Bun Moc (Vietnamese noodle soup with pork balls)

Bún Mọc (Vietnamese Rice Noodles With Pork Balls)

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Bún Mọc is a Vietnamese rice noodle soup with pork balls. The pork broth is clear and simple, yet packed with flavors. It’s quicker to cook than many Vietnamese dishes, making it my go-to choice when I’m craving a piping hot bowl of noodles.

Bun Moc (Vietnamese noodle soup with pork balls)

🍀 The origin of Bún Mọc

Bún Mọc originated from Mọc Village in Hanoi, Vietnam. Similar to many Northern dishes like Phở, Bún Thang, Canh Bún and Bún Riêu, after the Geneva Accords in 1954, Bún Mọc followed the Northern Catholics in migrating from the North to the South.

Bun Moc (Vietnamese noodle soup with pork balls)

Outside of Vietnam, besides the famous Phở, Bún Thịt Nướng, and Bún Bò Huế have become trending even among non-Vietnamese, while Hủ Tiếu Nam Vang and Bánh Canh Cua are recognized but slightly less known.

However, Bún Mọc and Mì Quảng are dishes you seldom encounter in Vietnamese restaurants.

🍲 Ingredients

Bún Mọc is relatively easy to prepare compared to other Vietnamese noodle soups. My recipe for Bún Mọc today is quite close to the Bún Mọc I used to eat in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).

Ingredients for Bun Moc

Pork broth:

  • Pork ribs: You could also use pork bones.
  • Onion and shallots: They help enhance the flavors of the broth. If you have daikon or cilantro roots, you can add them as well.
  • Rock sugar: Viet people often use rock sugar to cook broth. It gives a subtle sweetness to the broth but you could also use granulated sugar.
  • Fish sauce: Choose high-quality fish sauce and season the broth just before serving.
  • Salt & Chicken Powder.

Toppings:

Gio Song (Vietnamese Pork Paste)
Giò Sống (Vietnamese pork paste)

If you live in an area with a large Vietnamese community, you may find Giò Sống at a nearby Asian market. I often prepare Giò Sống myself with my food processor.

I have noticed that some recipes call for Shiitake mushrooms. In Vietnam, we typically use Nấm Hương (fragrant mushrooms), which has a slightly distinct fragrance from Shiitake. Nấm Hương is popular in Northern Bún Mọc but not in Southern Bún Mọc.

  • Other toppings: besides, we can add Chả Lụa (Vietnamese Pork Roll) and Chả Chiên (Fried Pork Roll) to the noodle soup.

Accompaniments:

  • Rice noodles: In Vietnamese, “Bún” refers to round rice noodles. Ensure you select the correct type.
  • Mắm Tôm (fermented shrimp paste): a popular condiment in many Northern dishes, such as Bún Đậu Mắm Tôm or Chả Cá Lã Vọng. It’s NOT the same as Mắm Ruốc, another type of fermented shrimp paste in Vietnam.
A jar of Mam Tom
Mắm Tôm (Vietnamese fermented shrimp paste)
  • Ớt Sa Tế: If you prefer your soup a bit spicy, you can add a bit of this spicy Vietnamese lemongrass chili oil.
  • Veggies: In Vietnam, Bún Mọc is typically served with shredded banana blossoms, shredded water spinach (morning glory/ong choy), and mung bean sprouts. Since it’s quite difficult to find these veggies in my city, I substitute them with shredded celery (I learned this tip from some overseas Vietnamese housewives).
  • We also need some Vietnamese herbs like cilantro and green onions, as well as some lime.

📝 Instructions

Making the broth

  • Parboil the pork ribs with some salt. Wash and rinse the pork ribs.
  • Add the pork ribs back to the pot with water, onion, shallots, rock sugar and salt. Cook over medium-low heat for one hour. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface.
Parboil the pork ribs
Skim off any scum.

Prepare the toppings

You could choose to make the boiled pork balls only or make both boiled and fried pork balls.

For the boiled pork balls:

  • Soak the wood ear mushrooms in water for 20 minutes. Chop them, but not too finely, if you prefer a more crunchy texture in your pork balls.
  • Combine the mushrooms with the pork paste. Refrigerate the mixture until the broth is ready.
Soak wood ear mushrooms.
Mix Gio Song with wood ear mushroom.

For the fried pork balls:

  • You can use your hands or two spoons to scoop the mixture. If it’s too sticky, you can apply some cooking oil to your hands or spoons.
  • Fry the pork balls over medium-low heat until they achieve a golden color.
Fry the pork balls.

For other toppings:

  • Slice Chả Lụa or Chả Chiên to your liking.

Prepare the noodles & veggies

  • Boil, rinse, and drain the rice noodles following the instructions on the packaging. Separate it into 4-5 bowls.
  • Rinse cilantro and green onions. Then finely chop them.
  • Shred the celery and soak it in water for 10 minutes. Drain well before serving. The traditional veggies for Bún Mọc include banana blossoms, water spinach (ong choy), and mung bean sprouts.
Shred the celery and soak it in water.

