Vietnamese Spicy Beef Noodle Soup (Bun Bo Hue) Recipe

Vietnamese Spicy Beef Noodle Soup (Bun Bo Hue) Recipe


  • 1.5 lbs oxtail
  • 1.5 lbs beef shank
  • 1.5 lbs pork hock
  • Pork rolls
  • 3 cans beef broth
  • 10 lemongrass stalks, bruised and tied up with kitchen strings
  • 2 onions, peeled and halved
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp shrimp paste
  • 5 tbsp fish sauce
  • Bun bo hue red sauce (see below)
  • Vermicelli
  • Chili peppers, optional

Bun bo hue red sauce

  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 3 tbsp annatto seeds
  • 1 medium shallot, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and whole

Condiments (any combination that you like)

  • Limes
  • Bean sprouts
  • Green onions and cilantro, chopped
  • Basil
  • Mint
  • Banana flowers
  • Cabbage
  • Chili saté (shrimp paste & chili red peppers oil)


Submerge oxtail, beef shank, and pork hock in water and boil in a stock pot. I used an 8 qt pot.

Once boiling, throw away water and rinse meat.

Fill 1/3 pot with water and add beef broth.

Add lemongrass, onions, and meat back in and then boil it. Once boiled, add sugar, shrimp paste, and fish sauce.

Leave on medium heat for one hour and remove pork hock and chop. Pour water to rim. Cook everything else for another 2 hours. Remove beef shank and cut.  The broth should be ready after this.

Bun Bo Hue Red Sauce

While waiting, heat up the oil in a separate pan. Add annatto seeds and stir until oil is bright red. Strain the oil and discard the seeds. Pour oil back into the pan and add shallots and garlic. Stir until both are caramelized. 

Add bun bo hue red sauce into stock pot. Add chili peppers (optional).

Cook vermicelli per bag instructions.

Assemble bowl with vermicelli with the finished broth. Add your desired condiments on top.

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