Bun Cha Hanoi is a traditional vermicelli noodles that are made with tasty Vietnamese meatballs that are made of minced pork, and traditional Vietnamese seasonings. The meatballs are simple to make at home and traditionally served with vermicelli noodles, pickled vegetables and the Nuoc Cham (Vietnamese dipping fish sauce to dip them in).
I personally enjoy Bun Cha Hanoi even though it’s not as popular in the same way as some other Vietnamese recipes like Pho Ga and banh mi. I love this dish in the warmer times. The cold noodles, paired with the flavorful Vietnamese meatballs are the perfect food to enjoy on hot summer days.
What is Bun Cha Hanoi?
In Hanoi the Hanoi region, this dish is simply called Bun Cha. What distinguishes Bun Cha Hanoi from other bowls of vermicelli is that each component is served in a separate bowl. It’s like tsukemen from Japanese food. Fresh bun cha vegetables and vermicelli arrive at the table in separate plates and everyone eats the food in the way they prefer. There are two types of ideas on how to consume this dish: southern and northern. In the South they usually serve this as spring rolls. In the North the North, they just add the fresh noodles and vegetables to the bowl of bun cha , and then scoop them out using an ounce of pork, and some picked vegetables.
Ingredients, Substitutions & Adjustments
Vietnamese Pork Meatballs
- Ground Pork The dish is traditionally made using ground pork. I highly advise using ground pork to achieve the best flavor. However, you may make do with ground turkey.
- Seasonings (pepper and granulated sugar cinnamon) – Adds sweet and earthy flavor in the meatballs. If you can locate Vietnamese cinnamon I’d recommend using it as it has a better flavor.
- The recipe for fish sauce Any type of fish sauce will work in this recipe. The best brand is Red Boat fish sauce.
- vegetable oil Any neutral oil can be used for this recipe, such as grapeseed or vegetable oil.
- Lemongrass adds some sourness in this recipe. If you don’t have lemongrass, I suggest replacing it by adding the juice of a lime.
- Shallot Shallot – adds a little sweet taste to the recipe. An excellent substitute for willots are sweet onions.
- Carrots & Green papaya – This dish is typically eaten with carrots as well as green papaya. If you are unable to locate green papaya, I prefer to take it off to serve with the pickled carrots.
- Salt – Refreshes the flavor of other ingredients.
- Apple cider vinegar The ingredient is used to pickle vegetables. An excellent substitute for apple cider vinegar can be to use distilled white vinegar.
Vermicelli Bowl Toppings
- Vietnamese dip sauce (nuoc cham) – You can get the recipe I used for Vietnamese dipping sauce on this page.
- Vermicelli noodles Any kind of vermicelli noodles work. If you’re unable to locate vermicelli, any small white rice noodles can be used.
- Mint and Lettuce It adds a freshness to the dish, and balances the flavorful flavors.
Making the Bun Cha Hanoi recipe
This recipe is very easy to prepare. Begin by making your pickled vegetables. Combine green papaya, carrots and salt with water as well as apple cider vinegar in the large container. Place it aside and allow it to sit for at minimum 3 hours. It is recommended to put it aside for a night. Next make your pork meatballs. Mix the ground pork with sugar, pepper cinnamon as well as vegetables oil, fish sauce garlic, lemongrass, shallots and in the bowl of a large size. Allow to marinate for 20-30 mins. After marinating, make meatballs that measure 1.5 inch in size. They should match similar to the size and shape of slider patties.
After making the meatballs, cook them on the grill pan or on an outdoor grill. Cook for 2-3 minutes each on both sides. They should be golden brown on both sides, and cooked when you enter. The next step is to combine everything! Add a few pork meatballs as well as pickled vegetables in small bowls. Then cover with Vietnamese dip sauce until it covers the two. Serve pork meatballs with noodles, and other vegetables.
What can I do if I don’t own a grill pan or an outdoor grill?
If you don’t have a grill , or grill pan, you can heat your oven up to 400 F to bake about 10 minutes.
How do you eat Bun Cha Hanoi?
As a child, I ate this in the Northern method, where I add the noodles and vegetables in the bowl with the buncha and then remove them with pork pieces as well as a few vegetables. This is how it works.
If you purchase bun cha with an assortment with vegetables and a platter of cooked vermicelli and small bowls filled with bun cha. Each guest will receive an individual bun cha bowl. Add mint, lettuce and a tiny handful of vermicelli noodles into the bowl. Cut the mint and lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Utilize a chopstick or fork to scoop out the vermicelli, vegetables pork meatballs, and pickled vegetable all in one go. It may seem like a lotof food, therefore, you should take a bite of the vermicelli and vegetables first, then consume the meatballs from pork as well as the pickled vegetables. Repeat this until you’ve finished your bun cha.
I would like to emphasize that you are able to enjoy this dish however you’d would like. There isn’t any “right” way to eat this dish. The best way to eat it is whatever option makes you feel satisfied!
How to store the Bun Cha Hanoi?
I’d suggest storing the meatballs in a separate container with the sauce, in an airtight container within the refrigerator. If you’re all set to serve them, you can heat these Vietnamese beefballs using the microwave. Then add them to the sauce along with the veggies you’ve picked. They can be kept in the refrigerator for upto three days.
Did you cook this dish?
If you’ve made this dish, I’d like to see your opinion!
Similar Vietnamese dishes
- Bún Chả Giò – Vermicelli Rice Noodles & Spring Rolls
- Bun Cha Ca – Vietnamese fried fish cake noodle soup
- Bun Nem Nuong – Grilled Pork Meatballs & Rice Noodles
- Bun Thit Nuong – BBQ Pork and Rice Noodles
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Bún Chả Hanoi recipe – Vietnamese Pork Meatballs
Vietnamese Pork Meatballs
- 2 lb of ground pork
- 2 TSP sugar in granulated form
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 shallot minced
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 stalk lemongrass chopped
- 2 carrots, thinly sliced
- 1 cup of water
- 1/2 small, green papayas thinly sliced
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
Vermicelli Bowl Toppings
- 2 cups Vietnamese dipping sauce
- 1 package vermicelli noodles
- 1 head lettuce
- Pickle the green papaya as well as the carrots. Mix all the ingredients for the pickled vegetables in a large container and place in a dish to set aside. Allow to sit for at least 3 hours or up to an overnight. I highly suggest to let it sit overnight for most optimal outcomes.
- Marinate the pork in the . Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs of pork into one large bowl. Allow to marinate for 20-30 mins. Make the pork into circular pieces of 1.5 millimeter diameter. They should have in the shape and size of slider patties.
- After making the meatballs, cook them on the grill pan or on an outdoor grill. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes each time until golden on both sides. Set aside.
- Make sure to add some pork meatballs as well as pickled vegetables into the bowl in a small amount. Then cover with Vietnamese sauce for dipping until the sauce overflows both.
- Serve the meatballs made from pork as well as vegetables and noodles on their own. Every person should create their own bowl of vermicelli using the ingredients listed above. Refer to the section above for tips on how to consume this dish.
- If you don’t have a grill , or grill pan, you can heat the oven until it reaches 400 F then bake it for about 10 minutes.
- Pickled vegetables are what you will have leftover. Use them to make banh mi, or other vermicelli-based recipes.