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Bun Cha: A Taste of Vietnam

By Ippolita Douglas Scotti:

Photo: avlxyz on Visualhunt

Last night, we went to a beautiful Vietnamese restaurant in my neighborhood. Florence is very hot this summer, and yesterday I really didn't feel like cooking, so we sat outdoors with our fantastic and spicy Vietnamese long drinks and tasted a delicious bowl packed with flavor.

Bun Cha (Bún chả) is a famous dish with caramelized pork meatballs. The owner, an Italian gentleman married to a Vietnamese lady, said that this traditional recipe comes from the streets of Hanoi. This fine recipe is a typical street food!

He said that it’s easy to make Bun Cha at home, so as usual, I tried my version!

It is easy and delicious, very fresh and healthy, and you can choose your favorite raw vegetables to complete it! The perfect exotic summer dinner!


Photo: dane brian on VisualHunt

Bun Cha


2 lb (900 g) minced pork

1 Tbs fish sauce

1 tsp sugar

2 chopped green onions

1 clove of garlic

1 tbs chopped lemongrass

1 tbs oil

Salt and pepper

Nuoc cham dressing:

3 tsp sugar

3tsp fish sauce

1 Tbs rice vinegar

1 ts lime juice



1/2 package vermicelli noodles

A handful of bean sprouts

Mint leaves

6 lettuce leaves

Sliced red chilli


Carrots, julienned

Prepare the sauce, mixing the ingredients, and set aside in a little bowl.

Pour the noodles into boiling water, drain, and set aside.

Make the meatballs, mixing the ingredients.

With your hands, shake the mixture into balls. Grill until cooked to your preference.

Arrange the vegetables and noodles into serving bowls. Place the meatballs on top. Drizzle with the sauce and mix with chopsticks while eating.


Contessa Ippolita Douglas Scotti di Vigileno is a true Italian—born in Florence, Italy, from a long line of eccentric Italian aristocrats, she has traveled the world in search of adventure, romance, and magical, mouth-watering recipes. "Ippo" loves Italian history, especially as it relates to food. Author of There's a Beatle in My Soup, Curcuma e Zenzero (Ginger & Tumeric), 101 Perche Sulla Storia di Firenze (101 questions on Florence History), The Grimore, The Magic of the Moon, and Magic Herbs (all published by Newton Compton Publishers).

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