Bún Thịt Nướng Recipe (Vietnamese Grilled Pork & Rice Noodles)

This is love in a bowl. If you’ve had bún thịt nướng you know what I’m talking about.

You have your sweet bits, sour bits, caramelization, some crunch, and aromatic herbs in a single, colorful arrangement. Depending in which restaurant you order your grilled pork with noodles (bún thịt nướng), you’ll find that it’s presented in different ways.

bun thit nuong header

For the most part, ingredients are the same, and they’re both eaten with prepared fish sauce (nước chấm).

Thịt nướng litererally means baked or barbecued meat and in this case it’s traditionally barbecued, and the meat is always pork.

Bún (pronounced more like boon) means noodles, and for this dish it’s a rice vermicelli noodle which is sold in small packages as dried rice sticks.

How to assemble a bowl of Vietnamese grilled pork with noodles (bun thit nuong) | HungryHuy.com

Presentation Variations

The presentation of bún thịt nướng in the pictorial above follows the Southern Vietnamese style. You usually eat it by mixing everything including the fish sauce. I like to keep the dipping sauce separate, so there isn’t a pool of the sauce at the bottom.

It helps to control the amount of sauce per bite, cuz ya know, I’m crazy like that. I do the same thing with my salads, desserts (chè), or whatever foods that come in layers. Why mix it all up when you can make little combos of your own to enjoy the flavors more?

The bowl is finally garnished with chopped peanuts and then scallions onions in oil (mở hành which is tempting to just dump a ton of it on). I like mine with egg rolls (chả giò) on top too if you have the time to make em! I also like adding cucumbers, which is a Southern ingredient.

In the North, the presentation is slightly different. The rice noodles and vegetables each arrive on their own plate. The meat is put in a small bowl, swimming in prepared fish sauce.

The meat is additionally paired with a pork sausage, called cha (the dish is called bun cha instead). Đồ chua (pickled carrots and daikon) is added on top of the bowl of meat. Northerners eat this by building each bite in their personal bowl, which I guess is more in line with my eating philosophy..

Thịt nướng in Huế, the central region, is a whole other beast for a whole otha post.

However you decide to serve yours, you’re in for a treat!

Some differences in the marinade also really affect the flavor of the meat. Only Southerners use lemon grass in the marinade.

Some recipes for this dish also call for sesame oil, or sesame seeds, but those do not follow Northern or Southern tradition (it’s possibly influenced from the central region).

Preparation Tips

bun-thit-nuong

Chop and prep all of your ingredients and combine in a bowl before adding the meat. This makes sure it mixes more evenly.

bun-thit-nuong1

Add the pork to the mixture and mix. Pork shoulder has a nice balance of fat for this–pork butt is a bit too lean. Marinate for at least 1 hour, but for better results–marinate overnight.

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Thịt nướng is usually barbecued, with a wire grilling basket like this one. If you want to make it traditionally, grill it over charcoals. I made this in the oven because it’s a lot easier and it is still delicious. If you have time, barbecuing it is worth the extra effort.

Boil the dried rice vermicelli (bún) according to the package instructions. This usually comes in small, medium, and large noodle thickness for about $1.50 per pack. I prefer small and medium thickness for this dish–thinner ones also cook much faster.

bun-thit-nuong3

Don’t forget to prepare some super simple fish sauce for this bowl too. The meat is marinaded but the veggies and noodles still need seasoning.

Now that you’ve had an earful of information, time to eat! 

A bowl of Vietnamese grilled pork with vermicelli noodles, eggrolls with fresh and pickled veggies (bun thit nuong) | HungryHuy.com

Bún Thịt Nướng Recipe (Vietnamese Grilled Pork & Rice Noodles)

4.95 from 39 votes
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Author: Hungry Huy
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 4 bowls

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds pork shoulder sliced (any cut will do)
  • 1 package rice vermicelli small or medium thickness
  • 4-6 egg rolls optional

Marinade

  • 3 tablespoons shallots minced
  • 1.5 tablespoons garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon thick soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons neutral cooking oil

Vegetables

  • mint – rau thơm
  • Vietnamese perilla – tiá tô
  • Vietnamese balm – kinh giới
  • cucumbers sliced

Garnish

  • Pickled daikon and carrots (đồ chua)
  • 1/2 tbsp Scallion in oil (mở hành)
  • 1/2 tbsp crushed peanuts

Instructions

  • Slice the uncooked pork thinly, about 1/8". It helps to slightly freeze it (optional).
  • Mince garlic and shallots. Mix in a bowl with sugar, fish sauce, thick soy sauce, pepper, and oil until sugar dissolves.
  • Marinate the meat for 1 hour, or overnight for better results.
  • Bake the pork at 375F for 10-15 minutes or until about 80% cooked. Finish cooking by broiling in the oven until a nice golden brown color develops, flipping the pieces midway.
  • Assemble your bowl with veggies, noodles, and garnish. Many like to mix the whole bowl up and pour the fish sauce on top, but I like to make individual bites and sauce it slowly.

