Sunday, October 26, 2008

Spicy Huế Style Noodle Soup with Lemongrass( Bún bò Huế)

Generally speaking, this noodle's style does requires a bunch of ingredients which is really really hard to find overhere. However, I did try to make the taste as authentic and simple as they do back home. It does turn out great.What a relief!Different recipes call for beef brisket, pork knuckles or pork legs.All I want to say is it depends on individuals, which part they want to eat the most so they can add into their soup.


*For the soup:
- 2lbs Beef bones
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- 2lbs Beef shank( thịt đùi bò,chỗ có gân)
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- 4 stalks of lemon grass,crushed
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- 1 large onion( half thinly sliced, half grill to put into the soup)
- Pork blood solution( optional, cook well and chop into small cubes)
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- 1 tablespoon of fine Hue shrimp paste(mắm ruốc Huế)
- 1 tablespoon of Anatto seed(hột điều màu)
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- Dried chillies
- Fish sauce,salt, sugar, MSG to taste( If you don't know how to season the soup, you can buy a Bun Bo Hue soup stock in the market which also helps you get the right taste)

- 1 pack of large noodle, cook as instructed.

- spring onion, chopped small
- Bean sprouts, salad
- Lime, cut into wedges
- Red chilies
- Parsley, mints,coriander etc.

*For the soup:
- Mix 1 tablespoon of shrimp paste with 1 cup of cold water, let the shrimp paste sink to the bottom(approx. 30mins). Will use the top clear water to add into the soupImage and video hosting by TinyPic
- In a small pan, stir anatto seed with 3tbsp olive oil until it has its red color.Discard the seed.
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- In another pan, stir dried chillies in hot oil.
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- Bring 2 quarts water to a boil; add in beef bones and 1tsp salt cook for 5 mintues until boiling again. This helps remove dirts from the bones and keep the soup clear.
- Strain and wash the bones in cold water
- Using another large pot, add in 2 1/2 quarts cold water and place the beef bones, washed beef shanks, crushed lemon grass in.
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- Seasoning the soup with 3 tbsp fish sauce, some sugar, salt, and little bit of MSG.
- Skim constantly for 10 minutes then cover the pot, reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2-2 hours or more.
- Pour in the top layer of the shrimp paste( the clear water on top), don't use the bottom layer.
- Stir the soup well, then take back the same amount of soup, which was poured in, back to the shrimp paste.
- Repeat the process as above one more time.
- Check the beef shanks again to see if it's tender enough
- Take them out and immediately rinse under cold water,then thinly sliced
- Seasoning the soup again, then add in anatto oil and some chillies oil.
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- Cook the soup for another 15'.

- Place the noodle into the bowl, then some slices of beef shanks and pork blood's cubes, topped with spring onions, sliced onion and mints.
- Serving with a side dish of vegetable
- Add in fish sauce, peper if desired.

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