If you are wondering why I didn’t post as many recipes as usual the last few weeks, it’s because I spent the last two months in Vietnam. I liked it so much that I slightly extended my stay, and was out of recipes to share for the last three weeks. But I’m back home now, so expect many Vietnamese-inspired recipes coming soon! Soups, curry, tofu dishes, salads, and a lot more to come!
Let’s start with one of my favorite Vietnamese dish: Bún Bò Huế! This noodle soup is not as famous overseas as Phở and I really wonder why, because it’s simply amazing. Thick round noodles are served with fried tofu, vegan beef, sautéed mushrooms, onions, and many other toppings in a spicy and flavorful broth. It’s filling, delicious, and makes a complete and healthy meal you can have basically any time of the day. Yes, for breakfast too. Let’s do it!
Getting the broth right is one of the most important parts as it’s really what makes this dish. The broth itself is usually (every cook has its own way to make it) not spicy but very flavorful. The spiciness comes from the satay paste that is stirred into the broth later.
Making the broth is easy, you cut all the vegetables into thick slices, add to a pot and fill with water. Add some salt, sugar, and let it simmer for about 1h30. I went with a mix of carrot, radish, and leek, plus corn and pear for natural sweetness. This broth is actually a good base for many other Vietnamese noodle soups.
Then comes the satay that consists of lemongrass, chili, garlic, and shallots that are fried until fragrant. Finish the satay with salt and sugar to balance with the spiciness.
Once your satay is ready and while the broth is simmering, you can prepare the noodles and toppings. Tofu, mushrooms, sliced onions, fresh herbs, and vegan beef to make the dish more “authentic”.
You simply sautée mushrooms, tofu, and vegan beef in oil until golden brown, then season with salt and satay before transferring to serving bowls over the noodles. Pour the broth over everything and top with a generous amount of fresh herbs like Thai basil and cilantro.
This spicy Vietnamese noodle soup is one of my favorites! The broth is rich and spicy, with a light lemongrass aroma, and the toppings absorb all the flavors from the broth. A must-try!
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
- 12 cups (3 liters) water
- 1 ear corn
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 medium daikon radish
- 1 pear
- 1 small leak
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp (around 18g) rock sugar
- 1 tsp mushroom seasonning (optional)
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro (or sawtooth coriander)
- 3 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp annatto oil* (optional, gives the broth an orange color)
- 2 lemongrass stalk, finely minced
- 2 small chilis, finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 tsp ground chili
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 blocks (400g) of fried tofu, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 5–6 mushrooms
- 10 pieces of vegan beef (textured vegetable protein), optional
- 1 packet of rice noodles
- 2 cups mung bean sprouts
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- fresh herbs for serving: Thai basil, cilantro,
- Peel and cut the carrot, radish, pear, and leak into 1-inch slices. Cut the corn into 1-inch slices as well. Add all the vegetables to a large pot and fill with 3 liters of water. Add the salt and sugar.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat and let simmer covered for about 1h30.
- Discard the vegetables. Stir in the mushroom seasonning powder and chopped cilantro. Taste and adjust salt and sugar to your liking. Keep it on low heat while you prepare the rest.
- While the broth is cooking, prepare the satay. Heat the oils in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Once hot, add the minced lemongrass, chili, garlic, and shallot. Fry for about 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the ground chili, sugar, and salt, and stir to combine. Cook for another 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- If using, soak the vegan beef in water for at least 25 minutes. Then drain and squeeze to press out excess water. Transfer to a small mixing bowl and season with about 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp sugar, and a pinch of ground black pepper. Stir to coat.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the mushrooms, vegan beef, and tofu, and sautée for 3-5 minutes, or until slightly golden.
- Add about 1 tsp of satay and stir to combine. Cook for another minute before removing from heat. Set aside.
- Cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions. Drain the noodles and divide into serving bowls. Top with tofu, mushrooms, vegan beef, mung bean sprouts, sliced onion, and about 2 tsp of satay (or more depending on how spicy you like it). Pour the hot broth over everything and give it a quick stir to dissolve the satay. Enjoy immediately!
*You can make annatto oil by heating 1/2 cup of neutral oil in a saucepan. Once hot, add 2 tbsp of Annatto seeds, and fry for about 2 minutes. Once the oil is red, remove from heat, let cool a bit and discard the seeds.
No nutritional information for this recipe as it is very hard to calculate.