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Bún Bò Huế
/boon baw hweh/
Spicy beef noodle soup (Instant Pot Edition)

Ingredients for broth:
2 lbs Pork bones (ham hocks or neck)
1 lb Beef shank
½ Pineapple, speared
½ lrg Yellow onion, charred
4 oz Ginger, charred
5-6 Lemongrass stalks
1 tbsp Chicken or mushroom bouillon
2 tsp Sea salt
2 tbsp Fish sauce
1 piece

Rock Sugar (about ½” diameter, or 1 tbsp sugar)

Ingredients for satế mixture:
1 tbsp Lemongrass, minced
½ Shallot, finely chopped
2 Garlic cloves, finely minced
1½ tsp Paprika
1½ tsp Szechuan red chili powder
1 tbsp Shrimp paste
Ingredients for bowls:
1 Package of extra large dry bun noodles
½ Yellow onion, sliced thinly
2 Green onions, chopped
¼ cup Cilantro, chopped
*Ingredients for chả lụa meatballs:
½ lb Uncooked Vietnamese sausage (Gio song – can be found at Viet grocery store)
½ tsp Black pepper
2 Garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp Paprika
¼ tsp Sugar
1 tbsp Fish sauce
⅛ tsp Baking soda

Optional garnishes and mix-ins:

  • Beef (top or bottom sirloin or eye of round)
  • Cha lua, sliced or cha lua meatballs*
  • Sliced jalapenos or thai chilies
  • Thai basil
  • Banana blossom (or finely shredded cabbage)
  • Bean sprouts
  • Lime wedges
  • Sriracha
  • Fish sauce
  • Shrimp paste
Parboiling the bones:
1.  Rinse the bones and beef shank.
2.  Place in a large stock pot and fill with water to cover the bones and beef. Bring water to a boil.
3.  After 5 minutes. Drain the water and rinse the bones and beef clean with cold water.
Directions for broth:
1.  Rinse the bones and beef shank. Place into 6-quart Instant Pot along with pineapple, charred onion, charred ginger, bouillon, salt and rock sugar .
2.  Clean the lemongrass and cut the roots off the ends. Then, with the handle of the knife, pound to bruise the lemongrass to release the aroma. Now, bundle the lemongrass and fold in half and using kitchen string, or loose lemongrass leaf to tie together. Then place into the Instant Pot.
3.  Fill the Instant Pot with water up to the maximum fill line. It should be close to 8 cups. Then, lock the lid on your Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure for 25 minutes. While waiting for the broth to cook, do prep work for the bowls. (See below)
4.  Allow the InstantPot to perform a natural release. It will take about 20 minutes, then carefully remove lid. In a separate bowl, use tongs to remove the ham hocks. Set aside. To cool down and keep the beef shank from drying out, transfer it to a bowl and fill with cold water to soak for 10 minutes. After the beef has cooled down, you can slice it against the grain in ⅛-inch slices.
5.  Using a mesh strainer, slowly pour the broth from the Instant Pot into a stock pot. Discard the remaining solids and skim the fat from the broth. Put the the pot of broth on the stove at a medium heat, and bring to a soft boil. Now, add the prepared sate mixture to the broth. Taste your broth and add fish sauce/salt/sugar if needed. 
6.  *Optional, cha lua meatballs. Use two spoons to form a meatball shape with the meat mixture. Then one by one, drop the meatballs into the broth. When the meatballs rise to the top they are done cooking.
Preparing bowl:
1.  Cook the bun noodles according to the packaging. Make sure you do this first, as the noodles need time to drain all the water. If the noodles are still wet when you pour on the broth, they won’t be able to soak in all the wonderful flavor.
2.  Slice yellow onion thinly and soak in cold water for 10 minutes. Chop green onions and cilantro set aside. Arrange any additional garnishes on a plate.
3.  Sate mixture. Heat up a small frying pan on high. Add all the other sate ingredients and saute for 1-2 minutes until the mixture looks like a paste. Set aside.
4.  *Optional, rare beef. Freeze the beef for 15-20 minutes. Then slice very thinly across the grain. You can skip this step if you ask your butcher to slice it for you.
5.  *Optional, cha lua meatballs. Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs and set aside.
6.  Cut cooked beef shank across the grain into slices, approximately ⅛-inch thick. Set aside.
Arranging bowl:
1.  Put the desired amount of cooked noodles into bowls. Lay desired amount of cooked meats (and raw beef), flat, on top of the noodles. Spoon a small mound of onion and cilantro mixture in the center of the bowl. Now, ladle broth in to bowls, distributing the hot liquid evenly over all the ingredients.
2.  Serve with desired garnishes and mix-ins.