When mentioning Bun Bung (Vietnamese rice vermicelli noodles with meat balls and colocasia gigantea),  you can’t forget to talk about Ha Noi where is the origin of this dish. A writer named Thach Lam once mentioned Bun Bung in his writing as a special dish of 36 streets in Hanoi. People often call bung rice noodles with many other names such as Bún Thịt (meat rice vermicelli noodles), Bún Mọc (meat rolls rice vermicelli noodles), Bún Dọc Mùng (rice vermicelli noodles with colocasia gigantea … depending on the ingredients in the bowl of noodles.

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Being far 120 km away from Hanoi, there is a place making Bung rice noodles, which is Thai Binh – rice hometown. The way of cooking this dish of Thai Binh people is different from Hanoi: Dọc Mùng (Colocasia Gigantea) is not used but the shredded banana flower. If Hanoi’s dish has a turmeric-colored broth, dotted with the blue color of colocasia gigantea, Thai Binh’s dish has a translucent broth made by the color of banana flower and the taste is also different. The broth of Thai Binh is simmered from pig’s trotters and banana flower, so it always tastes slightly tart, not fatty, even when biting into a piece of fat-filled pig’s trotter. That is the characteristic of the Thai Binh dish.

Like many of Hanoi’s dishes, this cuisine is often sold on the streets, no luxury restaurants sell this popular dish, and few people want to eat this dish in those restaurants, because they think it is “losing appetite”.

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Compared to other types of vermicelli, Bun Bung is of a simple type, less time-consuming, fewer ingredients, not elaborate preparation such as Bun Thang and Bun Rieu, but the taste is still tasty. Bun Bung is almost similar to the sour soup of the South, except for the sour soup cooked with fish and served with rice, while Bun Bung is cooked with pig’s trotters and served with fresh vermicelli noodles.

The ingredients for making this dish are not too complicated. Just a pig’s trotters or pork chops, tomatoes, tamarind, scallions, dried onions, turmeric powder, lettuces, and an indispensable thing is colocasia gigantea. Because without this vegetable, this one will not be appealing anymore. The ingredients are not sophisticated, the way to cook food is simpler and everyone can cook. Just spending a little time, you can completely cook the dish at home without going out of the restaurant.

If you are still not confident in cooking Bun Bung with true flavor of Hanoi, you can refer to the recipe below.

Ingredients for Bun Bung recipe:

  • 500g of pork bone or young rib
  • 250g ground pork, can use raw ham paste
  • Wood ear mushroom
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 – 4 tomatoes
  • 3-4 dried onions
  • Colocasia gigantea
  • Fish sauce, salt, seasoning powder, rice vinegar
  • Scallions, sawtooth coriander, coriander
  • Can add more pig’s trotters depending on your taste.

Steps for making Bun Bung:

Step 1:

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Wash the pork bones, pour cold water over the surface of the bones, boil the bones about 5 minutes, take the boiled water out to remove all impurities, wash the bones again. Next, pour cold water over the surface of the bone, boil, skim the foam to make the water clear, simmer for 40 to 60 minutes. This method is similar to the simmering method of most noodle soups.

Step 2:

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Soak the wood ear mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms in warm water until they hatch, take away the roots, wash again.

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Mince wood ear mushroom, shiitake mushroom, keep some shiitake mushrooms to add in the broth.

Step 3:

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Add the ground pork into a bowl with wood ear mushroom, shiitake mushrooms, some pepper, three teaspoons of fish sauce, half a teaspoon of seasonings and a chopped dried onion, mix well.

Step 4:

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Tomatoes, sawtooth coriander, scallions and coriander are washed and chopped. Tomatoes are cut like a wedge.

Heat two teaspoons of cooking oil, dry the onions, stir-frytomatoes and add a teaspoon of salt to cook tomatoes quickly.

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Grill the rest of onions until they are fragant.

Step 5:

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Use a knife to strip the outer fiber of the colocasia gigantea, rinse, cut into long pieces. Add a little salt, wait for 15 minutes, use your hand to gently squeeze, rinse again. Next, boil the water, blanch the colocasia gigantea through the boiling water, ladle out on a plate.

Step 6:

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After the pork bone is soft, add the roasted dried onions into the broth, continue boiling for 10-15 minutes because if the onions are added earlier, the broth is not clear anymore.

Step 7:

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Use spoon to ladle the raw meat balls into the pot, add some mushrooms, cook until the meat balls floaten.

Step 8:

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Finally, add all the tomatoes in the broth, boil, add the seasonings to taste, take the meat balls out on the plate. If it is not enough sour taste, you can add a little rice vinegar.

When serving, divide vermicelli and the meat balls into a bowl, serve with the colocasia gigantea and chopped vegetables, add the broth, if you want spicy taste, you can add chili.


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