Hue beef noodle soup, or Bun Bo Hue, is a famous Vietnamese dish originating from the ancient city of Hue. It is known for its bold, spicy flavor and beautiful presentation, captivating diners with the perfect harmony of ingredients.

Hue Beef Noodle Soup
Hue Beef Noodle Soup

The broth of Hue beef noodle soup is simmered from beef bones for hours, creating a sweet and fatty taste. The characteristic red color comes from Hue shrimp paste, a special ingredient that contributes to the dish’s unique flavor.

Hue Beef Noodle Soup
Hue Beef Noodle Soup

The highlight of Hue beef noodle soup is the variety of toppings. Diners can enjoy the dish with beef, pork leg, crab cake, pork sausage, pig’s feet, and more. Each topping offers its own distinct flavor and texture, adding to the richness of the dish.

Hue Beef Noodle Soup
Hue Beef Noodle Soup

Hue beef noodle soup is usually served with fresh herbs such as basil, bean sprouts, banana blossom, lettuce, lime wedges, a side of fish sauce, and chili slices for additional customization.

Hue Beef Noodle Soup
Hue Beef Noodle Soup

The spicy kick of chili, the sourness of lime, and the saltiness of shrimp paste blend with the other ingredients to create an unforgettable culinary experience. 

Hue beef noodle soup is not only a delicious dish but also a cultural symbol of the people of the Imperial City. It reflects the sophistication of the cooking process and the meticulousness of the presentation, offering diners a glimpse into the unique culinary traditions of Hue.

Beyond its delicious taste, Hue beef noodle soup carries deep cultural significance. It is often served by the people of Hue during religious ceremonies, festivals, and important events. Hue beef noodle soup symbolizes family reunion, hospitality, and the warmness of the Hue people.

Today, Hue beef noodle soup has become a popular dish throughout Vietnam and is loved by many international tourists. It contributes to promoting the image and culture of Hue to friends from all over the world.

1. How to make beef noodle soup

Bun Bo Hue, a specialty dish from Vietnam, captivates diners with its rich flavor and elegant presentation. Originating from the ancient city of Huế, this dish is a must-try for anyone seeking an authentic culinary experience.

To prepare this delectable dish, you will need the following.

1.1 Ingredients – Hue Beef Noodle Soup

Broth: Beef bones (marrow or knuckle), water, aromatics (onion, ginger, lemongrass)

Meat: Sliced beef (flank or chuck roast)

Noodles: Rice vermicelli (bún)

Vegetables (optional):  celery, onions

Herbs (optional): Cilantro, mint, basil

Seasonings: Fish sauce, salt, pepper

Steps:

Step 1: Make the Broth: This is the most time-consuming step. Simmer the beef bones with water and aromatics for several hours (4-6 hours) until flavorful. You can skim off any fat that accumulates on the surface during simmering.

Step 2: Prepare the Meat: Marinate the sliced beef in a simple mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and pepper for at least 30 minutes. You can also boil or pan-sear the beef depending on your preference.

Step 3: Cook the Noodles: Simply cook the rice vermicelli according to package instructions. These noodles cook very quickly, usually just a few minutes in boiling water.

Step 4: Assemble:  In a bowl, combine the cooked noodles, hot broth, sliced beef, and any desired vegetables.

Step 5 : Serve: Garnish with fresh herbs and a squeeze of lime for a refreshing touch. You can also offer fish sauce and chili slices on the side for those who like to adjust the flavor to their preference.

Tips:

You can find pre-made beef broth at most grocery stores to save time.

Experiment with different vegetables like carrots, celery, or bean sprouts for added texture and flavor.

This is a basic recipe, feel free to explore variations online that include additional spices, star anise, or chilies for a spicier version.

Reference