Savory and Spicy Beef Soup – Bún Bò Huế Recipe

Vietnamese Beef Noodles


If you’re a fan of bold and spicy flavors, you’re in for a treat with our Bún Bò Huế recipe. This Vietnamese dish is renowned for its rich and aromatic broth, tender beef, and an invigorating spice level that will awaken your taste buds. Let’s dive into the world of Bún Bò Huế and discover how to prepare this culinary masterpiece.


For the Broth:

  • 1.5 kg beef bones (marrow bones, oxtail, or knuckle bones)
  • 1 kg beef shank or brisket
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, cut into segments
  • 3-4 slices of ginger
  • 2-3 shallots
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 star anise
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 2-3 dried chili peppers (adjust to taste)
  • Salt and sugar to taste

For the Soup:

  • Bún (thin rice vermicelli)
  • Sliced beef (from the cooked beef shank)
  • Pork hock (optional)
  • Pig’s blood jelly (optional)
  • Fresh herbs (Thai basil, mint, cilantro)
  • Bean sprouts
  • Lime wedges
  • Sliced banana blossoms (optional)
  • Sliced red cabbage (optional)


1. Prepare the Broth:

  • In a large pot, add the beef bones and enough water to cover them.
  • Bring the water to a boil and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Drain the bones and rinse them under running water to remove any impurities.

2. Simmer the Broth:

  • Return the bones to the pot and fill it with water.
  • Add lemongrass, ginger, shallots, garlic, and onion.
  • Tie the cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves, and dried chili peppers in a cheesecloth or spice bag.
  • Add the spice bag to the pot.
  • Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer.
  • Skim off any impurities that rise to the surface.
  • Simmer for at least 4 hours, adding water as needed to maintain the water level.

3. Prepare the Meat:

  • While the broth simmers, blanch the beef shank in boiling water for a few minutes to remove impurities.
  • After blanching, rinse the beef shank under cold water and slice it thinly.
  • You can also cook the pork hock in the broth until tender and slice it.

4. Season the Broth:

  • Season the broth with salt and sugar to taste.
  • The soup should have a balance of saltiness, sweetness, and a hint of spiciness.

5. Assemble the Soup:

  • Cook the bún (rice vermicelli) according to the package instructions.
  • In serving bowls, place a portion of cooked bún.
  • Add the sliced beef and any other meats you prefer.
  • Ladle the hot broth over the noodles and meats.

6. Garnish and Serve:

  • Top the soup with fresh herbs, bean sprouts, lime wedges, banana blossoms, and red cabbage.
  • Serve hot with a side of shrimp paste and chili sauce.

Enjoy the Flavors of Bún Bò Huế: Savor the vibrant and complex flavors of Bún Bò Huế, a dish that beautifully balances spiciness, sweetness, and savory richness. Whether you like it fiery or milder, this iconic Vietnamese soup is sure to satisfy your craving for authentic Asian cuisine.