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Recipes, Pork, Rice vermicelli (Bún), Vietnamese noodles

How To Cook Bun Cha (Bún Chả) With 4 Steps Like A Pro?

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There is no exact milestone to record the birth history of bun cha, nor is it known how this dish was created. Only known for a long time, Hanoians are still familiar with bun cha and consider it an indispensable dish in daily culinary life. Learn more about bun cha with Tasty Touch in the article below.

What is bun cha?

Bun cha is a Vietnamese dish, consisting of vermicelli, grilled pork rolls over charcoal, and a bowl of sweet and sour fish sauce. The dish originates from the North of Vietnam and is the most durable gift of Hanoi, so it can be considered one of the typical specialties of Hanoi cuisine. Bun cha is similar to grilled meat vermicelli in the Central and Southern regions, but the mixed fish sauce has a lighter taste.

Vietnamese bun cha is usually eaten at noon. Choosing the time to enjoy bun cha seems to be an art of the time: eating bun cha at any time is appropriate. This is a very unique feature of the land’s culinary culture. However, now there are also some shops selling bun cha all morning, afternoon, and evening.

Moreover, not only is it famous in the country, but bun cha also makes international tourists fall in love and constantly mention it. In 2016, the bun cha dinner of US President Barack Obama and chef Anthony Bourdain in Hanoi created an “extraordinary effect”. A famous figure in the political world, and a famous figure in the culinary world, those two souls will meet over the… bun cha Ha Noi.

The image of the most powerful man in the world sitting on a plastic chair, eating bun cha, and drinking cold beer with a simple but elegant white shirt in Vietnam has become one of the most impressive highlights in the world. popular for a long time afterward. Until weeks later, domestic and international newspapers were still discussing the meal as well as the popular but delicious bun cha dish.

How to make Bun cha?

How to make Bun cha like a pro?

Recipe by Anne TranCourse: Uncategorized


Prep time


Cooking time







There are dishes with bold flavor and soul of the land from which it originates. Bun Cha Hanoi is one of them. This dish is always mentioned as a part of Hanoi culture. Today let us help you learn how to cook this dish at home simple but sure won’t let you down. Besides, you can try to visit our blog to get more about the list of rice vermicelli in Vietnamese food.


  • 1 kg Fresh vermicelli

  • Lettuce herbs, basil, mint basil,…

  • 500g pork belly with ribs

  • 500g lean pork mince

  • 2 teaspoons cooking oil

  • 2 tablespoons honey (or 1 tablespoon sugar)

