Bún riêu is a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup, well known throughout the country and world for its clear broth and vermicelli noodles. I have been told by many Vietnamese households that it is the easiest broth to start with if anyone wanted to delve their hands into Vietnamese cooking.
I used a 4L pot but I recommend a bigger one for serving to friends / family. This was my first attempt at making it so here we go....
From the butcher:
From the Asian grocery store:
From your cupboard:
Tip: I never realized how fucking hard it was to find the jars and pick out the right vegetables in an Asian grocery store. I speak basic Vietnamese and it took me a whole hour to get a few ingredients 😳 I had to video call my mum for help LOL
I chose to do an overnight broth because the soup always tastes better and more concentrated when it has been soaking up the bones for a long time. This dish can be made within 3 hours. There are heaps of recipes online.
For my broth:
For my meatballs:
For my vegetables:
I put everything in a container for future use. Make sure to dry out the coriander because moisture can cause the other vegetables to mold faster.
I made sure to skim the fat and gunk off the top as often as I could and topped up the pot with more boiling water. By the next day, my broth was still clear and rich in flavour. I couldn't stop smelling it HAHAHA.
For a timeline:
For the sliced tomatoes, many people suggested putting it straight into the pot. Others recommended sauteing with garlic for about 2 minutes for a charred taste.
I fucked up.
I cooked it on my frying pan for a bit too long and it became mushy 😅 I was willing to go out and buy more tomatoes but Mick said it was ok.
After removing my chicken bones, I put my tomatoes, onions and 1 packet of the bun rieu flavour cubes and the remainder of the crab/prawn paste in.
I seasoned with about 2 tbsp fish sauce, salt, sugar and chicken powder to taste. I had to get Mick to double-check the flavours so if you're not sure, aim for a sweet and savoury broth. At this point, I was about 2 hours from serving and my broth was still simmering on low heat.
Next, I rolled my minced pork and plopped them into the broth. After a few minutes, the meatballs started floating to the surface 🤤
The broth was almost ready! With the meatballs in, I seasoned one more time. Then I worked on the other toppings.
For my quail eggs:
For my blood jelly:
In a separate pot, I boiled water and cooked vermicelli noodles for 3-4 minutes. Placed in my bowl, poured the broth and added toppings.
We added a spoon of fermented shrimp paste to taste and viola! Ready to eat!
My parents said the flavours were on point but the colour was not. They said to use 2 packets of the condensed flavouring to achieve a more orange look in the broth.
Mick said everything was good for my first time but that I "cheated" because I asked him to taste test 😅 He gave me a 7.5/10.
It felt like a lot of work and I was really hard on myself (especially about the tomatoes) but I'm glad it tasted delicious in the end. Woo! Now I'm ready to feed my future children some traditional food.
Thanks for reading! I hope this guide helps you in some way because it will certainly help me the next time I try this again LOL (my memory is soooo bad).
Until the next cooking attempt, byee.