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Vietnamese Grilled Pork Meatballs with Vermicelli Noodles (Bun Cha)
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5 from 12 votes

Authentic Bun Cha - Vietnamese Grilled Pork Meatballs with Noodles

Vietnamese Grilled Pork Meatballs with Vermicelli Noodles (Bun Cha) is a classic Northern Vietnamese dish. Bun Cha features flavorful and juicy pork meatballs, vermicelli noodles, plenty of refreshing herbs and traditional lime fish sauce dipping.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Course: Main Dish, Noodle and Soup
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: bun cha, pork meatball noodles
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 536kcal
Author: Sophie


For the pork meatballs

  • 1 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons water, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 2-3 lemongrass stalks, white part only, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • black pepper

For the dipping sauce

  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • thinly sliced carrots and/or green papaya (optional)

Other ingredients

  • vermicelli noodles
  • butter lettuce (or other soft lettuce)
  • cilantro
  • mint


  • In a small saucepan, add 1/4 cup of sugar and 3 tablespoons of water. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium, continue to simmer. You will see a lot of bubbles on the surface. The mixture will then turn from clear to yellow, and get darker as you simmer it. Reduce the heat if needed. Keep watching closely, until it has a slightly dark caramel color, turn off the heat and carefully add 1 1/2 tablespoons of water. Swirl the saucepan to combine and remove it from the stove. Set aside.
    Making caramel sauce for Vietnamese caramelized fish (ca kho)
  • In a mixing bowl, add the ground pork, caramel sauce and all other ingredients for the pork meatballs. Mix for a couple of minutes to combine thoroughly. Set aside for 10-15 minutes or marinate in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours for tastier results.
    Ingredients for Vietnamese Grilled Pork Meatballs
  • To make the dipping sauce, whisk together lime juice, sugar, water, and fish sauce in a bowl. Adjust to taste. Add garlic, and add thinly sliced carrots and green papaya if using. Set aside.
    Dipping sauce for Vietnamese Grilled Pork Meatballs
  • Prepare vermicelli noodles according to package instructions. Prepare lettuce and fresh herbs.
  • Heat the grill pan (or preheat gas grill/charcoal grill if that's what you use to cook the meatballs). Shape the marinated pork into small meatballs. Once the pan is hot, grill them in a single layer until fully cooked.
    Cook Vietnamese Grilled Pork Meatballs (Bun Cha)
  • Put the grilled meatballs in the the dipping sauce, serve immediately with noodles, lettuce and herbs.


Bun Cha Hanoi is often on the sweet side a little bit, so adjust seasonings to your liking.


Calories: 536kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 1772mg | Potassium: 594mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 2mg