Discover the mouthwatering world of Hue-style beef noodle soup, a renowned Vietnamese specialty that tantalizes taste buds with its rich flavors and authentic ingredients. From selecting the perfect cuts of beef and pork trotters to simmering them to perfection, this article unveils the secrets behind making this beloved dish. Embark on a culinary journey as we delve into the preparation methods, the key elements that make the broth truly exceptional, and even uncover the top 5 famous restaurants in Hue where you can savor this delectable delight. Get ready to tantalize your senses and satisfy your craving for a truly authentic Vietnamese experience.

First, choose fresh beef and pork trotters

Beef suitable for this Hue-style beef noodle dish is boiled beef shank, if possible, choose the type with fresh corn to enhance the flavor. Choose pork trotters from the front, as they tend to have firmer and more flavorful meat. If possible, you can also ask the seller to choose the right type of beef and refer to additional tips on selecting the appropriate beef. Buy some beef bones to simmer in the broth for Hue-style beef noodle soup.

When choosing pork trotters, it is better to choose those from the front as they are tastier and have less fat than those from the rear.

Boiled beef shank will enhance the taste of Hue-style beef noodle soup

Preparing the beef

After buying the pork trotters, shave off the hair, cut off the hooves, and wash them thoroughly. Chop the pork trotters into appropriate pieces. Put the pork trotters and beef bones into a pot of boiling water and boil until the water boils again, then remove and discard any impurities. Rinse the pork trotters and beef bones again to remove any dirt or foam.

For the beef, after purchasing, wash and cut it into thin slices suitable for eating. You should also note that the preferred beef for Hue-style beef noodle soup is boiled beef shank, as it will be more delicious thanks to the tendons accompanying each firm piece of meat.

After washing the beef, cut it into bite-sized slices

Boiled pork trotters after they are cooked

Making the authentic Hue-style beef noodle soup

Put the pork trotters, beef bones, and beef shank into the same pot, add crushed lemongrass and shallots, pour water and simmer for about one to two hours. For the boiled beef shank in Hue-style beef noodle soup, it should not be too soft, as it will lose its texture, nor too tough. To check if the beef shank is tender enough after 30 minutes, remove the beef shank and continue simmering the pork trotters and beef bones.

Cook the pork trotters, beef bones, and beef shank with crushed lemongrass and shallots

Simmer over low heat and add sliced onions. This will make the broth for Hue-style beef noodle soup more fragrant and allow enough time for the sweet essence in the bones to be released. When simmering the bones, never add cold water to maintain the rich flavor; only add hot water.

Adding sliced onions to the broth makes it more delicious

When the water is boiling, add a little salt and let it boil gently, removing the fat and yellow foam. Cook until the broth for the Hue-style beef noodle soup reduces to about one-third of the original amount. This may take a long time, but it will give the broth a thick consistency without the need for ready-made beef noodle soup seasoning.

In a bowl, mix 3 tablespoons of shrimp paste with plenty of cold water, stir well, then let the sediment settle and scoop out the clear liquid from the shrimp paste and add it to the pot. Season the broth to taste with fish sauce, sugar, rock sugar, and a little MSG.

Adding shrimp paste liquid to the broth for Hue-style beef noodle soup

Previously, sauté chopped lemongrass with cooking oil, strain the oil, and then heat it. Then add annatto seeds to the broth to give it a reddish color.

Annatto seeds give the broth a more attractive color

Hue-style beef noodle soup - a famous specialty that everyone must try once

Hue-style beef noodles originated from the time of Lord Nguyen Hoang (around the 16th century). According to legend, there was a beautiful and skilled woman named Bun who was proficient in making noodles. In Van Cu Village (now part of Huong Tra town, Thua Thien Hue province), Bun invented a new dish: using beef to make the broth for noodles. From then on, Hue-style beef noodles were born, preserved, and developed through many generations. Until now, Hue-style beef noodles have been modified with the presence of various ingredients such as pork hocks, pork skin, crab cakes, etc.

Hue-style beef noodles are different from the noodles in other regions. This dish is so famous that almost everyone who travels to Hue must try it at least once.

What does Hue-style beef noodle soup consist of? A bowl of authentic Hue-style beef noodles includes noodles, beef, pork hocks, crab cakes, and broth. The noodles are made from a mixture of rice flour and tapioca flour in the correct ratio to ensure the perfect texture. The beef is chosen from the front shank, the leaner or fresh corn-colored shank, and the yellow fat. The crab cakes are eye-catching with their golden yellow color, made from crab paste and minced crab meat with a natural fatty and fragrant taste.

