So you’ve been wondering what’s missing in your life? A woman? A career? Those sideburns you’ve been trying to sprout since you were 16? After quite a bit of contemplation you realize it’s the lack of Cha that’s getting you down. I’m talking bún chả, a specialty of Vietnam’s capitol city; Hà Nội. It just so happened that I was in this city last week, so I just had to indulge.
Bún chả is popular lunchtime meal for Hà Nội-ians, and for good reason. Juicy pork meatballs are cha-grilled over smoky lump charcoal then given a bath of garlicky sweetened fish sauce. This bowl of sweet meat is served alongside a brimming plate of local greens and fresh rice noodles (bún).
The charcoal grill is steadily fanned to keep the flame hot ‘n happy. No flame = no fun. Just want a little chả on it…
While you surely can’t have bún chả without the meat, the true appeal of this dish may be the successful marriage of its simple ingredients. Essentially pigs ‘n plants, bún chả mixes sweet sauce with sticky noodles with smoky pork with cool greens to create a perfect midday pick-me-up.