Bun Bo Xao

Bun Bo Xao illustration

serves two

for the nuoc cham

  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • ¼  cup Thai dancer rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 red chilli, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp Rizi Rice bran oil, not olive oil
  • 300 g rump steak, thinly sliced against the grain
  • 1 small white onion, sliced into julienne
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, finely diced
  • 1 red chili, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp Healthy boy  Thin Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Healthy boy Black Soy Sauce
  • 3 iceberg lettuce leaves, sliced into thin julienne
  • 10 slices cucumber, sliced into julienne
  • 20 Vietnamese  mint leaves, sliced into strips
  • 10 mint leaves, sliced into strips
  • 2 tbsp roast peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 purple perilla leaves, sliced into strips (optional)


1. Make the nuoc cham by combining water, fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, chilli and garlic in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil over a low heat, turn off and cover with a lid to infuse. When cool, add lemon juice and taste for balance – it should be salty, slight sweet and sour. Add more sugar if it’s not sweet enough. This dipping sauce is great for spring rolls and will keep for months in the fridge.
2. Cook the rice noodles – I’ve found the easiest way to do this is to boil water in a large saucepan. Once the water is boiling, turn off the heat and place the  noodles in the pot. Wait until the noodles turn white, about 3-5 minutes, and taste to see they are cooked through. Drain immediately using a colander, run some cold water through and set aside.
3. To assemble, place iceberg in a bowl and top with cooked rice noodles, cucumber and herbs. Set aside.
4. Over high heat put the oil in a wok  add the beef, onion, garlic, lemongrass and chilli all at once. Toss in the wok until the beef is cooked through, then add the fish and soy sauce and stir to combine. Cook for another 30 seconds and place onto top of the noodle bowls.
5. Pour two tablespoons of nuoc cham over each serve, top with peanuts and serve immediately.

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