Not only is Hanoi famous for being home to ancient, picturesque buildings but if you look inside some of the old doors, you will find a great Vietnamese cooking culture. In the Vietnamese capital, you will find many delicious local dishes, especially bun cha. This simple dish is a great combination of delicious and fresh taste, it has a vibrant color and the harmony of the meat and vegetables is incomparable.
When bun cha is made, it is incorporated into the Vietnamese diet almost immediately and naturally. Let's find out why the people of this country love bun cha.
What is bun cha?
Bun cha is a local dish originating in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. Throughout Vietnam you can find many dishes that share a similar recipe to bun cha (like bun thit nu in Saigon), however, the dish is unmatched.
The dish is very simple to make and can be found at any time of the year. No matter if you eat bun cha at a restaurant or outside a small street cart, you will be given a plate of vermicelli (bun), a bowl of soup with roasted pork, and a basket of fresh vegetables .
Bun, the noodle noodle, is served on a separate plate. Hanoians are very picky when it comes to cooking and you can see this practice clearly if you notice how each dish usually has a different noodle. To make a decent bowl of bun cha, vermicelli should be thin, soft, and chewy.
Cha is the meat of this dish, served in a bowl. The meat is made from pork and cooked in two styles: cha vien (ground pork) and cha mieng (grilled thinly sliced pork). It is served with the broth.
The highlight of the bun cha is definitely the broth (or dipping sauce). To make the sweet and sour soul of this dish, combine the fish sauce with fish, vinegar, and sugar. The ingredients may sound simple but the taste varies from one shop to the next because each Hanoin has its own ratio. Dinners can tell if their bun cha is good or bad for the taste of the sauce.
Without vegetables and plants, Vietnamese foods would not be complete. In the large vegetable basket at the table, you will find fresh lettuce, Thai basil, cilantro, fish mint, banana flower, and coriander.
When and how to eat bun cha
In the past, people used to have bun cha for lunch. Now, since most stores are open from morning to night, people can enjoy any time of the day. There is no right or wrong way to eat bun cha. However, basically, there are two ways to enjoy this delicious meal: the southern and northern style.
Southern people usually wrap and roll their heads. So if you love wrapping things up, you can use a large lettuce leaf to wrap vermicelli, pork, and herbs, then dip the sauce in the sauce and take a big bite. The biggest advantage of this style is that you just have to use your hand to eat. So, if you still haven't mastered the chopsticks, don't worry about it!
If you want to show off your experience, follow the Hanoians. Northern way to eat bun cha is simpler. All you have to do is dip everything in the broth, mix it, and eat it like a bowl of pho. Vermicelli is a bit slippery so it can be both fun and challenging for those of you who haven't yet mastered your chopstick skills.
Now you know how to eat bun cha like a pro. The next question is where can you find the best bun cha in Vietnam?