Hanoi Chicken Noodle Soup (Bun Thang)

  • Preparation: 30 mins
  • Cooking: 30 mins
  • Skill level: Medium
  • Servings: 4

Description Hanoi Chicken Noodle Soup (Bún Thang)

We love our noodle soup and each week I would boil a huge pot of stock to make our favourite noodle soup to eat for at least two meals. We have a couple of favourite noodle soup dishes that are on our rotation list and Hanoi Chicken Noodle Soup (Bun Thang) is one them. Hanoi Chicken Noodle Soup (Bún Thang) is a dish from Hanoi and Mum being from the South has simplified this dish with her own version. Her version is slightly more delicate in flavours with just the sweetness of the broth from the chicken, pork bones and dried squid. This is served with vermicelli noodles, shredded chicken, cha lua (Vietnamese ham), thin strips of egg omelette, dried shrimp floss and garnished with coriander and rau răm.


  • 1 fresh chicken (about 3 lbs/11/4 kg)
  • 1-2 tablespoons dried shrimp, rinsed and drained
  • 1 lb (500 g) pork ribs, cut into large pieces
  • 12 cups (3 liters) water, with 1 teaspoon salt added
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz/100g) diced shallots (about 12 shallots) or 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 baby leeks or spring onions, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 8 oz (250 g) dried string-like rice noodles (bun)
  • 1 egg, beaten and pan-fried, cut into strips
  • 4 tablespoons Crispy Fried Shallots
  • 10 oz (300 g) Vietnamese Pork Sausage, cut into thin strips (optional)
  • Ground white pepper
  • 1 spring onion, sliced, to garnish
  • Sprigs of coriander leaves (cilantro), to garnish
  • Yellow Bean Sauce or chili and hoisin sauce, to serve
  • Accompaniments
  • 1 lemon or lime, sliced
  • 2 finger-length red chilies, sliced
  • 2 cups (100 g) bean sprouts, blanched
  • 2 spring onions, sliced lengthwise into thin strands
  • 1/2 cup (70 g) sliced banana blossom
  • Sprigs of Asian basil leaves

Method Hanoi Chicken Noodle Soup (Bún Thang)

1, In a stockpot. boil the chicken, dried shrimp and pork ribs in the salted water for about 20 minutes, skimming off any foam that floats to the surface. Reduce the heat to medium, season with the sugar, fish sauce and pepper, and simmer covered for about 45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked. Remove the chicken from the stock and set aside to cool. Add the shallots, baby leeks or spring onions and onion to the stock, and mix well. Simmer for another 20 minutes, adjusting the seasoning with more sugar or fish sauce if desired. Keep the soup hot over very low heat.
2, When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred into thin strips along the grain. Set aside.
3, Bring a separate pot of water to a boil. Add the rice noodles and boil until soft, 5 to 7 minutes or longer as needed. Remove and rinse with cold water, then drain. Transfer to individual serving bowls and top with the egg, chicken strips, sausage and Crispy Fried ShallotsPour the hot soup into each bowl, sprinkle with pepper and garnish with spring onion and coriander leaves (cilantro).
Serve hot with the Accompaniments and Yellow Bean Sauce.

Chef's Note

Hanoi Chicken Noodle Soup (Bún Thang) is one of the many warming winter soups that has been popularized in Hanoi, and is now commonplace throughout the country.

Related tags