Bun Ga Nuong: A Delectable Vietnamese Grilled Chicken Noodle Dish

By Alex Au Yeung

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Bun Ga Nuong has a rich history dating back to ancient Vietnamese culinary traditions. The dish originated in Northern Vietnam, specifically Hanoi, and quickly spread its flavors across the country. The recipe was passed down through generations, with each region adding its unique touch, making it a diverse and cherished Vietnamese street food.

This is a new variation for the familiar bun thit nuong, see recipe below:

Bun ga nuong recipe

Bun Ga Nuong: A Delectable Vietnamese Grilled Chicken Noodle Dish

Cooking notes

  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Vietnamese
  • Equipment: Charcoal grill (or stovetop grill pan), mixing bowl, tongs


  • 500g boneless chicken thighs, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, finely minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 200g vermicelli noodles, cooked and drained
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Fresh herbs (mint, cilantro, Thai basil)
  • Crushed peanuts
  • Crispy shallots



The Marinade

The first step to creating an enticing Bun Ga Nuong lies in the marinade. Combining a harmonious blend of fish sauce, lemongrass, garlic, soy sauce, and a hint of sugar, the marinade infuses the chicken with flavors that tantalize the taste buds.

Preparing the Chicken

To achieve a tender and succulent texture, the chicken is sliced into thin, even pieces before being marinated for a few hours. This allows the meat to absorb the marinade’s essence thoroughly.

Vermicelli Noodles

Meanwhile, the vermicelli noodles are cooked to perfection. They are soaked in hot water until soft, then drained and rinsed with cold water to achieve the ideal chewy texture.

The Grilling Process

The Charcoal Grill

The hallmark of Bun Ga Nuong is the smoky flavor imparted by grilling the marinated chicken over a charcoal flame. The grill’s heat locks in the marinade, creating a caramelized and slightly charred outer layer, while keeping the meat juicy and flavorful.

Achieving the Perfect Grill

The chicken slices are carefully arranged on the grill, and skilled chefs know precisely when to flip them to attain an even char. The aroma wafting from the grill entices passersby, making it an irresistible street food favorite.

Serving and Accompaniments

The Assembly

Once the chicken is grilled to perfection, it is time for the assembly. A bed of fresh, crisp lettuce is laid at the bottom of the bowl, followed by a generous serving of soft vermicelli noodles.

Toppings and Garnishes

The grilled chicken is then placed on top of the noodles, and the dish is garnished with a colorful array of herbs such as mint, cilantro, and Thai basil. Crushed peanuts and crispy shallots add a delightful crunch.

The Dressing

The final touch is the dressing. Made from fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, and chili, the dressing harmoniously ties all the elements together, creating a burst of flavors with every mouthful. Check out the nuoc cham recipe here.

Tips for Perfect Bun Ga Nuong

Bun Ga Nuong: A Delectable Vietnamese Grilled Chicken Noodle Dish

Marinating time: Allowing the chicken to marinate for at least two hours is essential to infuse the flavors thoroughly.

Optimal grilling: Maintaining the grill’s heat and turning the chicken at the right moment are key to achieving the perfect char and tenderness.

Nutrition Facts of Bun Ga Nuong

(Note: The following nutritional information is approximate and may vary based on specific ingredients and portion sizes.)

  • Serving Size: 1 serving (approx. 250g)
  • Calories: 350 kcal
  • Total Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.5g
  • Cholesterol: 90mg
  • Sodium: 800mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 30g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2g
  • Sugars: 2g
  • Protein: 28g

Popular Bun Ga Nuong Recipes

Bun Ga Nuong with Lemongrass Skewers

Bun Ga Nuong: A Delectable Vietnamese Grilled Chicken Noodle Dish

One popular variant involves threading the marinated chicken onto lemongrass skewers before grilling, imparting an additional citrusy aroma to the dish.

Bun Ga Nuong with Honey Glaze

Bun Ga Nuong: A Delectable Vietnamese Grilled Chicken Noodle Dish

For those with a sweet tooth, the chicken can be glazed with honey before grilling, adding a delightful sweetness to the smoky flavors.


Can I use other types of meat for Bun Ga Nuong?

While chicken is traditional, you can experiment with other meats like pork or tofu to cater to your preferences.

Is Bun Ga Nuong spicy?

The level of spiciness depends on the amount of chili used in the dressing. You can adjust it to suit your taste.

Can I make a vegetarian version of Bun Ga Nuong?

Absolutely! You can substitute the meat with grilled vegetables or tofu for a delicious vegetarian option.

What are some common accompaniments to Bun Ga Nuong?

Apart from the standard herbs and dressing, pickled vegetables and Vietnamese spring rolls or egg rolls are popular side dishes.

How did Bun Ga Nuong become popular worldwide?

The dish’s unique and delightful flavors, coupled with Vietnamese immigrants sharing their culinary heritage, led to its global popularity.


Bun Ga Nuong, the tantalizing Vietnamese grilled chicken noodle dish, is a true masterpiece of flavors. Its origin, preparation, and regional variants showcase the rich diversity of Vietnamese cuisine. From the smoky grilled chicken to the fresh herbs and zesty dressing, every element of this dish harmoniously comes together to create a culinary symphony. So, the next time you crave an explosion of flavors, treat yourself to Bun Ga Nuong.