Assemble & Serve

  • Use your hands or two spoons to scoop the pork paste & mushroom mixture. Drop the meatballs into the broth. They are fully cooked when they float to the surface.
  • Add the fried pork balls to the broth. Season the broth one last time with fish sauce and chicken powder. The broth should be slightly saltier than desired since it will dilute when served with noodles.
  • Place the rice noodles into bowls. Add the pork ribs, fried meatballs, and boiled meatballs. Ladle broth over the noodles. Sprinkle with green onions and cilantro.
The broth for Bun Moc.
Place rice noodles and the toppings into bowls.
  • Season the noodles with mắm tôm and lime to your taste. Enjoy!
Bun Moc (Vietnamese noodle soup with pork balls)

🌟 Tips & Substitutes

  • The pork broth for Bún Mọc is very basic and versatile. It can serve as a base for:
    • Súp Nui Sườn (Vietnamese macaroni soup)
    • Bánh Canh (Vietnamese thick noodle soup)
    • Canh Bí (winter melon soup)
    • Canh Bí Đỏ (pumpkin soup)
  • Ground pork can be used as a substitute for Giò Sống to make the meatballs, but it doesn’t provide the same texture. Giò Sống is not difficult to make at home, trust me!
  • Shiitake mushrooms are optional. If you choose to use them, soak and chop the mushrooms, then mix them with the pork mixture similar to the wood ear mushrooms. Save the soaked water and add to the broth. You can also incorporate some shiitake mushrooms into the pork broth if you enjoy their flavor.

🍜 More authentic Vietnamese recipes

Goi Cuon Vietnamese fresh spring rolls 4

Gỏi Cuốn (Vietnamese Spring Rolls)

These refreshing & light salad rolls are my most beloved street food in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). I even learnt the peanut sauce recipe from a local food vendor.

Bánh Xèo - Vietnamese sizzling crepes with shrimp, pork, and mung bean sprouts, served with fresh herbs and dipping sauce.

Bánh Xèo (Vietnamese Sizzling Pancakes)

Bánh Xèo pancakes are much easier to make than you might think, and they’re crispy yet totally gluten-free. Don’t forget Nước Chấm and Đồ Chua (pickled carrots & daikon) to make them complete.

Thank you for trying my recipe!! Don’t forget to stay in touch with me on InstagramFacebookPinterest, and YouTube 🥰.

Bun Moc (Vietnamese noodle soup with pork balls)

Bún Mọc (Vietnamese Rice Noodles With Pork Balls)

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Bún Mọc is a Vietnamese rice noodle soup with pork balls. The pork broth is clear and simple, yet packed with flavors. The best part? It's easier to prepare than many Vietnamese dishes.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vietnamese
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

Broth:

  • 1 pound pork ribs (450g)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 big shallot
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp rock sugar (15g) (granulated sugar is ok)
  • 1 tbsp chicken powder
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 8.5 cup water (2 litesr)

Mọc (Fried & Boiled Meatballs):

  • 1 pound giò sống (Vietnamese pork paste) (450g) (store-bought or homemade)
  • 0.3 oz dried wood ear mushrooom strips (8g) (use double the amount if you only make the boiled meatballs)

Other toppings:

  • 1 pound Chả Lụa (Vietnamese pork roll) (450g) (or Chả Chiên or both)

Accompaniments:

  • Mắm Tôm (fermented shrimp paste) (on the side)
  • Ớt Sa Tế (Vietnamese lemongrass chili oil) (on the side)
  • Mung bean sprouts
  • Celery (substitute for water spinach and banana blossoms)
  • Lime/Lemon (cut into wedges)
  • Cilantro
  • Green onions

Instructions
 

Broth:

  • Parboil the pork ribs with water and some salt, then wash and rinse them thoroughly.
  • Return the pork ribs to the pot with water, onion, shallots, rock sugar and salt. Cook over medium-low heat for one hour, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface.

Boiled Meatballs:

  • Soak the wood ear mushrooms in water for 20 minutes. Chop them, but not too finely, if you want more crunchy texture in your meatballs.
  • Mix the mushrooms with the pork paste and keep the mixture in the fridge until the broth is ready.

Fried Meatballs:

  • Use your hands or two spoons to scoop the mixture. If it becomes too sticky, you can apply some cooking oil to your hands or spoons.
  • Fry the meatballs over medium-low heat until they turn golden brown.

Other Toppings:

  • Slice Chả Lụa (or Chả Chiên). Set it aside.

Rice Noodles:

  • Boil, rinse, and drain the rice noodles following the instructions on the packaging.
  • Divide the rice noodles into 4-5 bowls.

Vegetables & Herbs:

  • Rinse and finely chop cilantro and green onions.
  • Shred the celery, then soak it in water for 10 minutes. Drain thoroughly before serving.

Assemble & Serve:

  • Scoop the pork paste & mushroom mixture. Drop the meatballs into the broth. The meatballs are ready when they float to the surface.
  • Add the fried meatballs to the broth. Finally, season the broth with fish sauce and chicken powder. The broth should have a slightly saltier taste than desired, as it will dilute when served with noodles.
  • Place the rice noodles, pork ribs, fried and boiled meatballs into bowls. Ladle broth over the noodles and sprinkle with green onions and cilantro.
  • Adjust the flavors with mắm tôm and lime. Enjoy your meal!
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