Vietnam is famous for many different noodle dishes, and while last week I covered Hu Tieu Nam Vang, a noodle soup made with mostly pork and organs, today’s video is about a Vietnamese dish called bun rieu (bún riêu). Bun rieu is a crab based noodle soup, that includes pork, tomatoes, tofu, sometimes shellfish, and all sorts of shrimp and crab pastes to flavor it. This was my first time to eat Vietnamese bun rieu, and I have to say that this bowl of noodles was one of the highlight bowl of noodles I ate in Saigon.
First of all, I just want to say thank you to Linh Pham who recommended I try bun rieu at Bún riêu Nguyễn Cảnh Chân, saying it was one of the best in Saigon. Since I wasn’t too far away, one day for and early lunch, I went to check it out. The restaurant was located down a nice side street, not far from the center of Saigon, but tucked away on a tree lined street so it was cool and not nearly as chaotic as other parts of the city. The restaurant had both indoor and outside sidewalk seating, and we chose to grab a table right outside to enjoy the fresh air and the Vietnamese street food atmosphere. The master chef, who was a very friendly man, sat behind the noodles station, which was stacked with all the ingredients necessary for a delicious bowl of bun rieu and a bubbling cauldron of broth, simmering with tomatoes and meatballs and all things good. The aroma was almost unbearably delicious.
After ordering my bowl of bun rieu, it was delivered to our table in just moments, piping hot and smelling incredible. I first tasted the broth, which was a just slightly sweet, nicely sour, and had an amazing crab flavor – yet it wasn’t overpowering – just light and subtle and soothing. After tasting a few bites, I then went to add some condiments that were sitting on the table. Since it was my first time to eat bun rieu, I wasn’t sure exactly what I was doing, but I asked the waitress, and she motioned for me to just start adding things to my bowl, so I did. There was a bowl of a sour sauce, which I think was sour tamarind juice, which I added a few scoops, and then there was some fermented shrimp paste, and added just a bit for flavor – it’s pretty salty and pungent so you don’t need to add too much. Then, since I’m a lover of chili, I added a scoop of crushed chili along with a few squeezes of lime. After giving my bowl of Vietnamese bun rieu a quick stir, I think continued to dig in and happily slurp.
Along with every bowl of noodles you eat in Vietnam, another bonus, something that I always look forward to, are all the fresh green vegetables that accompany. The bun rieu at Bún riêu Nguyễn Cảnh Chân came with bean sprouts, water spinach, banana flower, and then some peppery perilla leaves to top things off. As if my bowl of noodles could not get better, it was even boosted by all the fresh textures and flavors of the vegetables. This was easily one of the most satisfying Vietnamese street food bowls of noodles I had while I was in Saigon, and while I do enjoy just about every type of noodles, this one could easily be my favorite.
For a stunning bowl of bun rieu in Saigon, I would highly recommend this restaurant.
Bún riêu Nguyễn Cảnh Chân
Address: 18/5 Nguyen Canh Chan, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Price: This bowl of bun rieu cost 45,000 VND, a little more expensive than other bowls, but absolutely stacked with protein and high quality.
More details here: http://migrationology.com/2015/01/bun-rieu-saigon-vietnam/
Music in this video is from audionetwork.com
Food eaten and video produced by Mark Wiens and Ying Wiens: http://migrationology.com/blog & http://www.eatingthaifood.com/blog/
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