Vietnamese Recipe: Bun Cha

I love Vietnamese food. When I visited the beautiful land three years ago I fell in love with the people, the country, the culture and of course, the food.

Bún chả is a Vietnamese dish of grilled pork, fresh herbs and noodles, which is thought to have originated from Hanoi, Vietnam. This beautiful Vietnamese dish is full of flavour, freshness and is easy to make. You will impress anyone who eats it.

Serves 4-5


500g pork mince

200g Rice Vermicelli (Bún Tươi) get the thicker ones

6-8 thick spring onions, finely chopped

1 tsp Sriracha sauce (extra to add at the end if you want more heat)

2 tbs Kecap Manis

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 cups of bean sprouts

1 bunch of coriander, roughly chopped or pulled apart

1 bunch of Thai basil leaves, roughly chopped or pulled apart

2 tbs peanut oil

Pre-made spring rolls (optional)

Chilli and peanut dressing:

2 long red chillies, finely chopped (add a birds eye chilli if you want it really hot)

1/3 cup chopped peanuts

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tbs fish sauce

2 tbs fresh lime juice

1 tsp brown sugar

2 tbs peanut oil

Now what?

  1. Add your dried noodles to a large heat-proof bowl and cover with boiling water. I use the kettle because it super quick. Make sure the noodle are covered and use a fork to separate every 5 minutes. It takes about 10-15 minutes to cook them. Take a noodle out to test if they’re cooked and remove from the boiling water and strain once they are cooked. Reserve 2 tbs of the water that the noodle cooked in. Run cold water over the noodles until they’re cool, place them in a bowl and in the fridge until your ready to use them.
  1. Meanwhile, add your pork mince, kecap manis, spring onions, garlic and sriracha (is using) to a bowl and mix with a spoon (or your hands) until well combined.
  1. Roll the mixture into small meatballs, you should get 20-25 depending on how big you make them. Keep them bit sized. Place the balls onto a tray lined with baking paper and flatten slightly. Put them back in the fridge for 10-20 minutes to firm up.
  2. If your using spring rolls then cook according to packet. Place them in a warm oven until you’ve finished everything else.
    Eat Canberra

Eat Canberra5. Heat the oil in a fry pan on medium-high heat and cook the meatballs for 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked. Transfer them to a plate.

6. Use the pan to make your dressing. Heat the oil on medium-high heat and add the chilli, cooking for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, stirring for about 1 minute. Add the peanuts and continue to stir. Cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice, reserved water and sugar until dissolved. Remove from heat.

7. Divide the noodles in 4-5 bowls. Top with bean sprouts, meatballs, herbs and spring rolls. Drizzle the dressing and sriracha sauce (if using) over the top and you’re ready to eat!

TIP: I used this recipe for two people. We had a big bowl for dinner and I only cooked half of the meatballs. The next day I cooked the remaining meatballs and we had Bun Cha for lunch. This recipe would be ideal for 4-5 people for dinner. You can make the meatball mixture up a few hours earlier to allow the flavours to enhance.