 

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113 thoughts on “Bún Thịt Nướng Recipe (Vietnamese Grilled Pork & Rice Noodles)


      1. I’m giving this 5 stars & I haven’t tasted it yet! : ) I just put the marinading pork in the frig. I did add about a tsp of sesame seeds because when you mentioned them it sounded good. Can’t wait to prepare this delicious dish. I’m wondering if you have a recipe for Vietnamese Noodles with Lemongrass Chicken (Bun Ga Nuong) & if you have a preference for fresh lemongrass vs. lemongrass powder or paste? Thanks for posting & all of the helpful pictures!

      2. Hey Patti, no recipe for that one yet. I typically use fresh and frozen lemongrass to get the flavor as fresh as possible. Thanks for sharing as well!


  1. This is the dish of my dream. I have most of these ingredients, I am going to run off to the store and pick up the rest right away so I can make this and no longer have to go out to eat it! I am so happy I found your site, everything you make is a favorite for me.

    1. Ah sorry I missed that! You can bake around 375 and check the meat for doneness as it cooks. You just want to cook it almost all the way through before broiling it.

  2. Ah, just came back from the gym and these photos are making me hungry. The marinade sounds delicious. Your knowledge about the different regions is really impressive too. I think I’d like it with lemongrass—does that make me more of a Northerner? 😉

  3. Hi, Huy- about how large are your shallots? In the pic, it looks about the size of a quarter cup. Shallots from my Asian market are huge, whereas the ones at my American markets are just about the size of 2-3 garlic cloves.

    1. Hey Ellen, the one used here is almost the size of a full bulb of garlic, so more likely the Asian variety. I wouldn’t be too afraid of over-shalloting though.

  4. Sorry, I’m not familiar with “thick soy sauce.” Is that like the Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce tuong gia vi?


  5. Hi,

    Just wanted to let you know that I tried your recipe as well as the recipe for nước chấm and it was…DELICIOUS! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you! This recipe solves two problems for me: 1) where to get good bun in rural Vermont and 2) what to do with all those “fresh ham steaks” from our pig. I’ve tried a few other recipes and nothing has worked close to this well.

    This is delicious. I ended up skewering and grilling these over low heat. I’ll be making more soon.

    1. Hi Michelle! I think dark soy sauce is a denser, deeper colored sauce with sodium. You’d probably have to adjust the recipe slightly to use this as a substitute (I’ve never tried).

      Thick soy sauce is for color. If you don’t have it you can follow my caramel color recipe to replace it. Hope that helps!

    1. I’m not familiar with kecap manis, so I’m not sure, sorry! It sounds like a thick, sugar-added soy sauce though so may be able to adjust the recipe to use it.


      1. Let me jump in here – kecap manis is pretty much the same as thick soy sauce. Your result will be identical.

    1. I use leaf lettuce since I’m used to the smell and combo with Vietnamese herbs and flavors. Haven’t tried it with romaine lettuce or butter lettuce though, it might work too!

      1. I’m so happy to hear it came out well!! I’d love to see pics of it or if you ever cook more recipes in the future 🙂

  7. I am excited to try this recipe this weekend but am wondering about how to cook the pork in the oven. Review above mentioned 375 for 10-15 minutes but do i just lay it out on a baking pan? thank you!

    1. Hey Stephanie, sorry it wasn’t made clearer! Yes 375 for 10-15 minutes on a baking pan but don’t cook it all the way–crank it to broil to take it to the finish line to get some nice color on it. All times will vary depending on how far your tray is from the top, your oven, meat thickness, etc. so I’d use the times as an estimate. Hope that helps!


  8. This was AMAZING. I couldn’t get my hands on thick soy sauce, so I excluded it. I actually used a little bit of Kitchen Bouquet (unconventional, yes) to provide a darker, more caramel color to the pork. Otherwise, grilled the pork whole on a gas grill and sliced to service. It was absolutely delicious.

    1. Lyndsey, I’m glad you liked it! Thanks for the tip too–I’m sure it’ll help folks out who don’t have thick soy sauce on hand. Just gotta make sure to adjust the rest of the seasoning to not make it too salty.


