Bún đậu mắm tôm
(Fermented shrimp paste with fried tofu and rice vermicelli)’
Referring to bún đậu mắm tôm, a familiar rustic scene of the markets or street vendors in Hà Nội creates flashbacks in people minds, where they sell a serving of rice vermicelli, deep-fried tofu, dip with mixed fermented shrimp paste. As time goes by; this dish has gradually won many people’s hearts and became the figure of Vietnamese cuisine. Nowadays, a serving of bún đậu mắm tôm could come along with the boiled porks’ meat, pork tripe, pork black pudding sausage, fried Vietnamese sausage with green rice, pork brawn, fried sour roll, etc. adding to the diversity and attraction of the dish.
(Rice vermicelli with shrimp)
Bún tôm is known as a famous specialty of Hải Phòng. The red and fresh shrimp go through special processing, making them even more delicious and eye-catching. The broth is the combination of simmered pork bones, tomatoes, tamarind, and chilli peppers to achieve a rich, spicy flavour. Although the main ingredient is shrimp, a serving would also have guise leaf rolls, fried fish, or crab floss. For each store in Hải Phòng, there would be a variant version of bún tôm with wood ear mushroom, dried bamboo, or added with celery and choy sum accordingly. Thanks to the variety of ingredients that bún tôm Hải Phòng shrimp noodles are popular with tourists.
Bún mắm nêm
(Anchovy Fish Sauce with Rice Vermicelli and Roasted Pork)
For the people of Đà Nẵng, bún mắm nêm is a trait of their culinary culture. Unlike many types of Vietnamese noodles that go with broth, Bún mắm nêm uses anchovy fish sauce. Diners will dampen the rice vermicelli, then mix well and enjoy. This dish’s soul is the sauce: the tango for three types of flavors of salty, sweet, and a little spicy. The origin ingredients of this dish are simply noodles, fish sauce, and boiled young jackfruit. Later, to make the dish more attractive, people added the side dishes such as roasted pork, bacon, Vietnamese beef sausage, sour spring rolls, pork ears, etc.
Bún bò (Beef noodles)
Bún bò is an authentic taste of Huế. It has such renown to appear at almost any place in every province and city across the country. And even if you are abroad, you can easily find a bowl of beef noodles in a Vietnamese noodle shop. A serving contains rice vermicelli and rare beef and a piece of pork leg, a cube of blood jelly, steamed grounded crab meat, Vietnamese beef sausage. There is no other similar broth to the broth of bún bò Huế. That’s the secret of the delicate combination between bone broth, shrimp paste, fresh lemongrass, and red chili according to the taste.
Bún chả (Kebab rice noodles)
Bún chả has its name sounded very simple, but it is such an exquisite art on Hanoian’s charcoal stove. From pork ingredients, people have made a unique type of meatball that will surely be eaten and will forever be remembered. In addition to the fragrant patties, the “soul” of this noodle dish is still in sweet and sour fish sauce with thinly sliced raw papaya.
(Hanoi rice vermicelli noodles with chicken, eggs, and pork)
When coming to Hà Nội, in addition to enjoying phở, bún chả, bún đậu mắm tôm,etc., bún thang is the following un-skippable choice. It can be said that bún thang is the most sophisticated noodle dish of the North. There is a meticulous process for both the broth and accompanying ingredients, creating a perfect combination. The beauty of a serving is shaped from as many parts like chicken, Vietnamese pork sausage, eggs, then julienned dried radish, shiitake mushrooms, and some minced shrimp flakes.
(Vietnamese Fermented Fish Hotpot)
On a visit to the West, the renowned bún mắm baring the trait of the plains must be on the list to try. Bún mắm is a special dish of An Giang, Trà Vinh. In the first days, it was a simple dish with broth, noodles, vegetables, and fish. Later, the cultural interference helped to add many other accompanying ingredients such as pork pie, Vietnamese sausages, roasted pork, shrimp, balut, etc. It can be said that broth is one of the decisive factors intending to make this particular dish. It is an art when people combine bone broth with pork sauce and Prahok (crushed, salted and fermented fish paste) – a specialty of Khmer people.
Bún nước lèo (Noodle soups)
Sóc Trăng is known as an “ancient capital” of bún nước lèo among culinary connoisseurs. Its soup noodle is the quintessence combination of three ethnic groups of Kinh – Khmer – Chinese, which is meticulously seasoned with fish sauce, fingerroot, and lemongrass. As for the ingredients of rice noodles, there are three basic things: paddy snakeheads, freshwater shrimp, and roasted pork. Also, some places add fried fish balls.
This post is also available in: Tiếng Việt