Bun Cha Hanoi (Hanoi Style Vermicelli with Grilled Pork)

bun cha hanoi

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)
Printable Recipe

  • 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.

Putting all together:
When meats are done, place in a covered medium sized sauce pan containing the nuoc mam cham and pickled vegetables. The juices of the meat will darken and meld with the fish sauce. Allow to soak for at least 5 minutes until serving. Transfer to large serving bowl and serve family style with vermicelli and fresh herbs and vegetables. 

bun cha hanoi
Soakin’ it reeeaaal goooood!!
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18 Responses to “Bun Cha Hanoi (Hanoi Style Vermicelli with Grilled Pork)”

  1. 1

    Cookin' Canuck — June 7, 2009 @ 2:41 pm

    Your recipes always look so delicious. Great photos!

  2. 2

    Anonymous — June 7, 2009 @ 6:46 pm

    Thanks for commenting on my blog, I linked my blog to yours.

  3. 3

    Gastronomer — June 7, 2009 @ 6:50 pm

    SHRIMP! What a great addition.

  4. 4

    bnto_2002@yahoo.com — June 9, 2009 @ 4:04 am

    amazing blog site! The recipes make me salivate instantly – especially just by looking at the pictures. You really know your photography. Keep up the good work.

  5. 5

    Angry Asian — June 10, 2009 @ 1:32 pm

    ok. confession: i'm *sure* i've had this dish before, growing up in a vietnamese household, i must've. however, i don't always know the names of the dishes… FF to present day, recently at a local viet restaurant, my roommate ordered this dish. the menu did not give a description and she asked me what the dish entailed. I HAD NO IDEA! i should've been embarassed but i was more amused that a spanish girl was venturing into uncharted territory. she has requested that i make this soon, and with your recipe handy, i'll be able to now. :) thank you for posting it.

  6. 6

    The Food Addicts — June 10, 2009 @ 3:57 pm

    Bun cha hanoi is one of my favorite dishes! I've been ordering this dish a lot when I go to Brodard. What a great post – I can't wait to try out this recipe and impress my parents, lol.

  7. 7

    Ravenous Couple — June 11, 2009 @ 9:09 pm

    Cookin Canuck: Thanks so much!

    Cam: Thanks for the link! We'll link back to yours.

    Gastronomer: Yeah it's not traditional but we're crazy that way :)

    bnto_2002: Thanks and visit again!

    Angry Asian: Let us know if you guys do and post soon!

    Food Addicts: Krissy, that's alot of pressure! I'm sure it'll be great!

  8. 8

    Self Sagacity — February 14, 2010 @ 8:04 pm

    Hi! glad I came accross your site, was looking to see how others do the nuoc nam! Any how, thanks for posting, I've subscribed. Come by an visit me sometime. Happy New Year!

  9. 9

    Ngân Đàm — March 18, 2010 @ 9:02 pm

    Bun cha is one of my favorite things to eat in Ha Noi. I've never had it with shrimps…interesting add. Your cooking looks delish!

  10. 10

    ehh — April 26, 2011 @ 11:09 am

    for informity..the thick soy sauce is called ketjap manis

  11. 11

    The Ravenous Couple — April 26, 2011 @ 6:56 pm

    Thanks for the info!

  12. 12

    Karin Meares — May 3, 2011 @ 9:33 am

    This looks amazing! On the hunt for caramel sauce!

  13. 13

    The Ravenous Couple — May 3, 2011 @ 9:49 am

    if you can’t find it, it’s easy to make your own. melt 2 tbs of sugar, stir until caramelized, being careful not to burn, and thats it!

  14. 14

    Food junkie — September 8, 2011 @ 11:07 am

    This recipe looks good but the authentic version doesnt have shrimp in it. I also make the marinade of thit nuong with five spice powder it gives it a nice bbq taste

  15. 15

    The Ravenous Couple — September 8, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

    yes, of course and we mentioned that normally there is no shrimp. we just threw it in there just because :) great idea with five spice!

  16. 16

    malc — December 6, 2011 @ 12:50 pm

    I had this in Hanoi last year , best food i’ve had for ages .
    I have been looking for a recipe since i got back ( England UK )
    and thid is excellent , can’t wait to try it thx so much

  17. 17

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  18. 18

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