Bun cha, which is the familiar dish on the Vietnam food map, has long been become a Hanoi traditional food. This is also the gift that Hanoians proudly introduce to the foreign friends. It will be so wonderful if you have chance to enjoy these three styles of bun cha because they are the representatives of the exquisite features in Hanoi cuisine.
Bun cha bamboo stick
Bun cha bamboo sticks consists of sliced grilled pork and grilled pork balls as usual. However, the cooks do not grill the pork (or cha) on the metal grills but use bamboo sticks to hold the pieces of pork and grill them on the charcoal oven.
Inside the charred meatballs is xuong xong leaves or wrapped by piper lolot. Thin slices of pork are spiced with fish sauce, sugar and pepper. They are all fastened by the bamboo “clips”. To make the clips, two flat sticks of bamboo are joined and tied in two ends with the bamboo strings. Because bamboo also helps to flavor the grilled pork, people use fresh bamboo. When taking out cha (grilled pork) out of the sticks, the flavor and smell of burnt bamboo fuse with the taste of the meat and make the difference for this dish.
Bun cha with this traditional style can be found in Dong Xuan Market, Luong Ngoc Quyen Street or Nguyen Du Street. These are the well-known address to people who love Hanoi street food, especially traditional buncha.
Bun cha banana leaves
Banana leaves method is a unique way of grilling. Each piece of meat is wrapped in a small piece of banana leaf. This grilling method seems to be time-consuming but it makes the pieces of cha look eye-catching and taste delicious. Banana leaves are not easy to be burnt, so the meat will be cooked gradually without being blackened. In addition, the flavor is also different from any other grilled meat.
To grill the meat inside the banana leaves, the cooks must be careful and pay attention. The oven must smolder so that the leaves do not catch fire.
Follow Hanoi local food tours, you can come to 23 Nguyen Bieu Street to enjoy this delicacy.
Bun cha with crab spring rolls
Spring rolls are not strange to the learners of Hanoi cooking class. However, crab spring rolls are the great creation in the culinary culture that the tourists should try when having food tour in Hanoi.
Bun cha is also served with crab spring rolls. And, in the shops that sell bun cha with crab spring rolls, the meat is not much different from the ordinary grilled pork. Therefore, it not as popular as the special spring rolls. The rolls are crispy with an attractive odor. Inside the rolls, besides crab, there is the chopped shrimp meat. Crab and shrimp make the spring rolls naturally sweet. In Hanoi, the rolls are chubby and plump. So, you just need to order 1 or 2 rolls to eat with bun cha, that is enough for a fulfill meal.
Like ordinary bun cha, this dish is also eaten with herbs and sauce. Despite being dipped into the sauce, the wrappers of the rolls are not softened.
There many restaurants that serve bun cha with crab spring rolls. However, if you come to the following restaurants, you will have a chance to enjoy the true taste of the dish. Duy Diem restaurant at 140 Ngoc Khanh Street and Huong Lien restaurant at 36 Le Van Huu are two places that have long experience in making crab spring rolls and bun cha.