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Spicy Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup (Bún bò Huế)

Spicy Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup (Bún bò Huế)

Bún bò Huế is a spicy Vietnamese noodle soup that's not as popular as phở, but don't sleep on it. This spicy lemongrass flavored bone broth will rock your world.
Course Breakfast, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Asian, Vietnamese
Keyword Beef, Noodles, Pork, spicy
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 10 bowls
Calories 796kcal


For the broth

  • 4 lbs pork feet
  • 2 lbs beef shank
  • 2 shallots divided
  • 6 stalks lemongrass divided
  • 5 tablespoon oil divided
  • 1 tablespoon chile flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chile lemongrass sate
  • 2 boxes bun bo hue bouillon cubes
  • 11 cups water
  • fish sauce, to taste
  • salt, to taste

Noodles and garnish

  • 2 packages large vermicelli noodles
  • 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch scallion, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch Vietnamese coriander or rau răm, finely chopped
  • 1 banana blossom, sliced thinly
  • 2 limes, quartered
  • chile lemongrass sate, to taste optional


Par boil the meat

  • Add pork bones and beef shank to a large pot with enough water to completely cover the meat. Add a handful of salt and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, turn of heat, drain and rinse meat well.

Make the bone broth

  • Return all the meat to a clean pot with about 11 cups of water. Add a shallot and half of the lemongrass (just the tough, green stops of the stalks) and bring to a boil
  • As soon as the broth boils, turn the heat to low and continue to simmer for 2-3 hours
  • When the pork bones are soft but not falling off the bone (1-2 hours), remove them.
  • When the beef is tender, remove it and cool. (2-3 hours)

Season the broth

  • Return the pork bones to the broth and add all of the bun bo hue bouillon. Bring the broth back to a boil.
  • While broth is heating, chop the rest of the lemongrass and the other scalltion finely. You can use a food processor.
  • Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a small pan. When the oil is hot, add the lemongrass and fry until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the scallion to the lemongrass oil and fry for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Pour the lemongrass and shallot oil into the broth.
  • Return the pan to the heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Heat 1 tablespoon of chile flakes until fragrant and red. Be careful not to burn the chile flakes, or they will be bitter.
  • Ladle a spoonful of broth into the hot chile oil. Pour the broth back into the pot slowly leaving the seeds from the peppers behind.
  • Taste the broth and season with extra fish sauce and salt if necessary

Prepare garnishes and noodles

  • Boil and drain vermicelli noodles according to package instructions
  • Slice the cooled beef thinly
  • Wash the Vietnamese coriander and remove the leaves from the tough stems.
  • Chop half of the Vietnamese coriander finely. Leave the other halves of the leaves whole
  • Wash and chop the cilantro and scallions finely
  • Remove the rough outer leaves of the banana blossom.
  • Slice banana blossom thinly into a large bowl of water with 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lime juice
  • Cut a lime into quarters

Assemble a bowl of noodles

  • Drain banana blossoms and add some to the bottom of a large bowl
  • Layer vermicelli noodles and sliced beef. Top with chopped herbs and scallions
  • Ladle boiling soup over noodles and top with a few pieces of pork feet
  • Serve with lime quarters, whole Vietnamese coriander leaves and extra banana blossom


Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 796kcal | Carbohydrates: 92.9g | Protein: 51.9g | Fat: 22.5g | Saturated Fat: 5.6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4.8g | Cholesterol: 141.7mg | Sodium: 537.7mg | Potassium: 371.6mg | Fiber: 0.7g | Sugar: 0.6g