Bun Bo Xao (Stir Fry Beef Noodles)

Bun Bo Xao was influenced between thai and cambodia because they consume more noodle dishes than Vietnam. However, we were able to embrace this concept very quickly and turn it into one of the common house hold dish because it’s simple, yet uses the most freshest ingredients.

I have to say that this has to be one of my most favorite dish because it’s quick and easy to make. The sweet chili fish sauce is something that most every vietnamese house hold already have, in a ready to pour and serve container. If not, it takes about 5 min. to use staple ingredients such as fish sauce, lime, chili, sugar and water.

Bun, or rice vermicelli noodles is another staple in the pantry. it’s almost like a must have box of ready mix bisquick. 🙂 their life span is spared up to 6 months if stored in a cool temperature and unopen. if it’s half open, I recommend putting it in a zip lock bag with less air as possible. this keeps any moisture or condensation to build up and will surely ruin it.

Vietnamese uses a lot of fresh herbs in their dishes mainly from their garden. I don’t have the luxury of a green thumb so I have to visit the nearest asian market to get them. Not only are some herbs medicinal for the intestinal but it’s one of those feel good type of herbs. It doesn’t make you feel heavy and greasy after a meal, therefore, you probably would not experience any food comas. Even if you over eat…

1 tender rump roast (sliced thinly into strips)
1 stalk lemongrass (sliced thinly into disks using only the white part of the stem)
4-6 cloves minced garlic (half for beef marinade and half for sauteeing)
1 medium size onion (sliced)
2 tbsp. fish sauce for marinade
2 tbsp. sugar
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 cup cashew (toasted – you may use peanuts but I like cashew)
Bun (rice vermicelli noodles)
Sweet Chili fish sauce
Bean Sprouts
Leaf lettuces (chiffinade loosely)
Mint leaves

In a mixing bowl, put the beef, lemongrass, half the garlic and all the fish sauce to marinade for about 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil the rice noodles for about 5-6 minutes then turn off the heat and bring it to the sink. Pour in cold water to fill up the pot to the rim and let the noodle sit for another 5 min. When ready, have the faucet running, pour the noodles into a colander and rinse with cold water. Then let it drain and put aside until it’s cool and dry. If needed, put a paper towel over the noodles to dry.

In another bowl, clean and rinse all the herbs and vegetables and dry it with paper towels and set aside.

In a small pan, toast your nuts (cashew) on very low heat. this will bring out the oil in the cashew and gives it so much flavor and aroma in your dish. when the cashew are toasted

Using a hot wok or a hot frying pan, on very high heat with oil, put in the beef and fry both side quickly for about 1 min each. This will surely keep in all the juices. Repeat the process until all the beef are done.

Now, turn the heat to medium high, drizzle a bit more oil into the pan and throw in the rest of the lemon grass, onions and garlic until aromatic.

At this point, put the beef back into the pan. Put in the sugar, salt and pepper, and season to taste.

Turn off the heat and dish the beef on a cool platter to stop the beef from over cooking.


In a bowl of your choice, put the bean sprouts in first, then the vermicelli, the fresh vegetables and herbs and top it with the beef, then the crush cashews and pour the sweet chili fish sauce over to your likings. Serve immediately.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jacqueline says:

    10 years, I used to cook this dish very often for 3 yrs as it was my ex-boyfriend’s (a Vietnamese) fav dish.. I was actually very good with it (it was ‘claimed’ to be very close to his mother’s cooking). I loved this dish too especially the mixed fish sauce, in fact, I mixed d added hoi sin sauce into the noodles too.. o yum..

    Since then, I have never forgotten about this dish but never had the chance to cook again, until today. So I have decided to prepare so as to reminisce the good old days in Australia.

    Thanks for the recipe.

    1. karlyeats says:

      Thank you Jacqueline for the comment. This has to be my favorite dish in the whole world! It’s light and full of fresh flavors and it’s very versatile. You can make it with shrimps or whatever type of meat you have so it’s not limited to just beef. I like eating this in the summer time. Doesn’t leave you heavy and full. 🙂 Happy Cooking!

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