese dish that consists of rice vermicelli, duck meat, bamboo shoots, and a clear, balanced broth.

Truc Tran (Kris)

Truc Tran (Kris)

Senior Food Editor

Expertise

Home Cooking, Meal Planning, Recipe Development, Baking and Pastry, Food Editor, Cooking-video Maker, Vietnamese Food Evaluation Expert

Education

  • Hospitality (Commercial Cookery) at TasTAFE
  • Culinary Arts at Kendall College (Australia Branch in Sydney)
  • Vietnamese Cuisine Head Chef at HNAAu School (Vietnam, International Joint Training Program)

Truc Tran (Kris), an experienced food writer and editor, is great at exploring and describing global cuisines, from simple street food to fancy dining. In her writing, she skillfully mixes different flavors, cooking methods, and culinary traditions, showing the unique character of various cultures through their food and drinks. On azcuisines.com, Kris highlights her knowledge, especially in Asian cuisine and worldwide traditional dishes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *