Whether it was because my cooking teacher was called Money or the fact that they put pâté in their baguettes or because the herb guy at the market asked if I was single, Hanoi tops my Asian food city list. Most likely none of the above, and entirely because the food is consistently to die for, no matter which seat you squat on. My excitement levels for 15c beers combined with the greatest spring roll ever eaten matched those of when Devon Sawa played Scott in Now and Then.
Money was on the Money with this one. Slightly adapted so that y’all can easily find the ingredients no matter where you are in the world, but a true authentic Bun Cha nevertheless.
Vietnamese Bun Cha with Lemongrass Pork Meatballs
400g pork mince
3 lemongrass stalks, white bit only chopped finely
2 shallots, diced
Small bunch of spring onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
Bunch of coriander root
2tbs kecap manis – sweet soy sauce
1tbs fish sauce
1tsp caster sugar
1tsp white pepper
Pinch of salt
Nuoc Cham (AKA the sauce):
2 red chillies, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2tsp rice vinegar
2tbs fish sauce
1tbs caster sugar
1tbs rice vinegar
To serve: 400g cooked rice vermicelli, bunch of coriander, Vietnamese mint, mint, lettuce, shredded cucumber & carrot.
In a large bowl mix together the pork mince, lemongrass, shallots, spring onion, garlic, coriander root, kecap manis, fish sauce, sugar, white pepper and salt then leave in the fridge marinade for 30 minutes.
While thats marinading, combine all the sauce ingredients in a little bowl then leave aside.
Roll the pork mixture into golf balls with your hands then place on a plate. Flatten the balls slightly to make even patties. Using a grill or non stick pan, heat a little oil over a medium heat and gently fry the patties on both sides until cooked through and charred and caramelised.
While they’re on, cook the vermicelli as per the packets instructions then serve with the herbs, lettuce, veg, patties and drizzle with the sauce.
If you’re not into pork, chicken or beef with also work well.