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Recipe: Bun Cha, Vietnamese Lemongrass Beef Patties

Christina Vlahoulis | May 13, 2020
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Give your patties this Vietnamese twist and you’ll be making them on repeat. Bun cha is a pork and noodle dish which is thought to have originated from Hanoi, Vietnam.

Essentially grilled pork, rice noodles and served with a funky, salty, sour sweet dipping sauce. Traditionally done with pork but I opted to try them with beef and the result really is yummy. Give it a shot and devour it with a nice cold beer.

  • Serves 4-6

  • Prep time: 15 minutes

  • Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • Total time: 35 minutes

INGREDIENTS

For the Patties (Bun cha)

  • 1 kg ground beef

  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 7 scallions/spring onions, thinly sliced 

  • 4 stalks lemongrass, tough outer layers removed, lower tender bulb, finely chopped

  • 2 tbsp ginger, grated

  • 4 tsp fish sauce

  • 2 tsp sugar

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For the dipping sauce (nuoc cham)

  • 3 tbsp white sugar

  • 5 tbsp fish sauce 

  • 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar

  • 3 tbsp lime juice

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1 birds eye chili, seeded and finely chopped 

To Garnish

  • Freshly chopped coriander

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Start with the sauce. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the vinegar with the sugar and water. Add the fish sauce and the lime juice then taste and season with more vinegar, lime or sugar, depending on your taste. Finally add the chopped chili, stir and set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, place all the patty ingredients. Use your hands to mix together and then form the mixture into 2-inch (5 cm) patties and about 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick. Arrange the patties on a plate and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until firm.

  3. Preheat the grill for at least 10 minutes and set it up to grill over moderately high heat. Oil the grates. Grill the patties until brown grill marks form on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Flip the patties and grill for 3 to 4 minutes longer, until cooked through but still juicy (if you don’t want to grill them you can easily bake them in a pre heated  oven at 190° for about 30 minutes or until golden brown)

  4. Place on a platter, garnish with chopped coriander and serve with the sauce. Accompany with Vermicelli noodles  as the traditional recipe calls for or lettuce leaves to wrap the patties in or coconut rice.

Enjoy!

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