Vietnamese bun cha with rice noodles

Vietnamese bun cha recipe by Bacofoil

With pork meatballs, rice noodle salad and authentic dipping sauce, this Vietnamese bun cha recipe is an adventurous meal.

Vietnamese bun cha

Vietnamese bun cha

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 477 kcal
Author Bacofoil


For the meatballs

  • 25 g caster sugar
  • 75 ml cold water
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, outer leaf removed, roughly sliced
  • 5 cm (2in) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 500 g pork mince, 10% fat
  • 1 tsp gluten-free fish sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 1 spring onion, sliced

For the salad

  • fine rice noodles
  • 1 gem lettuce, leaves separated and washed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 15 cm cucumber, cut in half, then into sticks
  • 2-3 radishes, very finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp unsalted roasted peanuts
  • a handful of fresh coriander
  • a handful of fresh mint leaves

For the dipping sauce

  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 75 ml hot water
  • 1 juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp gluten-free fish sauce
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 large red chilli, very finely chopped


  1. First, make the caramel by adding the caster sugar and 50ml (1¾floz) cold water to a small pan. Swirl to dissolve, then simmer for 5-10 minutes over a medium heat until amber coloured. Do not stir. Turn off the heat and add the remaining cold water. Set aside.

  2. Place the lemongrass into a food processor and blitz until fairly smooth (it will still be a little fibrous). Add the ginger, garlic, lime zest and juice and blitz again. Tip the paste into a bowl and add the pork mince, 2 tbsp cooled caramel and 1 tsp fish sauce. Season with pepper, mix well, then chill for 30 minutes.

  3. For the dipping sauce. Mix together the sugar and water and stir until dissolved. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. Set aside.

  4. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/Gas Mark 5. Line a small baking tray with Bacofoil® The Non- Stick Kitchen Foil (the non-shiny side facing up as this will ensure the meatballs don’t stick). Shape the pork mixture into 16 meatballs and place on the lined tray. Bake for 20 minutes, then sprinkle over the spring onion and red chilli and cook for a further 5 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, make the noodle salad. Cook the noodles, drain and rinse in cold water, then place into a large serving bowl or divide between individual bowls.

  6. Arrange the lettuce, carrots, cucumber and radish onto a board or platter along with the meatballs and scatter over the coriander and mint. Serve with the peanuts and dipping sauce on the side.

Nutrition Facts
Vietnamese bun cha
Amount Per Serving
Calories 477 Calories from Fat 78
% Daily Value*
Fat 8.7g13%
Saturated Fat 0.6g4%
Sugar 12.8g14%
Protein 3.3g7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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