Bun is the word used to describe the
thin, wiry noodles known as rice sticks or rice vermicelli. However, when
the Vietnamese talk about a dish called bun, they are usually referring to
this recipe, which could be described as a noodle salad - simply tossed
with crunchy salad vegetables, fresh herbs and sharp flavorings. Bun can
be served as a light snack on its own, or with stir-fried seafood or
chicken as a more complete meal.
Making authentic Hanoi bun - in the street stalls and cafes of
Hanoi, different types of mint, ginger leaves, oregano and thyme provide
the herb bedding for this dish, giving it a really distinctive, fragrant
Dried rice sticks (vermicelli)
Lettuce leaves, shredded
Mixed basil, coriander (cilantro), mint and oregano, stalks removed,
Lime, squeezed and juiced
Nuoc mam or nuoc cham, to drizzle
Peel the cucumber, cut it in half
lengthways, remove the seeds, and cut into matchsticks.
Add the rice sticks to a pan of boiling
water, loosening them gently, and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until white
Drain, rinse under cold water, and drain
In a bowl, toss the shredded lettuce, bean
sprouts, cucumber and herbs together. Add the noodles and lime juice and
Drizzle with a little nuoc mam or nuoc
cham for seasoning, and serve immediately.