The "soul" of Hue-style beef noodles is the broth. The broth is simmered from beef bones, giving it a rich and sweet flavor. Additionally, a little shrimp paste and lemongrass are added to the broth to create a fragrant and flavorful aroma.

A delicious bowl of authentic Hue-style beef noodles should have an attractive aroma. The bowl of noodles has the orange color of annatto oil, the brown color of beef, pork hocks, and the green color of herbs, vegetables, and some bean sprouts. The dish has a perfect balance of spiciness, sweetness, and richness that truly delights diners.

Top 5 famous Hue-style beef noodle soup restaurants in the ancient capital

Which Hue restaurants serve delicious and authentic Hue-style beef noodles? Here are the top 5 well-known restaurants in Hue that offer super delicious beef noodle soup.

2.1. Mệ Kéo Beef Noodles

Mệ Kéo Beef Noodles is one of the oldest beef noodle stalls in Hue. The bowl of noodles here has a distinctive spiciness and the broth has a slightly salty and fragrant flavor from shrimp paste. This is perhaps the only bowl of beef noodles in Hue that does not contain beef but instead uses pork belly, pork hocks, crab cakes, etc.

  • Address: 20 Bach Dang, Phu Cat, Hue City;
  • Opening hours: 6:00 - 10:00;
  • Price range: 25,000 - 35,000 VND/bowl.

2.2. Bún Hẻm Beef Noodles

Another irresistible Hue-style beef noodle stall is Bún Hẻm. The beef noodle soup here is extremely delicious and tempting, with all the necessary ingredients such as pork hocks, pork hock paste, boiled beef shank, and a flavorful broth.

  • Address: Alley 29/1 Hung Vuong Street, Hue City;
  • Opening hours: 7:00 - 9:00;
  • Price range: 30,000 - 35,000 VND/bowl.

2.3. Bà Tuyết Beef Noodles

Mrs. Tuyet, the owner of this stall, has been selling beef noodles for over 20 years. The beef noodles at Mrs. Tuyet's stall not only include noodles and beef but also various other ingredients such as pork hock, crab cakes, beef tendon, etc.

  • Address: 47 Nguyen Cong Tru, Phu Hoi, Hue City;
  • Opening hours: 6:00 - 12:00;
  • Price range: 25,000 - 35,000 VND/bowl.

2.4. Ông Vọng - O Phụng Beef Noodles

For beef noodle lovers, the Ông Vọng - O Phụng stall in Hue is well known. The noodles at this stall have an authentic flavor, the bowl of noodles is large and full, the boiled pork hocks are perfectly tender, the crab cakes are large and not overly sweet, and the herbs and vegetables are fresh and delicious.

Hue-style beef noodles
  • Address: 14 Nguyen Du, Phu Cat, Hue City;
  • Opening hours: 15:00 - 18:00;
  • Price range: 25,000 - 35,000 VND/bowl.

2.5. Mụ Rơi Beef Noodles

The beef noodles here are delicious with a rich and flavorful broth, and the beef and pork hocks are of high quality. The crab cakes and raw vegetables are also well-prepared, ensuring freshness and cleanliness. Therefore, it is one of the must-try restaurants in Hue.

  • Address: 40 Nguyen Chi Dieu, Thuan Thanh, Hue City;
  • Opening hours: 6:30 - 21:30
  • Price range: 25,000 - 35,000 VND/bowl.
In addition to beef noodles, there are many other delicious dishes in Hue that are very tempting for tourists. These include Banh Canh Nam Pho (banh canh noodles), banh khoai (Hue-style pancake), com hen (baby basket clams rice), va tron (banana flower salad), banh nam (steamed flat rice dumplings), banh uot (wet rice paper), etc. If you're wondering what to eat in Hue, you should try these delectable dishes.

Indulge your taste buds in the flavors of Hue-style beef noodle soup, a famous specialty that has been passed down through generations. This tantalizing dish combines tender beef, savory pork trotters, and a fragrant broth simmered to perfection. Pair it with the right balance of spices and herbs, and you have a bowl of authentic goodness that will leave you craving for more. So, whether you're a foodie or an adventurous eater, make sure to add Hue-style beef noodle soup to your culinary bucket list. And while you're at it, don't forget to explore the vibrant and diverse food scene of Hue, where every dish tells a captivating story of tradition and flavor.