  • 4 tablespoons stock

  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce

  • 2 teaspoons pepper

  • 40g minced garlic

  • 40g minced purple onion

  • 100 g kohlrabi

  • 100 g carrots

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 2 tablespoons vinegar

  • 200 ml of water

  • Garlic, minced chili


  • Step 1: Marinate the Cha (chả)
    For grilled dishes, bacon (bacon) is the best choice. This is the meat in the pork belly, with alternating layers of lean fat, when grilled, the meat will be both fatty and soft but not dry.
    Bacon you wash with dilute salt water, remember to add a little ginger to clean and deodorize the fishy smell of pork. After draining the bacon, you slice it moderately thick, about 0.5 cm. Do not cut too thin because when grilling, the meat will dry out and stick to the grill, if you cut it too thick, it will take a long time to cook and become tough.
    The lean meat you buy is washed, thinly sliced ​​, and chopped. Personally, I feel that minced meatballs always have a soft, chewy feeling, better than minced meat rolls. But if you want to be fast, you can grind it in a small size.
    After preparing the meat, divide the prepared seasoning in half and marinate it into 2 parts of the meat. You marinate the meat for about 2-3 hours for the meat to infuse the spices. If you are careful, marinate the meat in the refrigerator overnight, the better.
    If you want to try to cook Bún bò Huế, you can try to make it with our recipe.
  • Step 2: How to Make Bun Cha – Grilled Cha
    After the meat is soaked in seasoning, the lean meat is molded into flat pieces to eat, and the bacon is clamped on a bamboo stick and then grilled until cooked on both sides.
    With grilled food, I feel that the charcoal grill is always more fragrant and delicious. But if you don’t have a brazier at home, you can use an oven, depending on the thickness of the meat that you adjust the temperature. Usually, you leave it in the range of 170-200˚C.
    Before and during grilling, sometimes you remember to spread a layer of oil on the griddle and string the meat, so that the meat is soft, succulent, and not burnt.
    If you don’t have both types of ovens at home, use a non-stick pan to fry. “Grilled” this way, the meat will be a little less fragrant, but simpler and less messy.
    When grilling with a pan, let the heat up the pan first and then spread the meat evenly into the pan. Don’t make it too thick! The meat will lose a lot of water, take a long time to cook, and become tough. You “grill” until the meat is cooked on both sides and then turn it back until both sides are evenly cooked. The meat will water a little, but that’s okay, just roast until the water dries up and the meat is slightly burned, then turn off the stove.
  • Step 3: Make pickles and make fish sauce
    After finishing the meat, I started making pickles and fish sauce.
    When you buy carrots and kohlrabi, wash, peel and slice them into a bowl. If you are a little clever, you can trim them into floral shapes to make the pickles look more eye-catching.
    Next, add a little salt to the mixture with carrots and kohlrabi, soak for about 5-10 minutes, then rinse with cold boiling water and drain. This step will help kohlrabi and carrots stay fresher and crisper.
    Finally, you mix the carrots, and kohlrabi with sugar and then let the vinegar marinate for about half an hour to absorb.
    The part of fish sauce used with bun cha is said to show the sophistication of Hanoians. This is also an important step in how to make delicious bun cha.
    The way of mixing looks quite simple, but I think to adjust the ratio so that the sauce is delicious, sweet, and sour, not harsh. But that said, you just start mixing the sauce according to the recipe and then depending on your taste and the density of the fish sauce adjust it to your mouth.
    You put a small pan on the stove, add sugar, fish sauce, vinegar, and water, and in turn, stir well. Remember to lower the heat, gently stir until the sugar dissolves, then turn off the heat.
    The bun cha sauce must always be kept warm, so if you cook it early, remember to reheat it when it’s time to eat.
    When you’re ready to eat, you drop the melons together with the fish sauce, adding color and richness to the pickles. The minced garlic chili you add according to your taste. If you have children at home, it’s more convenient to keep the minced garlic and chili peppers separate for everyone to add themselves.
    Maybe you also care about how to cook Bún đậu mắm tôm, you can try to make it with our recipe.
  • Step 4: How to Make Bun Cha – Enjoy
    After preparing the main ingredients, you should wash a few more herbs and then sprinkle them dry to serve with vermicelli. The main herbs often used are perilla, marjoram, basil… you can add sprouts if you can eat them.
    Enjoying bun cha also has several styles. People use chopsticks to pick up some meat, some vermicelli with vegetables, dip them in fish sauce, and eat them with pickles. Some people like to put all the socks in the bowl, add fish sauce and slurp.
    Some people dip pork rolls and meat into a bowl of fish sauce, then dip them with vegetables and vermicelli slowly.
    Actually, I think it’s okay to eat it anyway, the important thing is that I feel good.

How many calories are in bun cha?

The answer to the question of how many calories are in a bowl of bun cha depends on the size of the bowl and the different types of meat. 1 serving of bun cha includes 1 plate of vermicelli and 1 bowl of sweet and sour dipping sauce with grilled rolls. 

According to research by nutritionists, 1 plate of vermicelli contains 110 kcal. A plate of vermicelli 200g contains about 220 kcal, and a bowl of sauce with grilled pork rolls and grilled meat contains about 310 kcal. Thus, on average, 1 serving of bun cha will provide 530 kcal with the following nutritional ingredients:

  • Fat: 21g
  • Sugar: 67.5g
  • Protein: 25g
  • Fiber: 2.5g

If you eat vegetarian bun cha, how many calories are provided to the body? According to research, 100g of vegetarian sausage will contain about 130 kcal. So we can take 1 serving of vegetarian vermicelli which will provide about 350 kcal.

