Bún bò Nam Bộ, loosely translated as “beef with noodles in the southern style,” is one of the most popular Vietnamese dishes worldwide. The base of this dish is a mound of thin rice vermicelli noodles (translated as “bún”). The noodles are accompanied by a crunchy herb salad, fresh bean sprouts, and cucumber slices.
This green arrangement is topped with a pile of tender marinated beef, which is perfectly fried. The meat is flavored with garlic, lemongrass, and fish sauce.
Bún bò Nam Bộ is garnished with roasted crushed peanuts and pickled carrot, which with their spicy crunch contribute to the complexity of the dish. At the bottom of the bowl is a generous portion of Vietnamese sauce nuoc cham, which brings all elements together into an incredibly delicious mix.
I enjoy Bún bò Nam Bộ at the Prague Sapa in the Hải Hà bistro. It is known for allegedly having the best bún chá in Prague (and I agree with this opinion), but they also serve other dishes. Bún bò Nam Bộ costs 170 CZK (7.20 Eur). They know how to prepare the beef perfectly here, the meat is so tender that it tempts one to think that you are eating sirloin, not strips of beef thigh.
Bún bò Nam Bộ is essentially the embodiment of Vietnamese culture: complex, diverse, and outstanding. If you have not tasted this dish yet, the Hải Hà bistro is a good place to get acquainted with it.
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