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On Beyond Pho With an Asian Sensation

Get a taste of the rich Vietnamese specialty bun bo hue at local eatery Pho Ca Dao.



 

Take the time to read past the Pho section of the menu at a Vietnamese restaurant, and you will eventually come to the “Bun” section. Often referred to as Vermicelli bowls, Bun simply means noodles. The more authentic the restaurant, the more likely Bun Bo Hue (boon bah way) will be on the menu.


Loan Nguyen has been making the spicy broth dish named for the former Imperial City for about 40 years. She comes from southern Vietnam, a region she says has much more culinary diversity than the north. She and her husband Load own Pho Ca Dao (pronounced yow, not dow), and the recipe they use at the restaurant is the same one that Loan has used for four decades, including cooking for her family.

“The only thing that changes is how you season it after it’s cooked,” she says. “Everything is the same, and every cook has her own recipe to make bun bo hue.”

Like pho, the basic recipe varies little, but the variations beyond the basics – from spices to the color of the broth – are as numerous as the cooks who make it. The common elements are the broth made with beef and pork bones, onions, garlic, shrimp paste, lemon grass and the noodles, rice vermicelli about the same size as spaghetti.
 

Fragrant Thai basil for garnish


Bun bo hue usually contains at least two kinds of meat; Nguyen uses thinly sliced flank steak, pork and pork sausage. (By the way, other restaurants, including Pho Cuong, serve the soup with cubes of congealed pig blood. When the servers ask if you want your bun bo hue with everything, that’s a good thing to keep in mind.)

The spiciness can easily be adjusted by the addition of saté, a paste made from dried peppers, chili powder and minced garlic. Nguyen adds lemon grass to her saté, and she prefers to work with cayenne peppers. The paste is fiercely hot by itself, but its dilution in the broth makes it palatable and allows the diner to adjust the heat to personal preference. It should be noted that it was also delicious on the pork spring rolls.

Along with the saté, bun bo hue is served with mint, Thai basil, shredded cabbage, lime wedges and perilla – an herb in the mint family that amps up the soup’s aromatics considerably. (As with the saté, a little goes a long way.) Regular eaters of pho will know exactly how many variations are possible using the plate of additions, and the same is true of bun bo hue. The addition of meat and the richer broth make it heartier than pho, so it should be a natural for our cold Oklahoma winters. 
 


Pho Ca Dao
2431 N Classen, OKC  |  405.521.8819
Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

 

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September 2018

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
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Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
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Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Show More...
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Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Show More...
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Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

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Cost: TBD

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
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Oklahoma City, OK  73111
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Sponsor: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma
Telephone: 918.551.2164
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Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

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Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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Contact Name: Jackie Peterson
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Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

Show More...
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