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.

bun-thit-nuong22

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

4.9 from 14 reviews
Bún Thịt Nướng Recipe (Vietnamese Grilled Pork & Rice Noodles)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4-5 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, see my chả giò recipe)
Marinade
  • 3 tablespoons shallots, minced
  • 1.5 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • ½ tablespoon thick soy sauce
  • ½ tablespoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons neutral cooking oil
Vegetables
  • mint – (rau thơm)
  • Vietnamese perilla – tiá tô
  • Vietnamese balm – kinh giới
  • cucumbers, sliced
Garnish
Dipping Sauce
Instructions
  1. Slice the uncooked pork thinly, about ⅛". It helps to slightly freeze it (optional).
  2. Mince garlic and shallots. Mix in a bowl with sugar, fish sauce, thick soy sauce, pepper, and oil until sugar dissolves.
  3. Marinate the meat for 1 hour, or overnight for better results.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

 

Like this recipe? Subscribe to my newsletter!

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

  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. 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. I used this recipe for the pork marinade to go along with my left-over summer roll veggies. It was excellent!

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. 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 🙂

  19. 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. 🙂

  20. 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!

  21. 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.

  22. 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?

    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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: