Bo Bun Recipe: Vietnamese healthy and tasty dish

Bo Bun Recipe Vietnamese dish

Hi everyone,

By popular demand, when I posted a pic of my homemade Bo Bun, here is my recipe, which I got from my mum.

Why is Bo Bun so popular right now?

Bo Bun became very popular and trendy in the Western world in the last few years, spreading to hipster food joints outside of the traditional Chinatown. The key reason why it falls in the healthy category is because it’s gluten free and lactose free. The base ingredient is rice vermicelli and there’s no cream, cheese or dairy, just like in most Asian dishes. It is also relatively low in fat as unlike many Chinese dishes, there’s no deep frying. finally there’s also lots of fibers and vitamins provided by raw vegetable and herbs.

Most of the taste comes from the seasoning made of Nuoc Mam (fish sauce), sugar (or honey) and garlic. My kids love it, it is now becoming a regular dish on our weekly menu, mainly because it makes them eat veggies!

Mum’s Bo Bun recipe

Disclaimer: just like my mom, I don’t use measuring cups. I just pour the sauce and taste it so apologies if the dosage are not accurate!

Bu Bun ingredients:

  • Rice vermicelli also called Bun. Go for the spaghetti like, not the flat rice noodle
  • Beef sirloin or rib-eye or rump steak. I go with whatever is on sale at my local shop. Approx 400g for 2 adults and 2 children. Increase the quantity for meat lovers 😉
  • 1 brown onion
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • Nuoc mam sauce
  • Sugar or honey
  • 2 raw carrots
  • half a cucumber
  • mint leaves
  • coriander
  • peanuts
  • A proving basket to serve it in

How to make Bo Bun:

  1. Chop Chop!
    • Chop up the onion and slice the beef (1or 2 mm thin if possible)
    • Peel the skin of the carrots and continue and shave the carrots with the peeler so you have thin long strips of raw carrots
    • Chop off the cucumber in thin slices and cut of each round slice in 4 to have approx 2-3 mm strips
    • Wash your herbs, no need to chop them up too thin
    • grind 2 handfuls of peanuts
  2. The marinade:
    • in a large cooking bowl, put a table spoon of sugar and pour lots of Nuoc mam over it (5 to 10 table spoon) and dissolve the sugar. Better start with less and add more Nuoc mam when you pour in the beef.
    • crush 2-3 garlic cloves and mix it all together
    • put your sliced beef in the marinade and mix it well, leave it while you perform the rest of the recipe
  3. Vermicelli:
    • Cook up the vermicelli as per instructions on the pack. Should go like this: get a liter of water to boil and cook up th rice vermicelli for approx 10 min.
    • TIP: Once cooked, pour it in a colander and make sure you rince it thoroughly under running cold water so that the vermicelli doesn’t stick
  4. The cooking
    • Fry your onion in a bit of frying oil (1 table spoon) until golden
    • On high heat, add the sliced marinated beef, wait a couple of minutes until it’s all brown on one side and turn the slices around to brown the other side
    • TIP: it’s better to have undercooked beef than over cooked beef!
  5. Dressing your bowl
    • Put the cold vermicelli at the bottom of the bowl
    • add some carrots, cucumber on top
    • pour some meat and sauce for the pan on top
    • add the mint leaves and coriander
    • sprinkle the peanuts on top

Et voila! Enjoy and let me know how you go!


Traditionally you also make a lighter Nuoc mam sauce (Nuoc mam + lemon juice+ water + sugar + garlic + chilli) on the side to pour on top of it all. too much of a hassle for me, I just use the sauce from the cooked beef 😉

Here are my other yummy healthy kids friendly recipes:

See all my recipes.

1 thought on “Bo Bun Recipe: Vietnamese healthy and tasty dish”

  1. Loved it! Thanks so much for the recipe!
    If you’re lucky french guys, you can try as a meat “merlan d’épaule”.
    “Oh!!! It tastes like in the restaurant!” said my father 😉

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