Bún bò Huế

Bún bò Huế (pronounced [ɓun˧˥ ɓɔ˧˩ hwe˧˥]) or bún bò (English: /bn bɔː/) is a popular Vietnamese rice noodle (bún) dish with sliced beef (), chả lụa, and sometimes pork knuckles.[1] The dish originates from Huế, a city in central Vietnam associated with the cooking style of the former royal court.[2] The dish has a mix of spicy, salty, and umami flavors. The predominant flavor is that of lemongrass.[3] Compared to phở or bún riêu, the noodles are thicker and cylindrical.[4]

Bún bò Huế
A bowl of bún bò (at Bún Bò Huế An Nam restaurant)
Place of originVietnam
Region or stateCentral Vietnam (Huế)
Main ingredientsRice vermicelli, lemongrass, beef, fermented shrimp sauce, pork knuckles, pig blood curds
A pot of bún bò broth with rice noodles being cooked separately at a Ho Chi Minh City eatery


Outside the province of Thừa Thiên-Huế, it is called bún bò Huế to denote its origin. Within Huế and surrounding cities, it is known simply as bún bò. The broth is prepared by simmering beef bones and beef shank with lemongrass, and then seasoned with fermented shrimp sauce and sugar for taste. Spicy chili oil is added later during the cooking process.

Bún bò usually includes thin slices of marinated and boiled beef shank, chunks of oxtail, and pig's knuckles. [5]

Bún bò is commonly served with lime wedges, cilantro sprigs, diced green onions, raw sliced onions, chili sauce, thinly sliced banana blossom, red cabbage, mint, basil, perilla, Persicaria odorata or Vietnamese coriander (rau răm), saw tooth herb (ngò gai) and sometimes mung bean sprouts. Thinly sliced purple cabbage is sometimes used a substitute when banana blossoms are not available. Purple cabbage most resembles banana blossom in texture, though not in taste. Fish sauce and shrimp paste are added to the soup according to taste. Ingredients might be varied by region due to their availability.


  1. Communion: A Culinary Journey Through Vietnam, p. 75.
  2. Thanh Nien Weekly 2 Dec 2011 print edition When in Hue "The most popular Hue dish would have to be bún bò Huế, a spicy beef and vermicelli soup that goes down well with Vietnamese people and foreigners alike."
  3. Aruna Thaker, Arlene Barton Multicultural Handbook of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics 2012 Page 171 "Bún bò Huế" p408 "Bún bò - Spicy beef noodle soup originated in the royal city of Hue in central Vietnam. Beef bones, fermented shrimp paste, lemongrass and dried chilies give the broth its distinctive flavour. Often served with mint leaves, ... "
  4. Danh, Cathy, "Hot and Happening", Outlook Traveller, p. 89, Mar 2008.
  5. Andrea Nguyen Into the Vietnamese Kitchen: Treasured Foodways, Modern Flavors Ten Speed Press 2006 ISBN 978-1580086653 p10 "people from the central region will at first demur and then counter that bún bò Huế, a chile-and-lemongrass-seasoned beef and rice noodle soup from the former imperial capital, is equally good" full recipe p212-214
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