Bún bò Huế Recipe

6 hours


Bún bò Huế

  • 2kg pork rib bones
  • 2kg beef marrow bone
  • 12l water
  • 700g of pork belly
  • 700g of beef shin
  • 40g of salt
  • 40g of sugar
  • 10 lemongrass sticks
  • 1/4 fresh pineapple, halved
  • 1 onion, halved

Huế chilli oil

  • 175ml of rapeseed oil
  • 3 tsp dried achiote seeds
  • 2 tbsp of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp of shallots, minced
  • 50g of lemongrass, minced
  • 3 tbsp of chilli powder, or chilli flakes
  • 3 tbsp of shrimp paste


  • 500g of rice noodles, (vermicelli)
  • 1 banana blossom, thinly sliced
  • mint
  • Thai basil
  • shiso leaves
  • beansprouts
  • lime wedge
  • bird's eye chillies, chopped
  • red onion, thinly sliced


In a large 21l stock pot, add the pork and beef bones and cover fully with water. Bring the water to the boil and part cook the bones, this will clean the bones and help keep the stock clear
Once boiled, empty the bones into the sink and discard the water. Rinse the bones under cold water until clean and place in a clean stock pot
Cover the bones with water once more and bring to boil. Use a fine mesh strainer to remove any residue that rises to the top – you want to keep the stock as clear as possible
Once the broth is clear, add the beef shin, pork belly, lemongrass, pineapple, onion, salt and sugar and lower the heat – the pork belly should take about 1 hour to cook. Once the meat is tender, remove from the pot and set aside
The beef shin takes roughly 2 hours to cook and can be checked by sliding a sharp knife into the thickest part of the beef. If there is no blood oozing out, the beef is done. If there is blood, place the shin back into the broth and continue to simmer until the juices run clear
Continue to simmer the broth over a low heat for at least another 2 hours to get all of the sweetness from the pineapple, onions and bones. Season the broth to taste with salt and sugar
To make the chilli oil, place the oil and achiote seeds in a medium pan and heat over a medium heat until it becomes amber red. Strain, discard the seeds and pour the annatto oil back in the pan. Place over a medium heat
Once the oil is hot add the chilli powder, minced garlic, lemongrass and shallots. Lower the heat and sauté the mixture until fragrant, making sure it doesn’t burn
Remove the oil from the heat and mix in the fine shrimp paste. Set aside and allow to cool
Meanwhile, prepare the accompaniments. Thinly slice the beef shin and pork belly and prepare the vermicelli noodles as per packet instructions
To assemble the Bún bò Huế, add the chilli oil to the broth and season according to taste. The broth should be slightly spicy, sour and sweet with a strong umami taste from the shrimp paste
Place the noodles, slices of beef shin and pork belly in the serving bowls. Ladle a few spoons of the broth into the bowl and garnish with herbs, banana blossom, beansprouts, sliced red onion, lime and chilli. Serve immediately