Bun Cha is a classic Vietnamese dish that combines smoky grilled pork, refreshing herbs, flavorful noodles, and a tangy dipping sauce. This beloved street food captures the essence of Vietnamese cuisine with its harmonious balance of flavors and textures. In this article, we will guide you through an authentic Bun Cha recipe, allowing you to discover the delights of this satisfying and vibrant Vietnamese grilled pork noodle salad.
For the grilled pork patties:
1 pound ground pork
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey or sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon vegetable oil (for grilling)
For the dipping sauce:
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small chili pepper, finely chopped (optional)
For the noodle salad:
Rice vermicelli noodles
Fresh lettuce leaves
Fresh herbs (such as mint, cilantro, and Thai basil)
Pickled carrots and daikon radish (optional)
Step 1: Prepare the grilled pork patties
In a bowl, combine the ground pork, minced garlic, chopped shallots, fish sauce, soy sauce, honey or sugar, and black pepper. Mix well until all the ingredients are evenly incorporated. Shape the mixture into small patties. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat and brush with vegetable oil. Grill the pork patties for 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked through and nicely charred.
Step 2: Prepare the dipping sauce
In a small bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, water, rice vinegar, lime juice, sugar, minced garlic, and chopped chili pepper (if using) until the sugar is dissolved. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
Step 3: Assemble the noodle salad
Cook the rice vermicelli noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool them down and prevent sticking. Divide the cooked noodles among serving bowls. Arrange fresh lettuce leaves, bean sprouts, fresh herbs, sliced cucumbers, and pickled carrots and daikon radish (if using) on top of the noodles.
Step 4: Serve and enjoy
Place a few grilled pork patties on a plate and serve alongside the noodle salad. Pour the dipping sauce into small bowls for dipping the pork patties and drizzling over the noodle salad. To enjoy, take a piece of grilled pork, dip it in the sauce, and combine it with a forkful of noodles and fresh toppings. The combination of flavors and textures creates a delicious and satisfying meal.
Optional: Customization and Variations
Add a spoonful of crushed peanuts or crispy fried shallots for extra crunch. Include sliced fresh chili peppers for added heat. Substitute the grilled pork patties with grilled shrimp or tofu for a vegetarian option.
With this authentic Bun Cha recipe, you can immerse yourself in the vibrant flavors of Vietnamese cuisine. The combination of grilled pork patties, refreshing herbs, flavorful noodles, and tangy dipping sauce creates a harmonious and satisfying meal. Experience the unique blend of smoky, savory, and fresh flavors in every bite of Bun Cha. Indulge in the culinary delights of Vietnam and enjoy this delightful grilled pork noodle salad that has captivated food lovers around the world.