We love our noodle soup and each week I would boil a huge pot of stock to make our favourite noodle soup to eat for at least two meals. We have a couple of favourite noodle soup dishes that are on our rotation list and bún thang is one them. Bún thang is a dish from Hanoi and Mum being from the South has simplified this dish with her own version. Her version is slightly more delicate in flavours with just the sweetness of the broth from the chicken, pork bones and dried squid. This is served with vermicelli noodles, shredded chicken, cha lua (Vietnamese ham), thin strips of egg omelette, dried shrimp floss and garnished with coriander and rau răm.
Bún Thang – Vietnamese Vermicelli Noodle Soup with Chicken, Pork and Egg Recipe
Serves 6 – 8
2 kg pork bones
1 whole chicken (1.5kg)
1 large onion, peeled and halved
2 dried squid, washed
1 table salt
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1.5 packet dried vermicelli noodles
70g dried shrimp, dehydrated in boiling water
1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
3 spring onion, thinly sliced
4 eggs, make thin egg omelette
Vietnamese ham (chả lụa), cut into batons
Vietnamese mint (rau răm)
For clear broth it is essential to first parboil the pork bones. In a large stockpot, cover the bones with water. Bring to a boil on high heat and leave on boil for about 5 minutes. Discard the water, rinse the bones and wash the pot.
In the clean stockpot, add bones, dried squid and pour 6 litres of water. Add the chicken on top ensuring that the water covers it. Bring to a boil and then leave on simmer for 20 – 30 minutes until chicken is cooked. Remove chicken from the pot and set aside to cool. Leave the stock on a simmer for about 1.5 hours, uncovered. Skim off any scum.
When chicken has cooled, cut out the flesh from the bones. Wrap chicken and re-fridgerate. Put the chicken bones back into the stockpot.
Meanwhile, prepare the egg omelette strips. In a bowl, add the eggs and whisk. Add a couple pinches of salt and ground white pepper. Heat some oil in a frypan and fry thin egg sheets. Do two separate omelettes if your pan is not big enough. Once cool, cut the egg in halve, roll the egg sheets together and thinly sliced.
Drain the dried shrimp and blitz it in the mini-processor until a fine texture.
After 1.5 hours, strain the broth through a sieve over another pot. Discard the bones. Season with salt, fish sauce and sugar. Taste test the broth and adjust the flavour with additional fish sauce,salt and sugar. Put on low simmer for another 15 minutes.
Before you are ready to serve, have a plate filled with the toppings: cha lua (cut in batons), egg omelette strips, shredded chicken and dried shrimp floss.
When you are ready to serve, bring the broth to a simmer over medium heat while you are assembling the bowls with noodles. Ladle the broth over the noodles, then add cha lua, egg strips, chicken pieces, shrimp floss and garnish with coriander, spring onion, rau răm and sprinkle with pepper.