    2. I have never had the meat with soy sauce. Seems all the restaurants in Little Saigon and surrounding ( California) just do the fish sauce and the rest . also some use mint and cilantro shredded leaf lettuce and julienned cucumber in the base w/ pickled veggies and peanuts on top. I love perilla/shiso so I am growing it now, but that is hard to come by. Basil can also add flavor as a sub.

      1. Hello DC! The ‘thick soy sauce’ is basically just color for the marinade and not for dipping. It doesn’t add a soy sauce flavor. So yes! You are correct about how these shops typically serve it.

        Awesome solution for foods you don’t have access to–just grow it yourself 🙂

  9. Huy, This evening my wife and I went to my favorite restaurant and I ordered this dish for both of us. I explained I have this dish two to three times a week for lunch. As we had dinner she told me she loved this dish. We just arrived home and I found this recipe. Going shopping tomorrow so I can let the meat marinade overnight and have it for dinner the next night. Love the pictures and simple instructions. Thanks!!! Bryan

    1. Wow Bryan, 2-3 times a week for lunch–you’re a fanatic! Thanks and I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

      You could probably make 1 batch large enough to eat for a whole week, hah! Even though eating out is fun too. Hope it turns out as good as your restaurant 🙂

    1. Hey Ryan, thank you! I imagine it should be ok without mods. If it’s pretty thick, the marinade as formulated may need adjustment or more time to have the same effect. Hope that helps.

  10. When you call for “1 shallot” are you referring to the entire shallot, or one bulb from the shallot? I just wanted to make sure, because I’ve seen this presented both ways in recipes.

    Thanks!

    1. Hey Tony sorry for the confusion, I’ve updated the recipe to be more accurate. It should be 3 tablespoons of minced shallots and 1.5 tablespoons of minced garlic. Hope that helps!


  11. Thank you for sharing this recipe. This recipe is authentic Vietnamese cuisine that was very easy for me to make. The flavor profile brought me right back home. All of my American friends also loved the dish 🙂

    1. Awesome Ann! Yep its pretty easy to make, and it’s safe enough for Americans to hang with if they aren’t afraid of fish sauce :). Thank you for sharing


  12. love this recipe, know it since some time and need to rate it with 5* 🙂 good to see you back on track with the blog. regards from zurich, marco

    1. Marco–I appreciate the kind words and thanks for the rating! I fell off the posting wagon a bit but I’m back. Didn’t know anyone was missing these posts hehe ;). You have great food photos and styling!

  13. Thanks for the recipe! You noted using pork shoulder over pork butt, but I believe that those are the same thing, as the pork shoulder consists of the pork butt and picnic.

    Maybe I’m just crazy, but I always thought the thit was marinated in ginger as well. I always felt that there was a distinct aroma to it.

      1. Hi Kimberly!

        Yep those cuts are the same. I went for one without any skin or bones. I’m not sure if others put ginger in this. I’ve seen lemongrass sometimes though.

        Don’t swap the thick soy sauce with hoisin. The thick soy sauce is just for adding color, so if you can’t buy it, substitute with homemade caramel color instead (which to me, tastes better than thick soy sauce).

      2. I’m hesitant to try the caramel color because I am not a fan of sweet tasting foods (such as honey ham, sweet BBQ sauce, etc). Do you feel that it sweetens the meat?

      3. Honey ham is pretty dang sweet to me, but I do like BBQ sauce. This recipe isn’t nearly as sweet as those.

        As you darken the caramel more it will taste slightly more bitter vs sweet. Also you can cut down the amount of caramel color in the marinade too. Hope that helps!

  14. Wow – this looks so amazing! I really love your photography as well. I ate Bun for the first time in Seattle at Green Leaf Vietnamese, and it was mind blowingly good. I need to make this ASAP!

  15. I made this dish last year and it was so,so delicious. I am back for the recipe because I am craving it again. I am getting ready to pickle the carrots. I couldn’t find any daikon at the store today, but when I find some I will pickle them. I am going to make several batches so that I can have them on hand when I need them since this recipe is a bit time consuming. It is worth the work though.


  16. Just wanted to thank you for this – my husband and I love it with the sauce! I discovered it when I bought pork shoulder that was very fatty and was searching for a new recipe. I’m a vegetarian so make mine with tofu – delish.

  17. Hello there,

    It was about time that I leave you a comment for one of my favorite recipe.
    I have To say I did it at least 4 times already as it is, about to do it again for a famill diner In a few days 😉
    I even use the marinade recipe for my banh mì, which I already did 3 Times, so I can say I really tried out your recipe, following it relegiously LOL

    Thanks for sharing such a great and authentic recipe!
    Warm greetings from France.


