Bun Bo hue (spicy beef soup) – Vietnam


Bun Bo hue recipe

Spicy Bun Bo Hue
Nutrition Information
  • Serving size: 100g
  • Calories: 29 kcal
  • Fat: <0.9 grams
  • Saturated fat: <0.1 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 4.9 grams
  • Sugar: 1.1 grams
  • Sodium: 1.2 gram
  • Fiber: <0.5 grams
  • Protein: 1.8 grams
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Okay, this is hardly an instant soup. It takes lots of time to make, but as the adage goes " all comes to those that wait " . To achieve the depth of flavour that this dish delivers a whole days cooking will be needed. It is best to start in the morning with a view to eating it in the evening. It is certainly substantial enough a meal to eat on its own . Once tried, this is something you will make again, It is absolutely superb!
For the soup
  • Beef brisket - 2.2 pounds (1 kg)
  • Beef Oxtail - one pound ( 450 grams)
  • Beef bones – two pounds ( 900 grams)
  • Onion – two large ( one finely sliced, the other coarsely chopped)
  • Ginger - 2-inch piece ( peeled and thinly sliced)
  • Lemongrass – 4 stalks ( 2 inches wide - bruised)
  • Garlic – 4 cloves ( peeled and cut in half)
  • Kaffir lime leaves – 5 ( optional)
  • Fish sauce - 4 tablespoons ( see note **)
  • Shrimp paste - one tablespoon
  • Sugar – 2 tablespoons
  • Star Anise – 3 whole
  • Peppercorns – one teaspoon
  • Water – 10 – 15 cups
  • Red Chilli flakes – 2 tablespoons ( see note ***)
  • Red Chillies – 3 sliced ( Birds- eye chillies or similar)
  • Vegetable oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Garlic puree – one teaspoon
  • Ramen/instant rice noodles – 200 to 250 grams
  • Bean sprouts
  • Lime wedges
  • Spring onions – Thinly sliced ( both white and green parts)
  1. Heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius
  2. Place the beef bones, coarsely chopped onion and one clove of garlic ( sliced in half) in a roasting tin. Pour in half an inch of water
  3. Place the roasting tin into the oven and cook for 40 to 45 minutes. Check roasting tin periodically to ensure that it does not run dry. Add water if necessary
  4. In the meantime, place a large pot on the stove. Add 10 cups of water and bring to a boil
  5. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a pan. Add oxtails and brown all over. Keep to one side
  6. Remove roast bones and vegetables from the oven. Add to the boiling water together with any residue from the roasting pan ( these should be nice brown bits – not burnt).
  7. Add the browned oxtail
  8. The water should cover the bones and oxtail. If not add more
  9. Bring to a gentle simmer. Skim off any impurities that rise to the top.
  10. Allow to cook for 4 to 6 hours, adding more water if necessary
  11. Strain the resulting stock into a new pot, removing the bones. The remaining meat can be added back to the soup just before it is served. (Keep refrigerated until just before serving, Ensure that it is heated through with the cooking Brisket - ten minutes before eating)
  12. When this has completed heat remaining oil in a pan. Add finely chopped onion and fry until translucent
  13. Add garlic puree and cook for another minute
  14. Now add the Chillies, Chilli flakes and star anise
  15. Stir for 2 to three minutes
  16. Add to the stockpot together with the peppercorns, lemongrass, remaining garlic cloves and kaffir lime leaves
  17. Bring the stockpot to a boil
  18. Turn down the heat. Add Brisket, fish sauce, shrmp paste and sugar
  19. Simmer gently with( pot covered) for another 2 to 3 hours ( or until Brisket is tender).
  20. Follow instructions for preparation of the ramen/instant noodles ( Consider re-introducing cooked meat from initial stockpot to the cooking brisket at this point. Ensure that it is heated through)
  21. Remove Brisket from the stockpot. Cut into slices and add back to the pot
  22. Remove whole spices, lime leaves, garlic and lemongrass
  23. Serve by placing a layer of ramen/ rice noodles at the bottom of a bowl, next add a slice or two of Brisket and finally covering with broth
  24. Now add bean sprouts, spring onions or lime juice ( if required)
  25. Enjoy
* Vietnamese fish sauce is called Nuoc mam. If unavailable Nam Pla (Thai fish sauce) can be used

This recipe yields 4 to 6 portions

Keywords: Pho bo hue