Enjoying the Traditional Dish of Bún Chả in Hanoi, Vietnam

During our trip to Vietnam, we went to the same Bún Chả restaurant twice because we enjoyed it so much. Bún chả is thought to have originated in Hanoi and it is a dish made of ground pork and noodles, which typically served with egg rolls. We actually learned to cook Bún Chả during the cooking class that we took while we were in Hanoi. Many people think of Pho when they think of Vietnamese cooking, but Bún Chả is certainly just as popular, at least in the region around the capital city.

Other Guests Enjoying Bún Chả
The Pork Meatballs for Our Bún Chả
Recommended Bún Chả Restaurant in Hanoi’s Old Quarter
Our First Restaurant Version of Bún Chả

One of things that makes Bún Chả different from Pho is that Pho is a soup, but the liquid in Bún Chả is used as a dipping sauce and isn’t meant to be slurped up with a spoon. It is definitely a menu item that you will find at most of the street side restaurants where everyone gathers around in the colorful, tiny chairs. We don’t usually eat the same meal several times during a trip as we want to try as many variations of local dishes as possible so it was very unusual to actually eat Bún Chả three different times during our two week trip.

The Tiny Chairs at Street Side Restaurant
Frying the Spring Rolls at Our Cooking Class
Bún Chả on Our Last Night in Hanoi

Green Chili with Pork Recipe

One of the things that you find throughout the southwest is green chili. You often find it as a topping for Mexican food, but this particular recipe is an actual meal and not meant to be a condiment. Cooking it low and slow allows the meat to become tender and absorb even more of the flavor of the peppers. We happened to have grown jalapenos over the summer, so we had several on hand, although they were a little smaller than normal. This is a great meal for cooler weather that is easy to make and will warm you up on the inside. If you like it a little spicier, you can simply add more peppers or leave more of the seeds in.

Fresh Vegetables


  • 1 1/2 lbs Boneless Pork Shoulder – cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 Small Red Onion – chopped
  • 2 Small Jalapenos – halved, one seeded and one with seeds left in
  • 4 to 5 Tomatillos – husked, cleaned, and cut in half
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro Leaves
  • 3 tbsp Canola Oil
  • 3 cups Chicken Stock
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Cooked Pork


Toss the onion, tomatillos, jalapenos, and garlic with 1 tablespoon of the oil, salt, and pepper. Heat an oven to 400 degrees and place the vegetables on a foil lined sheet pan and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping once after about 15 to 20 minutes. When the vegetables have finished roasting, transfer them to a food processor and add the cilantro and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Heat the remaining oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and add the pork. Cook until browned on all sides, about 5 to 8 minutes and use a slotted spoon to remove the pork from the skillet. Combine the pork, green chili sauce, and chicken stock in slow-cooker and cook over low heat for 3 to 4 hours. Transfer to individual bowls and serve.

Tomatillo Sauce
Browning the Pork
Individual Serving of Green Chili with Pork

Spanish Pork Ribs with Potatoes

Pork ribs can be extremely tender and full of flavor, especially when cooked over low heat for several hours. We have tried many different styles of pork ribs over the years from many different places around the world, but this Spanish recipe that uses smoked paprika as its primary seasoning was quite delicious. It is very simple and rustic, but it can certainly be modified to use some additional ingredients like other root vegetables, peppers, or even tomatoes. It would also be equally good with chicken as it was with the pork ribs.


  • 2 lbs Pork Ribs
  • 1 Yellow Onion – chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves – crushed and chopped
  • 1 1/2 Potatoes – either fingerling or russet potatoes cut into 1/2 inch peices
  • 1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Simmering the Ribs and Potatoes


Season the ribs generously with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil to medium-high heat and add the ribs. Brown the ribs on all sides, about 2 minutes per side, then remove the ribs and set aside. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, being sure to scrape up any “brown bits” from the ribs as you move the onion around the pan. Return the ribs to the pan, add the potatoes, sprinkle with the paprika as well as more salt and pepper and stir around to mix. Cover the with enough hot water to cover the ribs, bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce the heat. Continue cooking at a low simmer for about an hour and a half until the pork is tender and falling off the bone. Enjoy!

Brown the Ribs
Sauté the Onions and Garlic
Sprinkle with Paprika
Spanish Pork Ribs and Potatoes