Bun Cha: Delicacy of Hanoi


Hanoi, Vietnam is where you can find the best Bun cha in Vietnam. Of course, this dish exists everywhere in Vietnam, but in Hanoi Bun Cha Is the most delicious. This is acknowledged by many locals, not just blog travel writers. Today we will discover a wonderful dish of Vietnam. Hopefully, you will be able to taste it personally soon.

>> Noodle soup in Vietnam: “Pho”

What is bun cha?

A traditional dish of Hanoi @ Vinacel

Bun cha is a local dish originally from Ha Noi, the capital of Vietnam. Throughout Vietnam you can find a lot of dishes that have the same formula as bun cha (like bun thit nuong in Saigon), however, the dishes are unbeatable.

The dish is very simple to make and can be found any time of the year. It doesn’t matter if you eat bun cha in a restaurant or a small cart on the street, you will be served by a plate of vermicelli (bun), a bowl of broth with grilled pork and a basket of fresh greens.

Bun, the vermicelli noodles, is served on a plate. Hanoians are very picky when it comes to cooking and you will see it clearly through the way they choose the noodles for different food. To make a decent bowl of bun cha, the vermicelli has to be thin, soft and chewy.

Cha is the meat part of this dish, served in a bowl. The meat is made from pork and cooked in 2 styles: cha vien (ground pork) and cha mieng (grilled thin sliced pork). It is served with the broth.

The highlight of bun cha is definitely the broth (or dipping sauce). To make the sweet and sour soul of this dish, the cook mixes fish sauce, vinegar, and sugar together. The ingredients might sound simple but the taste varies from one shop to another because of the different ratio of each element in the recipe. Diners can tell a good or bad bun cha by the flavor of the sauce.

Without vegetables and herbs, Vietnamese dishes are not complete. In the big basket of greens on the table, you will find fresh lettuce, Thai basil, cilantro, fish mint, banana flower and coriander.

When and how to eat bun cha

Mr. Obama at a Bun Cha shop in Hanoi @ Kenh14

In the past, people usually had bun cha for lunch. Nowadays, since most of the shops open from morning to night people can eat it for whatever meal of the day they want. There is no right way or wrong way to eat bun cha. However, commonly, there are 2 ways to enjoy this delicious meal: southern and northern style.

Southern people usually wrap and roll everything they can. So if you love wrapping things, you can use a big leaf of lettuce to wrap the vermicelli, pork and herbs then dip it in the sauce and take a big bite. The biggest advantage of this style is you only need to use your hand to eat everything so it doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to use the chopsticks.

If you want to show off how experienced you are, follow what the Hanoian does The Northern way to eat bun cha is much simpler. All you have to do is dip everything in the broth, mix it together and eat it like a bowl of Pho. Because the vermicelli is quite slippery so it can be both fun and challenge for those who haven’t mastered their chopsticks skills yet.

Now you know how to eat the bun cha like a pro. The next question is where can you find the best bun cha in Vietnam?

Where to have the best bun cha in Vietnam

Bun cha is the greatest Hanoi gift of all time so obviously, the most appropriate place to have bun cha is in Ha Noi. In spite of the fact that many restaurants in other parts of the countries also serve this dish on their menu, the flavor is different. Because the taste of Vietnamese food changes from the North to the South, the chefs from Central and South Vietnam will adjust the recipe to meet the needs of the locals. In addition, the price of food can be higher than in the North. Just eat as much bun cha as you can while you are in Hanoi.

Hope you have a great time in Vietnam and while trying out this dish.

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