With a simple food style, bun cha has become a traditional Vietnamese cuisine’s prominence for decades. Interestingly, its origin is still not yet uncovered. It is believed that it has been existed on narrow and congested streets in Hanoi for a long time. The first recognized restaurant that served Bun Cha was on Gia Ngu street, Hoan Kiem District in an ancient area in Hanoi, known as Hanoi’s Old Quarte.
Although many good dishes can be found in Hanoi from traditional to modern style, Bun cha still has its own foothold in Hanoi’s cuisine. Not only people in Vietnam, but also people from other countries are falling in love with Bun Cha.
Bun Cha ingredients
A portion of bun cha includes vermicelli – rice noodles, grilled pork, vegetables, pickles and the sauce. Those things are widely available in any markets, supermarkets, and stores in Vietnam. The combination between meat and vegetable shows a healthy recipe of Bun Cha. It’s the balance between Yin and Yang.
There are two types of grilled pork: meatball and sliced meat. Hanoi’s grilled meatball must be made from pork shoulder and marinated with some extras carefully to knead them into meatball before grilling. For sliced meat, it’s better to choose pork that contains some fat inside otherwise the pork will get dry quickly when being grilled.
There are 2 ways to serve Bun Cha, one is Bun Cha Cham, one is Bun Cha Chan.
Bun Cha Cham
Traditional Bun Cha in Ha Noi is called: Bun Cha Cham. It is one of the most beloved Vietnamese food that is usually accompanied by basil, lemon, chili and other extras. People also can buy its ingredients like pork, white rice noodle, pickled vegetables (green papaya, carrots, onions) … to make this dish.
Making the sauce is the most critical part in Bun Cha Cham. It’s known as the soul of this dish. Traditional Vietnamese dipping sauce is made with fish sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and peppers, sugar…, it’s not easy to find good vinegar in foreign countries. In this case, lemon juice is a good alternative. The well-balanced taste of sweet, salt, spicy and sour is blended that will be mouth-watering to anyone for sure.
Bun Cha Chan
There is a difference between Bun Cha Chan and Bun cha Cham: the bone broth. The broth base of Bun Cha Chan is made of pork bone stewed many hours. In addition, there are green cabbage, onions, grilled meatball, vermicelli in a bow of Bun Cha Chan. It tastes good making anyone always be pleased and amazed. Having a bow of Bun Cha Chan with bone broth maybe a good choice in summer.
Bun Cha in Hanoi’s Culture
Bun cha usually becomes an instant favorite for Hanoi people and anyone visiting Viet Nam. The price of a dish of Bun Cha is affordable to anyone. The common price range is 25,000 to 40,000 Vietnamese Dong. It’s around $USD1.2 to $2 USD. Many families in Ha Noi usually make Bun Cha for their friends coming from other provinces to introduce the famous foods of the capital and describe their hospitality.
As a matter of fact, Bun Cha has become an icon of the 1000-year capital – Hanoi. People come here for many things but they will never forget to have a bow of Bun Cha. And, it will be an unforgettable dish in Vietnam. It brings people to traditional food culture in Viet Nam.
Recommended Bun Cha Restaurants in Hanoi
For any foreigners wants to try Bun Cha for the first time or simply wants to enjoy the sense of Vietnamese traditional Bun Cha, here is a recommendation for you.
- Bun Cha 34 Hang Than, Ba Dinh District: You will be so amazed to here by cheap price of a bow of Bun Cha in an ancient Hanoi,! It costs only 35.000 Vietnamese Dong with full of big meatball or sliced meat that makes you be pleased.
- Bun Cha 23 Nguyen Bieu, Ba Dinh District: It’s a wonderful place with fresh air space. You are really comfortable for having a bow of Bun Cha. Especially, it’s good for sliced meat wrapped by bananas leaves when being grilled on a charcoal.
- Bun Cha 74 Hang Quat, Hoan Kiem District: There is no doubt that Bun Cha is so delicious here. Marinated sauce here is tasty, add a little chili, garlic to make up smells. Grilled meatball is so tender and nice that attracts to anyone. Every a bow is only 30.000 Vietnamese Dong. Let’s try fast !!!
- Bun Cha Hang Khoai, ngõ 2 Hang Khoai, Hoan Kiem District: In the morning, just opened your eyes that suddenly you wish a bow of Bun Cha, surely only one place you can come is Hang Khoai street. The store begins from 6 a.m to 2 p.m. At here, grilled pork is brown and smells good with dipping sauce will easily make you loving at first time. The price is so cheap, only 30.000 Vietnamese Dong, suit to every pocket.
- Bun cha Huong Lien 24 Le Van Huu, Hai Ba Trung District: at the present, it’s is the famous Bun Cha Store that Obama President came to have a good dinner. Then, Bun Cha Huong Lien was also called: Bun Cha Obama. We can eat a portion with delicious noodle, the good sauce and fresh vegetables, brown grilled pork, add some beers to cheer!