Bún bò Huế

by Leyla Kazim

Main Medium ​​​​​​​ 8 ​​​​​​​ Prep/Cook: 6 hours


2kg pork rib bones

2kg beef marrow bone

12l water

700g of pork belly

700g of beef shin

40g of salt

40g of sugar

10 lemongrass sticks

1/4 fresh pineapple, halved

1 onion, halved

175ml of rapeseed oil

3 tsp dried achiote seeds

2 tbsp of garlic, minced

2 tbsp of shallots, minced

50g of lemongrass, minced

3 tbsp of chilli powder, or chilli flakes

3 tbsp of shrimp paste

500g of rice noodles, (vermicelli)

1 banana blossom, thinly sliced


Thai basil

shiso leaves


lime wedge

bird's eye chillies, chopped

red onion, thinly sliced


1. In a large 21l stock pot, add the pork and beef bones and cover fully with water. Bring the water to the boil and part cook the bones, this will clean the bones and help keep the stock clear

2. Once boiled, empty the bones into the sink and discard the water. Rinse the bones under cold water until clean and place in a clean stock pot

3. Cover the bones with water once more and bring to boil. Use a fine mesh strainer to remove any residue that rises to the top – you want to keep the stock as clear as possible

4. Once the broth is clear, add the beef shin, pork belly, lemongrass, pineapple, onion, salt and sugar and lower the heat – the pork belly should take about 1 hour to cook. Once the meat is tender, remove from the pot and set aside

5. The beef shin takes roughly 2 hours to cook and can be checked by sliding a sharp knife into the thickest part of the beef. If there is no blood oozing out, the beef is done. If there is blood, place the shin back into the broth and continue to simmer until the juices run clear

6. Continue to simmer the broth over a low heat for at least another 2 hours to get all of the sweetness from the pineapple, onions and bones. Season the broth to taste with salt and sugar

7. To make the chilli oil, place the oil and achiote seeds in a medium pan and heat over a medium heat until it becomes amber red. Strain, discard the seeds and pour the annatto oil back in the pan. Place over a medium heat

8. Once the oil is hot add the chilli powder, minced garlic, lemongrass and shallots. Lower the heat and sauté the mixture until fragrant, making sure it doesn’t burn

9. Remove the oil from the heat and mix in the fine shrimp paste. Set aside and allow to cool

10. Meanwhile, prepare the accompaniments. Thinly slice the beef shin and pork belly and prepare the vermicelli noodles as per packet instructions

11. To assemble the Bún bò Huế, add the chilli oil to the broth and season according to taste. The broth should be slightly spicy, sour and sweet with a strong umami taste from the shrimp paste

12. Place the noodles, slices of beef shin and pork belly in the serving bowls. Ladle a few spoons of the broth into the bowl and garnish with herbs, banana blossom, beansprouts, sliced red onion, lime and chilli. Serve immediately