Bún chả (Vietnamese: ɓǔn ca᷉ː) is a local Vietnamese dish that originates from Hanoi, Vietnam. Bún literally means rice vermicelli and chả means grilled fatty pork. Together, you have a dish that encompasses a piece of grilled pork served with rice vermicelli, some greens and herbs and a dipping sauce or broth.
The dish is not only a local delicacy in the bustling city of Hanoi, but it is also popular in many other places in Vietnam. Outside Hanoi, a variation of bún chả is served instead, where it is called bún thịt nướng. The difference between the two is that the latter is served with bean sprouts and spring rolls and drenched with a type of fish sauce.
Unique and Authentic
On an honest note, the roots to which how bún chả is lost in history. There is no exact story to which how the famous dish came about.
The dish was first described in back in 1959. Bún chả is a dish served only during lunchtime. At around 12 noon, the aroma of grilled meat over fires wafts through the air. All you need is the sense of smell to know that this is going to be a mouth-watering dish. The pork is usually grilled over a charcoal-burning fire which provides the juicy pieces of pork a charred sizzle. The pork can be cooked in two styles: cha vien (ground pork) and cha mieng (grilled thin sliced pork).
The highlight of the entire dish is the dipping sauce or broth that accompanies the grilled pork and rice vermicelli. Every Hanoian stall or restaurant serving bún chả has its own recipe and ratio of mixing up the fish sauce, vinegar and sugar to create a soul to the dipping sauce. In other words, each one is unique on its own and has its own share of loyal customers.
The bún is served separately on another plate. A decent bowl of rice vermicelli should be thin, soft and chewy which pairs exceptionally well with the flavourful grilled pork and dipping sauce.
The bún chả dish would not be completed without a plate of greens which comprises of fresh lettuce, Thai basil, fish mint, cilantro, banana flower, morning glory and coriander. The herbs enhance the depth of the dish and give a refreshing taste after every bite.
Obama and Bourdain Approved!
Ex-American President Barack Obama and Star Chef Anthony Bourdain had a wonderful experience with bún chả and unsurprisingly, the place is bursting with people since then. The two prominent figures sat on blue stools in front of a simple, stainless-steel table, enjoying bún chả in its original ways. The restaurant is Bún Chả Hương Liên which serves the ‘Obama set’ in regards to what the pair had during their visit.
Styles of Eating
Enjoy your bún chả the Southern way or with the Northen style. Southern Viets like wrapping things up so one can use a large lettuce leaf to wrap up all the ingredients and dip the wrap into the sauce for a big bite. However, to eat in the Hanoi way, the Northen style of mixing everything into the broth is preferred but you would need some chopsticks skills!
Where to enjoy Bun Cha?
Vietnamese cuisines have been popular meal choices for fellow Malaysians and we just could not resist them! Many Viet-style restaurants are popping out amongst the community and shopping malls. Ready for a Vietnamese meal?
Savour and enjoy the authentic Bun Cha from popular Vietnamese eateries such as Pho Vietz and Pho Street. Immerse yourself with some Vietnamese goodness today! Don’t forget! You can order via foodpanda too!