How to eat Bun cha - an authentic treat of Hanoi to Obama

How to eat Bun cha - an authentic treat of Hanoi to Obama
UPDATED: 17 Jun 2016 950 Views
Vietnamese cuisine might remind you of the most famous “Pho” but “Bun cha” is an absolute highlight of authentic local culinary you must try like Obama at the first visit to Hanoi. Originated from the north of Vietnam, bun cha remains as one of the oldest traditional dishes in Hanoi. phu quoc tour, best tour in phu quoc, tour in phu quoc, phu quoc day tour

Ingredients of Bun cha

bun cha White rice noodles called "bun"

Basically, bun cha has its origin from Hanoi-the capital of Vietnam where is home to many delicious dishes such as xoi vo (mung bean coated sticky rice), thit kho (Vietnamese simmered meat), pho, etc. But when bun cha spreads into the other regions of the country, people have changed  it which aims to suit to the favor of local people in that region, so you can see many other versions of bun cha such as bun thit nuong in Ho Chi Minh city, etc.

The Vietnamese bun cha is very simple to make. It is comprised of two main simple parts, bun (white rice noodles) and cha (grilled fatty pork and pork balls), and always served with herbs and dipping sauce made from special fish sauce mixed with pepper, carrot, and green papaya.

Bun ( white rice noodles) is served in a plate. Hanoi people is famous for their pickiness, so the noodles has to be white, thin, and soft. They also know clearly how to cook the dish, so they can easily realize the differences of the flavor, or the mistakes during cooking process.

Pork balls are typically made of fatty shoulder lean meat, side lean meat, and back skin which are all popped into pieces, then ball-shaped to be grilled by charcoal.

Grilled fatty pork requires a conscientious selection of pork. The breast part of adult female swine just giving birth for a while would be the best choice.

A combo of Vietnamese bun cha could also be complete with an optional dish of nem cua be (crab spring rolls).

The highlight of bun cha belongs to the sauce which defines the soul of the dish. In order to make a tasty sour and sweet sauce, you have to have all the essential ingredients including fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, chilli, kumquat fruit, carrot, garlic, and kohlrabi, etc. The recipe to make this kind of sauce seems very simple but in order to make its real flavor, it is really hard.

This dish is not completed without a basket of the vegetables and herbs. There are a lot of vegetables and herbs to eat with bun cha including mint, lettuce, banana flower, coriander, etc.

bun cha Bun cha usually served with spring rolls

How to sense the proper taste of Bun cha

There is no right or wrong to define how to eat bun cha, but there are two common ways that people often eat according to the regional habit which are northern style and southern style.

In the southern style, people often wrap and roll every ingredients together, then dip it into the sauce and enjoy it. So, if you love wrapping things, you can choose a big lettuce leaf to wrap things together, and take a big bite. This way is very convenient for those who don't accompany with using chopsticks, because you can use only your hand to wrap things and eat it.

In the Hanoian style or northern style, regarding pork balls, biting a half should be the best way. Chew slowly while letting your mind into a quiet corner of the crowded Old Quarter, you’ll feel the softness, and buttery taste which never ever comes to your mind.

Grilled fatty pork should not be like that. One pick for once is the typical way to enjoy. Take a half of a pork ball, noodles with herbs, and one piece of grilled fatty respectively, then you already knew how authentic taste of Bun cha should be.

When to eat Bun cha

Choosing a right time to enjoy Bun cha in the right way is also important, which is considered as a uniqueness of oriental culinary culture. Lunchtime would be preferred by Hanoians. However, nowadays, many restaurants serving Bun cha open all day long so that people can have a chance to try it at any time.

Where to have the best bun cha in Vietnam

If you want to enjoy the best bun cha in Vietnam, you have to come to Hanoi. In spite the fact that many restaurants add this dish into the menu, the best bun cha Hanoi is in the small streets in Hanoi Old Quarter. The stalls are very small and rustic without a lot of special decorations, but the flavor of bun cha there is very delicious and authentic.

Bun cha successfully has subjected Obama and other famous chef's tastes because its separated and delicious flavors. There is no reason this dish can not seduce the food addicts. Let's come to Vietnam to enjoy this tasty dish. Thank you!


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