Bun bo Hue translates as “beef noodle soup from Hue,” but you can find this particular style of noodle all over Vietnam. However, the most authentic and flavorful bowl of this noodle soup can be found only in its birthplace, the city of Hue, Vietnam.
Contrary to what the name implies, bun bo Hue consists of only 10% beef. Unlike pho, Vietnam’s national dish, which is served with a handful of meat, bun bo Hue comes with a wide array of toppings: brisket, crab balls, well-done beef, pig’s trotters, and cubes of congealed pig’s blood.
The main ingredients of bun bo Hue are lemon grass, beef, sugar cane, and shrimp sauce. The key to making the most authentic broth is the sauce. Not any shrimp sauce will do, and the sauce can be found only in a handful of markets in Hue.
This noodle soup is so soulful and well known that several high-profile Vietnamese chefs have tried to recreate it in their kitchens, but no one has succeeded in making a bowl of bun bo Hue more delicious than those from the regular stallholders in Dong Ba market.