For those of you that love Vietnamese pho, you are going to really fall in love with Bun Bo Hue. I know it sounds crazy, and it’s probably hard to pronounce, and hence why you may order #14 off a Vietnamese restaurant menu, and all of that is perfectly fine, but trust me, just trust me on this. You may want to find your local Vietnamese restaurant and order this before making it, and I’m definitely down with that, but if you are craving a great bowl of soup, and one that does take time to make, then this is the one. Similar to pho in a way, but a bit more unctuous and with a different style of noodle, this bowl of soup will have you wanting more, and more.
Let’s get started.
- 3 pounds ox tail
- 2 pig’s feet
- 2 lbs pork shank
- 2 pounds beef short ribs
- 1 whole onion, halved
- 1 head of garlic, peeled
- 4 ribs celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 8 pieces lemongrass, tops removed, smash the remaining stalk
- 6 whole dried shrimp
- water, enough to cover the meat
- 2 tbsp Maggi sauce
- 4 tbsp sauteed shrimp paste
- 3 tbsp palm sugar
- 3 tbsp fish sauce, to taste
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 2 tbsp annato paste
- 2 tbsp shallots, diced
- thinly sliced white onion, about 1/4 cup per serving
- 1/4 cup Thai basil, per serving
- 1 cup bean sprouts, per serving
- Fish sauce to taste
- 2 cloves additional garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp additional lemongrass, thinly sliced
- 1 package, bun bo hue noodles, cooked until al dente
- 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
- limes, cut into wedges
- Thai red bird chilies, optional
- spinach leaves, optional
- pork blood, optional (I am not a fan)
I know, a lot, right? It’s well worth it though, trust me, plus this allows you to up the ante with your Asian ingredients. The end result is a stock so rich in flavor, that you could simply eat it with noodles, but the fresh herbs really bring this soup to the limelight.
Start by getting a large soup pot ready. Add in all of the meat, and cover with about 2-3 inches more of water. Make sure the meat is properly submerged, and bring it to a simmer. During this time, make sure you ladle off any of the scum that comes to the surface. Trust me, there will be plenty of scum.
Boil for about 20 minutes, then strain the meat, and rinse in a bowl with cold water.
Clean the soup pot, then return the meat back to the soup pot, cover again with water, then add in your lemongrass, garlic, celery, maggi seasoning, fish sauce, dried shrimp, and onions. Bring this to a simmer, then reduce the heat, and cook for for about 3 hours.
Remove the all of the meat, and let it cool. Once cooled, remove as much as the meat from the oxtail, and the feet, and chop it. Do the same with the beef short ribs. Keep the stock simmering.
To a skillet, add in the canola oil, and bring this to a medium heat. Add in the annato paste, shrimp paste, additional garlic, and shallots. Give this a good stir, and cook for a few minutes on medium heat until the shallots soften. The annato paste is what gives the stock a great color. Now add this to the stock, and give it a good stir.
Now we are ready to serve.
To a serving bowl, add in the cooked noodles, top with random pieces of pork and beef, top with thinly sliced onions, laded in the broth and serve with the sprouts, chilies, and all of the fresh herbs.
The broth. What can’t I say enough of about this broth. It’s super rich, kind of velvety from all of that fat that it was cooked in, and then those awesome thick and rounded noodles. Pho really just met its match, and as much as I am a huge fan of pho, this bun bo hue just took it to a whole new level. Hope you enjoy!