Bun Bo Hue and History of Hue

Bun Bo Hue and History of Hue

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Bun Bo Hue

Bun Bo Hue and History of Hue
Bun Bo Hue and History of Hue

Hue was the capital of Vietnam for over a century, from 1802 to 1945. It was also the seat of power between 1738 and 1775. By 1947 the capital had been moved to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) city. Hue suffered heavily in the war with America and was extensively damaged.

Being such a big part of Vietnam’s history it’s no surprise that it has also played a huge part in culinary history. Being a royal court for so long, where many fine dishes were demanded daily, it isn’t surprising. Some estimates that out of 2700 Vietnamese food dishes nearly 1700 come from Hue. That is nearly 66% and while a lot of those dishes won’t be seen outside of Hue it shows how important food was to Hue and its inhabitants.

Bun Bo Hue is just called bun bo in Hue and the surrounding province. It is only called bun bo Hue outside of Hue Province. There doesn’t seem to be an exact date or place that takes credit for starting this delicious dish. However, like a lot of Vietnamese foods it probably came about from using the foods available and honing the dish until we have the bun bo Hue we know and love today. Some upmarket restaurants are still evolving the dish and you can get variations at different restaurants.

Food in Hue

Food and Hue have a long rich history, not least from being the centre of government for well over a century. The royal courts demanded and received the best food that Vietnam had to offer. Chefs would constantly be trying to come up with new exciting dishes.

Today there are plenty of places to eat in Hue. Be sure to try the street food stalls and small noodle shops along with the traditional coffee shops. Look out for Hue salt coffee in particular, but do try the restaurants too. Hue is modern and has food to suit any palate or pocket.

Bun Bo Hue Ingredients

There are some unique ingredients that are necessary to make an authentic Bun Bo. Most of them should be available in an Asian grocer in your part of the world without too much trouble.

Lemongrass is one of the biggest distinct flavours with a bun bo Hue. Lemongrass is infused into the broth at the beginning and becomes a stand out ingredient.

Annatto seeds are interesting ingredient in bun bo. These are used more for their rich red colour than for flavour. This tropical seed can be found near the equator between Mexico and Brazil. Annatto is derived from the achiote tree which was spread around the world by the Spanish who took it to Asia via the Philippines.

Pork blood is another traditional ingredient although often it is left out if people don’t like the taste or texture. The blood is normally boiled and set.

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