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Hanoi Rice Vermicelli Noodle Soup (Bun Thang) Recipe

Updated on March 20, 2015
Hanoi Rice Vermicelli Noodle Soup - Bun Thang
Hanoi Rice Vermicelli Noodle Soup - Bun Thang

Here is another popular soup from Hanoi, Northern Vietnam, Bun Thang. This traditional noodle soup is served in special events and celebration such as Tet lunar new year. This is a rich soup with complex ingredients. The broth is made of chicken and pork and or dried shrimp; the topping are thinly sliced egg omelette, cha lua, chicken and dried shrimp, cilantro and or salted duck egg. As condiments, shrimp sauce is added to give the broth more depth in flavor.

Although this is not everyday noodle soup, I love to cook and eat it during cold rainy day. It is a very warm and comforting dish. This recipe of Bun Thang is from my beloved mother in-law. Yes the recipe calls a lot of ingredients and cooking process but actually it's not complicated at all.

Bun Thang
Bun Thang

What You Need

Serves 6 - 8


3 - 4 lbs chicken pieces (drumsticks, tight, breast)

1 lbs round rice vermicelli noodles (small)

4 1/2 quarts water

2 1/2 lbs pork bones

1 cup dried shrimp, soaked in hot water

1 1/4 tbsp salt

2 tbsp fish sauce

1 onion, sliced

3 eggs, make thin omelette then cut into fine strips

6 oz cha lua (Vietnamese sausace), matchstick

4 tbsp chopped cilantro

1 tbsp shrimp sauce (mam tom)

5 Thai hot chilies, thinly sliced

black pepper to taste

How to Fix

  • Cook the rice vermicelli in boiling water for about 5 minutes or until al dente. Then drain, rinse under cold running water. Drain and set aside.
  • Put chicken pieces, salt and water in a pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Then lower the heat to simmer. Add onion and cook for about 10 minutes. Skim off any floating foam or scum.
  • Remove the chicken pieces from the stock and set aside to cool.
  • Add the pork bones into the pot. Return the pot into a rolling boiling then lower the heat to simmer. Cook for about 2 hours.
  • Shred the chicken meat with fork into fine pieces. Then store it in covered container in the fridge.
  • Drain the dried shrimp and process it into fine texture in the food processor. Set aside.
  • When the broth is done, remove the pork bones and transfer them into a large bowl. Set aside to cool. When it is completely cool, remove any meat intact if any. Discard the bones and store the meat for further use.
  • Skim off as much as possible the fat and scum from the top of broth.
  • Divide cooked rice vermicelli noodles into several portions and place them into soup bowls. Add chicken meat, egg strips, cha lua, dried shrimp, black pepper and coriander.
  • Pour the hot boiling broth into each bowl. Serve immediately with shrimp sauce and chili.

Hanoi Bun Thang


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