Bun cha, Vietnamese pork balls and noodle broth Recipe

A classic roadside dish throughout Vietnam, cooked till crispy then finished in a light broth and served with crisp lettuce.

  • Preparation
  • Cooking time
  • Rest time
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(26 votes) 4/5

Les ingrédients

Pour people
  • For the meat
  • Pork mince : 400 g
  • Fresh coriander : 0.25 bunch
  • Fresh mint : 0.25 bunch
  • Banana shallot(s) : 1 whole
  • Garlic clove(s) : 2 whole
  • Stick(s) of lemongrass : 2 whole
  • Red chilli(s) : 1 whole
  • Fine rice noodle(s) : 100 g
  • Honey : 30 g
  • Fish sauce : 10 ml
  • Palm sugar : 30 g
  • For the stock
  • Fish sauce : 10 ml
  • Kohlrabi(s) : 1 whole
  • Carrot(s) : 1 whole
  • Red chilli(s) : 1 whole
  • Water : 200 ml
  • Rice wine vinegar : 10 ml
  • Garlic clove(s) : 4 whole
  • Palm sugar : 20 g
  • Lime juice : 10 ml
  • Maldon salt : 3 pinch(es)
  • For the garnish(es)
  • Baby gem lettuce(s) : 3 whole
  • Peanut oil : 10 ml



    Peel and dice the garlic, shallot and lemongrass. De-seed and chop the chilli. Pick the mint leaves, chop the mint and coriander roughly. Add all of these ingredients to a pestle and mortar or food processor, add the honey, fish sauce and palm sugar and make a paste. Work this paste into the mince. The longer you work it in the better. Form the mince into small balls, roughly 3 centimeters each. Set aside until needed.

    Cook the noodles in boiling water for 3 minutes and refresh in cold water, drain, toss with a little peanut oil to prevent them sticking and set aside.


    Peel and chop the garlic, de-seed and chop the chilli, peel and thinly slice the carrot and kohlrabi.

    Put a large saucepan onto a medium heat, add the peanut oil. When hot add the vegetables and cook for 3 minutes while stirring. Add the water, fish sauce, palm sugar, rice wine vinegar, salt and lime juice and bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and leave for 5 minutes to infuse. Cut the lettuce into half lengthways, separate and wash.

    To cook the meatballs.
    Heat a char-grill or put a large frying pan onto a high heat. When hot, add the meatballs and cook for 6 minutes turning them frequently. They should caramelise and go dark brown. Leave to rest for a couple of minutes.

    To serve.
    Place a small amount of noodles into the bottom of a bowl, add a ladle full of stock and garnish, top with a few meatballs and the sliced lettuce. Use the lettuce as a wrap for the meat.

Chef's tip

«Try using chicken mince or chopped prawns instead of pork for different flavours.»

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