Vietnamese Bun Cha

The Black Cat Kitchen
by The Black Cat Kitchen
4 servings
1 hr

If you love a salty/sour/sweet combination, then look no further. Vietnamese Bun Cha is so amazing. I had it at a restaurant and had to look at recreating it myself. The most important part of this dish is the nouc cham, a Vietnamese dipping sauce, and also highlights as a dressing to the rice noodles and salad on the side. Bun Cha is a popular street food in Vietnam and the meat is usually served with spring rolls on the side. I made mine with rice noodles on the side and lots of other fresh grilled veggies for additional food. The meat is best grilled over charcoal to give it that smoky flavor. Don't skimp on the fresh herbs and variety of ingredients that go into the sauce, you will not regret it!

Recipe details
  • 4  servings
  • Prep time: 30 Minutes Cook time: 30 Minutes Total time: 1 hr
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For the Bun Cha
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2-3 green onions, diced finely
  • 3 sprigs cilantro, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced finely
Nuoc Cham dipping sauce
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 5 Tbsp water
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red chili pepper, finely chopped (optional for heat)
Noodle Salad
  • 10 oz dried rice noodles or vermicelli, cooked
  • 2 Bibb lettuce heads
  • 2 small carrots, finely shredded
  • 1 cucumber, sliced thinly
  • Grilled veggies (zucchini)
  • Cilantro, thai basil, mint
  • avocado (optional)
Mix together everything in large bowl and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
Form into small meatballs and either grill over charcoal or in a skillet.
Dipping sauce
Dissolve sugar in lemon juice
Add remaining ingredients, stir, and set aside. It should be sweet, sour, and salty all at once. Adjust flavors if needed.
  • You can use pork or beef for this or a combination
  • Dip the meatballs into the sauce!
  • Serve everything on a large plate as shown. You should drizzle the sauce over the noodles and veggies, too.
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  • Maryann Maryann on Mar 05, 2021

    We really liked it! I added more cilantro because I love it and to the noodle bowl I added fresh ginger. Halfway during the meal, we both agreed it was too salty. Next time, no additional salt. It was delicious and I will make it again. Oh- I also made twice the amount of the dipping sauce so we would each have sufficient amounts on the noodles and for dipping. It worked out perfectly! Thanks for a great recipe!

    • The Black Cat Kitchen The Black Cat Kitchen on Mar 09, 2021

      Maryann, I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe! I love the addition of ginger and going with extra sauce and cilantro. Cheers!