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Vietnamese Hue Noodle Soup - Bun Bo Hue

1 lb ham hock
6 stalks lemongrass, crushed and sliced thin
2 tablespoons nuoc nam
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 ounces boneless sirloin
4 ounces boneless pork loin
16 ounces rice noodles, cooked
1 cup bean sprouts
4 sprigs Thai holy basil (regular basil ok)
4 sprigs of fresh mint
4 sprigs fresh cilantro
4 teaspoons sambal oelek or 4 teaspoons hot chili sauce
4 -8 fresh Thai red chili peppers (amount optional)
1 lime, cut into quarters


Bring 2 1/2 quarts water to a boil; add ham hocks and lemongrass. Skim constantly for 10 minutes then cover the pan, reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2-2 hours. Strain the broth, reserving ham hocks if you desire them. Add nuoc mam, sugar, salt and pepper, sirloin, and pork loin to the broth and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until meat is cooked and tender; remove meat. Thinly slice meats into small pieces. To serve, place a portion of noodles in serving bowl, top with some bean sprouts, pork, beef, and some ham hock (if using), and ladle the broth over; add herbs, chili sauce, chilies, and lime juice to taste.

Source: www.food.com