Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bun Bo Hue

Unlike in Malaysia, my friends are either Chinese, Malay or Indian descent but here, i have made friends from all over the world and that is how my culinary ventures expanded. Not only do we become good buddies, we share our cuisine too. This is the first time that i cook Bun Bo Hue and it was delicious and not difficult to prepare. I do not claim authenticity but this recipe is a keeper for me, sorry no pig's blood and all unusual salads to garnish like banana flower blossom or perilla. The pig's hocks and the Gio were so delicious that there were none left for photo session.


Water - enough to cover the bones, hocks and shank
4 lbs beef bones, cleaned
4 lbs pork bones, cleaned
2 - 3 lbs pork hock and trotters, cleaned
2 lbs beef shank
4 stalks Lemon grass, bruised
1 whole peeled onion
1 small piece of ginger
2 tablespoon Bun Bo Hue paste
1 tablespoon Fish sauce
2 teaspoons Salt
5 - 6 pieces rock sugar
2 tablespoons Annatto seeds
Oil for frying annatoo seeds
2 pkts Rice vermicelli size xl
1 lb beef balls - recipe is Here
1 vietnamese meat paste - Gio - recipe is Here- cut into slices

Bean sprouts
Thai Basil
Red cabbage - sliced thinly
Limes, cut into wedges
4 Red chilies, 2 finely sliced and 2 pounded
2 tablespoons Fish sauce

Pre-boil the bones, hock, trotters, Beef shanks until the impurity floats on top of the water. Usually 5 to 10 minutes.
Drain and rinse the bones, hock and trotters and beef shanks.
Put back contents into stockpot with enough water to cover and add in the whole peeled onion, ginger and lemon grass. Bring to the boil and reduce to simmer.

Simmer until shank and hocks are tender. Remove shank and hocks and soak in a bowl of hot water for 10 minutes until cool.

Slice beef shank.
Add in rock sugar to the stock and continue to simmer until flavorful.
When stock is done, strain stock through a fine sieve and add in fish sauce, salt, bun bo hue paste.
Add beef balls to the hot stock.

Heat oil and when oil is WARM, add add annatto seed. Steep seeds in warm oil until the oil turns red. Strain oil into stock. (I was advised by the cashier at the asian store that annatto seed will burn easily and if too hot oil is used for steeping, the color will be yellow and not red.)

Blanch vermicelli according to the intruction at the back of packet.
To serve, Put vermcelli in a large bowl, top with pork hocks, beef shank slices, gio and beef balls. Pour hot stock over.

Garnish with bean sprouts, thai basil, sliced red cabbage, lime wedges and sliced chilies.

Mix pounded chilies into fish sauce and serve on the side.



Mary said...

Lily, you have such an amazing collection of recipes. I really am in awe.

Big Boys Oven said...

this is truely a delicious one! must keep this recipe! heheheheh (cannot copy right)

lilyng said...


the recipe is here to share. go ahead and keep this recipe. cook it and tell me how you like it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Auntie Lily,

Could you please tell me what Bun Bo Hue Paste is?

Thank you so much!

Doug Han said...

Lily,I've been a fan of your blog for more than half a year now. Your recipes are amazing. Coming from Vietnam, Bun Bo Hue is one of my favorites. I like this even more than Pho. If you don't mind trying a few suggestions to this recipe the next time you make this dish again.
1. Replace the fish sauce with shrimp paste (purple colored paste). This will enhance the broth even more.
2. Add some chili oil with the pepper flakes into the bowl of noodle just kick it up a notch. This dish is meant to be eaten spicy.
I've never notice my mom did this, but apparently replacing some rock sugar with some pineapple also enhances and tenderizes the broth and meat, respectively. I saw this on a recent episode of "Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations". The lady actually squeezed the juice of a small pineapple then cook the entire pulp with the broth. One of your fav food bloggers, Playing With My Food, also suggested this.

we are never full said...

wow just found your blog. what a great recipe. anything that utilizes hocks and trotters is something i want to taste. excellent flavors.

lilyng said...


your tips are most valuable especially with the pineapple. I did not use the shrimp paste cos i was afraid that it might overpower the sweetness in the soup. In fact, i had made pounded chillies with roasted shrimp paste - malaysian sambal belacan and ate with it.

thanks again, will take your tips into consideration.

Playing with my food is my sifu in baking and vietnamese cuisine.

I am Princess Misha's Mum said...

wow wow wow!!! thanks for sharing the recipe with us.

we tried Bun Bo Hue in HCM City last year and guess what, we love it very much!

once again, thank you very much. You definately make my day :)

Anonymous said...

Hello Lily,

Where did you get your beef & pork bones? I have never buy anything like these in the States yet.


lilyng said...


beef and pork bones are readily available in the asian stores here in denver

natasya said...

Lily, my family loves Bun Bo Hue and I would love to try out this recipe. May I know what Annatto seed is?

lilyng said...


here are images of the annatto

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