  18. Omg, this is one of my favorite Vietnamese dishes, and I’m drooling over here already! I think I definitely must give it a try in the near future!
    Your blog is amazing, I love it! Greetings from Germany!


  19. Hi Huy,
    I was intrigued by your bio because we have so many similarities in our life stories. I am also first born generation here and my parents also had a restaurant (ours was in Vietnam). I grew up with absolutely no appreciation for my mom’s 4-5 course meals which always included a soup and a green vegetable dish. The dinners I looked forward to was the rare occasion we got to have Big Macs (because they were on special for $0.99!) Lol! But fast forward to my adult life with my own children, I’m trying to cook dishes for them that I was so fortunate to grow up with.
    Which brings me to your Bun Thit Nuong recipe! Simply amazing!!! My mom, who NEVER likes or compliments anyone’s food, was quite surprised and impressed! She ate her entire bowl! This was the first time I’ve ever cooked her a Vietnamese dish. My nephew, who is only 4, ate 3 bowls!! I love the flavor of the marinade. Thank you so very much or sharing your recipes! I’m actually making your Ga Kho tonight and bought all the ingredients to make your Ca Ri Ga after. I really appreciate you sharing your recipes to all of us! I can’t thank you enough! From one American born Vietnamese to another, THANK YOU HUY 😉


  20. I was looking for a Vietnamese BBQ pork recipe a couple of weeks ago and I found your website and recipe. I tried it and it was great. That night I used pork ternderloin sliced 1/2 inch thick on the diaganal and cooked in a hot pan 2 minutes each side till good dark color. I’m having friends over on friday night and am going to do it for them. Perhaps spring rolls as well. And some kind of asian dessert. Thanks for being there,

  21. This was incredible. My boyfriend is demanding I make it once a week now. Also, I’m making a mason jar full of nuoc cham. Great recipe. We spent a month in Vietnam last year and have been missing the food ever since. Thank you so much!


  22. A mouth filling delightful recipe that satisfies all who taste it. Have tried several version but this is the best of them all. I did use pork butt, cut slightly thicker and roasted in the oven. Will do again and again.

    Thank you.


  23. Thank you very very much for this post! I made this last night and nearly cried it came out so perfectly. This is my favorite Vietnamese dish and I don’t know why it took me so long to recreate it at home. Flawless recipe. Thank you thank you thank you!

    1. Melissa–that’s very sweet, so happy this worked out for you! Thanks for reading and for sharing the experience on your blog too 🙂


  24. Huy, thanks for this recipe. It was my first attempt ever at a Vietnamese dish and it was a success. Easy to follow instructions and, my-oh-my, what a delicious treat it turned out to be. 🙂


  25. Tried the recipe today and it was great. Wish I could post a pic of what it looked like 😛
    Thank you for the recipes! Keep’em coming!

  26. Hey Huy, I’m so happy I found your site. I have been
    Deliriously looking for the recipe for Pho with BBQ
    Pork and egg rolls that has all the intoxicating Flavors
    And head spinning notes of this dish that I became
    Addicted to at Lemon Grass Vietnameise Restaraunt
    Here in St. Louis Mo. I just finished putting the Marinade together and it struck me. If You use black pepper or
    Cracked red or Sechzuion? So I will know if I should
    Use black pepper again next time. Thank you for
    Sharing these Very Special Recipes.


  27. Having lived for over 20 years in Hawaii, I have been spoiled by eating authentic Vietnamese foods from small ‘hole in the wall’ places. I have tried so many Vietnamese restaurants in my new home here in Florida and none are authentic so I must now learn how to make my ‘comfort food’ at home. This recipe is outstanding… but I added a bit more fish sauce and molasses (my Asian store doesn’t carry the thick soy sauce at the moment). THANK YOU HUY!!! Now I am not deprived of one of my favorite dishes.
    Do you have an authentic recipe for avocado shakes?


  28. I’ve been making this in batches and making freezer bags of the raw meat in marinade. It’s turned out flawlessly every time. Thanks a billion for this recipe! Now if I could figure out how to make the French baguettes the way the Vietnamese do, I’d be set!(i’ve gotten baguettes at bakeries, just not the same :(…) I’ve had a baguette and curry craving!


  29. This has been my absolute favorite Vietnamese dish since I can remember. I’ve searched forever for a recipe for the pork and nothing ever came close… That is until I found yours! Perfection as always! Thanks for yet another keeper and go to recipe. Talk about love in a bowl!


  30. Yep, I made this marinated pork part of this recipe last night. It was fantastic and easy! I used the pork to make soft tacos with a mango, red onion, cilantro salsa as well as a simple carrot, daikon, rice vinegar, sugar relish. So yummy, even my picky Japanese 93 year old mom loved them! It’s a keeper. Thanks for the recipe.


