There are a lot of foreigners traveling to Vietnam, they don’t know much about Vietnam cuisine beside phở, spring roll. So today I will introduce to you a Vietnamese dish that if you come to Vietnam. That is bun rieu (bún riêu), the delicious Vietnamese crab (or dried shrimp) vermicelli noodle.
Along with that, I also introduce to you one of my favorite places to eat this dish in Ho Chi Minh city. This place have been sold Bún Riêu for more than 30 year.
First, what is Bún Riêu?
Bún Riêu is a Vietnamese crab (or shrimp) based vermicelli noodle dish. Vermicelli noodle is a type of Vietnamese noodle that have rounded shape, just like the spaghetty noodle but a bit smaller and made from the rice flour.
The broth of bún riêu is made from long cook the pork bone, to get the sweeteness of the bone and pork meat.
The crab is using in this dish is actually the paddy crab, which will add a different flavour to the broth. In addition, people usually add the shrimp paste to get the seafood flavour.
The topping of this dish including piglet, tofu, blood cake and riêu (the combination of grinded pork, crab meat or shrimp, pepper,egg, onion) level up the experience when you eat the bún riêu.
Bún riêu Thu Nga Nguyen – the food stall serving bún riêu for more than 30 years.
First impression of mine when first time came to this food stall is the smiling lady sitting next to boiling pot that cooking the broth of Bún Riêu.
Quickly order the dish, I choose a sit and wait. With a stainless steel table, small plastic chair, this place just looks like other thousands foodstalls in Ho Chi Minh city. The question pops up in my mind is that why this place is so crowded with a lot local people.
And the answer came faster then I expect. From the fisrt look, this bowl of bún riêu catch my eye with the delicious piglet and the plentifulness of the toppings.
The owner of this foodstall, Ms. Nga, have improve here dish to meet the rising demand from the customer, for a high quality bún riêu.
When I first opened the restaurant, I just cooked in the rural style, including tomatoes, tofu and crab. In 2000, according to the tastes of people, I began to give blood, pigs, cinnamon rolls to catch up with the trend, Ms Nga said.
One thing special about this foodstall is the openning time, Ms Nga always pick the “right time” to start here business everyday. The opening time must have the 15 number in it, for example, 11:15, 10:15.
With a big piglet, 2 big tofu, 2 blood cake, one tomato, the toppings almost made it imposible to mix all the thing together when I added chilli, shrimp paste, kumquat and vegetable.
A few things you should notice
One thing that you should notice when you eat bún riêu is that you should add a bit of shrimp paste to the dish, despite the strong smell of this spice. But with a little amount, this will transform the bún riêu to a whole new level with the seafood auroma.
The broth here is delicious with the signature flavour from the shrimp paste, sweetness from pig bone, the sour taste from tomato. This combiantion creates a great balance between different tastes, salty, sweetness, sour and fatty.
Of course, I add vegetable which included morning glory, some herbs, banana flower, and this dish become much more balance.
The highlight of this dish is when you chew a big bite of the riêu, vermicelli noodle, the broth, and a few herb leaf. These are just so balance but still have the climate from the sweetness and strong-seafood flavour broth.
Address: bún riêu Thu Nga Nguyễn, 64 Nguyễn Hữu Hào street, District 4, Ho Chi Minh city.
Opening time: 10:15 or 11:15.
Mr Nga doesn’t have a fixed opening time, usually it start at late morning and then she will sell until sold-out.
Price: 42,000 VND – less than 2$.
For more information please contact me through:
Nguyen Minh Bao
Whatsapp: +84 165 549 8277