Is bun cha recipe healthy/good for you?

Nutritionists analyze whether any dish is good or not based on 2 factors:

  • Amount of calories in the body
  • Nutritional content in food

So to find the answer to the question of whether eating bun cha is good for health, the deciding factor is how many calories you provide your body in a day when eating bun cha.

According to the recommendations of nutritionists, an adult body needs to load 1800 kcal to be able to provide enough energy to function. This means that whatever food you eat will not make you fat if you don’t eat more than 1800 kcal.

Another factor that determines the answer to whether eating bun cha is good for health is the nutritional composition of that dish. For those who are following a weight loss diet, the ingredients they need to pay attention to are the starch, fat, and protein content.

The starch content in vermicelli is lower than that of rice, not to mention that 1 serving of bun cha contains only 5-7 pieces of the patty, equivalent to 100g of pork. Therefore, the fat and protein content in the patties is not enough to make you gain weight when a serving of bun cha is often eaten as a substitute for the main meal. While, the calories that 1 serving of bun cha gives you only contains 530 kcal, which is smaller than the calories needed for 1 main 600 kcal.

Bún chả recipe
Bún chả recipe

Therefore, eating a serving of bun cha instead of the main meal not only does not cause weight gain but also helps you reduce calorie intake and shorten the time to lose weight.

However, health experts recommend, you should eat bun cha at lunch. This is the best time of the day. Bun cha has sour substances, which are not good for the digestive system, especially for patients with stomach disease if they eat it for breakfast on an empty stomach. In addition, you should not eat bun cha at dinner to avoid creating a burden on the digestive system. The evening is the time for the body to rest and be inactive, so it will not expend all the energy you take in, you are at risk of gaining weight quickly.

What does bun cha taste like?

The recipe for bun cha usually has two types of rolls at the same time: meatball and grilled bacon, although depending on food preferences, sometimes diners only choose one of the two.

Meatball is made from minced lean shoulder meat, marinated with pepper, fish sauce, and minced dried onions for aroma. Making a ball must choose the lean part of the shoulder that is firm but not as fibrous as the thigh meat, not as soft as the butt meat so that when the meat is minced and then straightened, the patty is firm and the perfect wetness and dryness.

Sophisticated cooks will know how to add a little bit of water to keep the baked goods from drying out. As for the patties, we usually use axillary meat or bacon with a balanced ratio of meat and fat so that the patty is not dry and hard, then thinly sliced, marinated with spices, and then grilled over charcoal.

Also, grilled pork belly usually uses thinly sliced pork belly or bacon, marinated in spices similar to grilled meatballs and grilled over charcoal. Depending on the taste of each person, you can order all the pieces or the balls to eat with vermicelli.

Meat after marinating is placed on skewers or griddles and grilled on charcoal. When the meat is fragrant and fragrant, put it in a bowl of fish sauce that is full of sweet and sour taste, along with green papaya (or kohlrabi, carrots) mixed with vinegar. The bowl of fish sauce can be eaten and sipped, eaten with vermicelli and raw vegetables (including lettuce, coriander, Lang basil, gooseberries, marjoram, perilla, and bean sprouts).

The bowl of fish sauce dipping is the essence of bun cha, although its name is not mentioned in the dish. A perfect bowl of dipping sauce must be mixed full of sweet and sour tastes, with a very attractive mild pungent smell. Those who know how to make delicious dipping sauces must be very skillful and delicate, so that the bowl of fish sauce can be eaten and slurped, eaten with vermicelli and raw vegetables but still satisfying, not too harsh or too bland.

Bun Cha is special in its own way, not too ostentatious but attractive enough from its simplicity. Experiencing many ups and downs in history, Vietnamese bun cha still retains its distinctive flavor, maintaining its position as one of the national dishes of Vietnamese cuisine.

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