If you’ve been reading our blog since the beginning (just a month ago!), we’ve been building upon different recipes to create our favorite traditional Vietnamese dishes. Bun Cha Hanoi is another great way to use what we’ve already made (thit nuong, a variation of nem nuong, and picked carrots and daikon). As the name implies, this dish originates from the city of Hanoi in northern Vietnam, but is very popular throughout the country. It is similar to Bun Thit Nuong, in that both vermicelli and thit nuong are used, however the difference is that it includes a cha (pork sausage patties) and both grilled meats are soaked in nuoc mam cham, allowing it to soak up all the flavors of the nuoc mam. The cha nuong in this dish is slightly different then nem nuong in that there’s less garlic and sugar and no baking powder, although if you made nem nuong, you can certainly use it to make bun cha hanoi.
Serve the dish with grilled meats and pickled vegetables in a separate serving bowl and allow guests to spoon on the savory goodness of Bun Cha Hanoi over vermicelli and fresh herbs. Recipe serves 4-6.
Bun Cha Hanoi (Hanoi Style Vermicelli with Grilled Pork)
- 1/2 lb. Thit Nuong (recipe below or click here for original post with photos)
- 1/2 lb. Cha nuong (Grilled pork patties)
- 1/4 lb shrimp (not traditional, but had some around and we use the same marinade as thit nuong and grilled them up too)
- 1 package of vermicelli
- 2 1/2 cups of nuoc mam cham
- Fresh herbs: Mint (rau thom), Perilla (tia to), Vietnamese Balm (kinh gioi). Substitute basil if not available.
- 1/2 cup drained pickled carrots and daikons, drained (pickled green papaya and carrots is more traditional, but carrots and daikon can also be used instead)
- Cucumbers, peeled and sliced
- Lettuce, coarsely choppped
First boil the vermicelli, drain and set aside. Prepare the fresh veggies and set aside. Then grill the meats either on outdoor or indoor grill.
Thit Nuong ( Vietnamese Grilled Pork with Lemongrass)
- 1/2 lb pork butt or shoulder, thinly sliced about 1/4 inch or so (not too thin as you do not want it to dry out when grilled. Ask your butcher to do this for you. Also, do not use lean pork as it will become dry.)
- 1/8 cup minced Lemongrass (xa bam). Many Asian markets will sell minced lemongrass in the freezer section.
- 2 tbs sugar
- 1 tbs fish sauce
- 1 ts ground pepper
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced.
- 1 shallot, minced.
- 1 ts sesame oil
- 1 ts thick soy sauce (not regular soy sauce–has molasses, making it thicker and adding great color. If not available, can use caramel sauce. Both can be found at Asian groceries)
- 2 tbs roasted sesame
Cut the thinly sliced pork roughly 2-3 inch strips. Again, not too small as you do not want it to dry out and also so that it doesn’t fall through the grilling basket. For best results grill outdoors using a flexible grilling basket. Most Asian groceries will carry flexible square grill basket for only $3. Of course you can always use an indoor grill and that works almost just as well.
For the marinade, combine in large mixing bowl the lemongrass, shallots, garlic, sugar, fish sauce, pepper, dark soy sauce, sesame oil. Add pork and mix well and marinade for at least 1-2 hrs.
Spread out the meat loosely mesh and grill until nicely golden brown and slightly charred. To prevent from over drying since the meat is so thinly slice, keep lid on the grill. Remove from mesh basket into platter or bowl and toss with roasted sesame.
Cha Nuong (Grilled Pork Patties)
* 1/2 lbs. ground pork (you may mix ground turkey or chicken to reduce fat)
* 3-4 cloves of garlic minced
* 1 tbs sugar
* 1/2 tbs salt
* 1/2 tbs pepper
* 1 tsp thick soy sauce or caramel sauce (optional and found in most Asian groceries)
Combine pork, garlic, salt, pepper, sugar and thick soy sauce in mixing bowl and mix well. Keep meat mixture in the fridge for about 1/2 hr to let it set and easier to handle when forming patties.
Now you’re ready to form the patties. Keep a bowl of water handy and your hands wet for easy handling.
Grill along side the thit nuong until golden brown and slightly charred.