  31. Gorgeous photography and light, Huy! I like how you thoughtfully provided steps in how to layer and present this dish. I love cooking at home but I’m clueless when it comes to presenting and plating food. You’ve earned a new follower.


  32. I tried this dish in ’95 in Costa Mesa Calif. at a Vietnamese restaurant, The Vietnam Pearl. (Hi Sabrina:) I was so bored with American cuisine, having been born/raised in The U.S., and served in The U.S. Army – I’ve heard about Vietnam! I was a little/LOT skeptical at first, I think the fish sauce smell threw me, but I Fell In Love With This Dish! I have tried other Vietnamese restaurants take on this dish – but it never comes close because they don’t BBQ the pork (burn it), which gives it a delicious character. Anyway – Enough talking – I’m off to the store with this list of ingredients and I will report back with my delicious results!


  33. I absolutely love this recipe! It’s easy to follow and delicious. My boyfriend is Vietnamese and he loves when I make this for him! He says it taste just like a Vietnamese restaurant. I really appreciate it, will definitely continue scoping out your website for more recipes.


  34. My family loves this recipe. Thanks for posting and for including details like about the wire basket. That was a missing piece of the puzzle for me in making this dish.

    1. Glad to hear it worked out Chieu! Thanks for the tip, yea you can take that many different ways if you decide to skewer it or not but I agree its a detail I’m lacking here.


  35. I just have a question.
    Since you said the thick soy-sauce is for color only, where does the flavor come from? The fish sauce and sugar?
    And what do you mean by neutral oil? could I use olive oil for that?
    Thank you so much for the recipe, I am in love with Viet cuisine these days.

    1. Great to hear from you Cara! The flavor comes from everything else in the marinade. Neutral oils are ones that don’t impart a strong flavor–olive oils tend to be strong.


  36. This is the first recipe I’ve tried from your collection of recipes and I absolutely loved this! A lot of fun in the preparation and the flavors are amazing. I look forward to making more. Thank you!


  37. I made bún thịt nướng for the first time using your recipe and it was delish! My husband thought it was better than the restaurant! 😀


  38. Hi Huy,

    Thank you for sharing this great way of recipe. my 3 kids plus the ”big” kid love the spring roll. I made from other web site. they did not like them. You got 6 STARS.

    Thank you again.

    Ai


  39. This was my favorite meal at our local Vietnamese restaurant until it closed last year. I was very sad but now I can make it myself. It was even better than at the restaurant! Thank you!


  40. This looks amazing! My favorite Vietnamese dish with manageable step-by-step instructions! Thank you for this and can’t wait to try this in the next couple days.


  41. I am so glad I found your recipe online! I used pork chops (I pounded on the meat to tenderize it and cut them into smaller pieces) and cooked them in a non stick pan instead of the oven. There’s some oil splashing around the stove top but all that’s well worth it since it tasted terrific! This pork has became our whole family’s all time favorite dish! My kids always ask me for more whenever I make this. Thank you for making these easy to follow and tasty recipes!


  42. I made this Bún Thịt Nướng last night and it was absolutely amazing. I made the egg rolls, the pickled daikon and Carrots and the scallion oil. Everything turned out great and my wife and I loved it. I was not able to get the Menlo brand wrappers for the egg rolls and they got a little dark instead of the golden brown. This is such a great meal thank you, Huy!

  43. I loved Bun Cha when I was in Hanoi! Those pork sausage patties were delicious… as I remember, it wasn’t a fish sauce, but rather a kind light, sweetish clear broth at room temperature that went in the bowl. With the huge platter of noodles and leaves on the side


  44. So, Bun Thit Nuong is my favorite Vietnamese dish… but I’d never made it… Yesterday, I used your recipe to make Thit Nuong. My wife had never had Bun Thit Nuong, while I have been a fan for years. She loved it. This came out AWESOME. I also used the marinade on chicken (Ga Nuong) which my son said was better than the pork, so everyone was happy! Thank you for putting this on the internet. I hope you have much success!


  45. Oh so good! Very much like our favorite pho place. The whole recipe is perfect, from cook times to ingredients to techniques. The only problem was the fault of this writer. I can’t slice the meat thin enough 🙂
    And the leftover scallions in oil are delicious with a little salt on thick sliced toast in the morning. I can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

    1. Hey Callie glad you liked it. Great tip on the scallions and oil–that would be great with scrambled eggs on that toast as well!

      To get thinner slices, try freezing your meat for a bit, then slicing with the sharpest knife ya got! It will mush less, letting you get much thinner slices.

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