Archive for the 'Bun Bo Hue' Category

Bún Bò Huế – Vietnamese Beef & Lemon Grass Noodle Soup

Bun Bo Hue

With the help of Grandma and my aunts these past couple of years, I’ve learned how to prepare almost every noodle soup that I giddily slurped as a child and hungrily craved as an adult. Grandma taught me how to tame pho bo and bo kho from her home kitchen, while my aunts showed me the ins and outs of bun rieu and hu tieu through detailed emails and patient telephone calls.

I’ve amassed quite a repertoire of recipes on this site over the years, preserving a small piece of family history in the process and guaranteeing that all future cravings are swiftly satisfied.

Most recently, Grandma and I tackled bun bo Hue, a complex and heady beef noodle soup scented with lemongrass, packed with pork trotters, and littered with congealed pigs’ blood.

While the city of Hue is known for its spicy fare, Grandma’s version of the former imperial capital’s famous noodle soup is quite tame because she’s needed to refine and adjust it over time to placate the palates of her American-born, spice-averse grandchildren. What can I say? My cousins and I were weak when it came to heat when we were younger.

The most magical part of making bun bo Hue happens around hour three when the beef, pork, and lemongrass broth is transformed into the familiar fiery orange soup. Grandma uses a sizzling mixture of vegetable oil, scallions, fish sauce, and paprika to impart the broth with its characteristically bright hue and rich, umami flavor. Never in a million years would I have guessed that a jar of paprika resided in Grandma’s cupboard for this very recipe.

A heavy dose of fermented shrimp paste, along with a touch of sugar and salt, add the finishing touches to the broth. The soup is ready to be served when the slices of beef and the pigs’ feet are both perfectly tender, after approximately 4 hours total.

For broth

  • 2.5 pounds pigs’ feet, cut into chunks
  • 2.5 pounds beef shank
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons salt, separated
  • 9 stalks lemongrass
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 bunch scallions, white parts only, halved lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons fermented shrimp paste
  • 1 tablespoon monosodium glutamate, optional
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar

For garnish and noodles

Bun Bo Hue

To prepare the broth, begin by cleaning the pigs’ feet under running water to remove any bits of bone debris that the butcher left behind. Don’t forget to run your fingers beneath the skin where unsightly debris may have gotten trapped.

Bun Bo Hue

Place the cleaned pigs’ feet and beef shank in a large stockpot filled with enough water to submerge them and bring to a boil. The shank and feet are full of impurities, so once the water comes to a boil, dump it out and collect the feet and shank in a colander.

Continue reading ‘Bún Bò Huế – Vietnamese Beef & Lemon Grass Noodle Soup’

Bánh Xèo Quán – Rosemead

Banh Xeo Quan | Mr. Rice - Rosemead

Banh Xeo Quan, also known as Mr. Rice, specializes in southern-style Vietnamese crepes*. Owner Phi Tran, who hails from Saigon, opened the restaurant in Rosemead some five years ago to bring this specialty to the San Gabriel Valley. This place came highly recommended to me by my lovely friend Thien. She and her family have been dining here for years, so I knew I was in for a treat.

Banh Xeo Quan | Mr. Rice - Rosemead

A refreshingly succinct menu, neatly laminated and fully photographed, greeted us upon arrival. In addition to its namesake banh xeo, the restaurant also prepared rice dishes, noodle soups, and hot vit lon, fetal duck eggs. Although a banh mi hot dog and soda combo was unbeatably priced at $2.75, no one bit the bullet.

Banh Xeo Quan | Mr. Rice - Rosemead

We passed on boba and beer and settled on freshly pressed nuoc mia (sugarcane juice) and minty green nuoc dau xanh la dua (mung bean milk with pandan). Both were excellent.

Continue reading ‘Bánh Xèo Quán – Rosemead’

Saigon Classic: Bún Bò Huế Yên Đỗ

Bun Bo Hue Yen Do - Ho Chi Minh City

The Astronomer and I recently traveled to Vietnam for a two-and-a-half week holiday. Three years have passed since we called Saigon home, and it felt incredible to be back. Oh, how I’ve missed the people, noise, and traffic!

After dropping off our luggage at the hotel and renting a scooter to get around, we headed to Bún Bò Huế Yên Đỗ in District 3 for our first meal in the city.

Bun Bo Hue Yen Do - Ho Chi Minh City

The Astronomer and I used to eat here on a daily basis when we first moved to Saigon because it was located within walking distance of our office at the East Meets West Foundation. And of course, the food was worth coming back for again and again.

When we walked into the restaurant, the proprietress instantly recognized us and asked where the heck we’d been. It’s always nice to be remembered at a restaurant, and even nicer when it’s been three years. We grabbed a table near the front and placed our order with her son. Our table was decked out with the usual utensils, box of tissues, and pork sausages wrapped in banana leaves (cha).

Bun Bo Hue Yen Do - Ho Chi Minh City

I ordered a tall glass of passion fruit juice to start. Fresh fruit juices and smoothies are widely available in Saigon to keep residents cool from the tropical heat. The ratio of sugar to juice is always perfect for my taste.

Continue reading ‘Saigon Classic: Bún Bò Huế Yên Đỗ’

Nha Trang – San Gabriel

Nha Trang - San Gabriel

The Astronomer’s 27th birthday was celebrated over Vietnamese food and lots of it. There was grilled pork a plenty at home and satisfying noodle soups in San Gabriel.

Jonathan Gold’s review of Nha Trang brought us to this itty-bitty shop off of Valley Boulevard. In his write up, Mr. Gold warned that a long wait was to be expected and that the kitchen might run out of the more popular dishes. The gods of good eating must have been smiling down on us this afternoon because we were seated after a few short minutes and everything on the menu was still available. Woo hoo!

Nha Trang - San Gabriel

One of my pet peeves with Vietnamese restaurants in America is that their menus are typically overwhelming, advertising everything from broken rice to bánh mì. Nha Trang’s menu was refreshingly edited, serving only eight dishes. Granted, the offerings were still all over the place in terms of regions, but the effort to pare down the menu was noted and appreciated.

Nha Trang - San Gabriel

After placing our orders, a sizable plate of herbs, beansprouts, chilies, and limes was brought to the table.

Continue reading ‘Nha Trang – San Gabriel’

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...