A few months ago I got to knock a fairly important one off my bucket list when I traveled to meet legendary comedian Tom Green in Saigon. In fact, I did a lot better than just meet him, with us not only getting VIP passes to watch him do stand-up, but also helping him film a music video.
What does this have to do with Street Food or Bun Moc? Not much except for me to able to mention that I met Tom Green and that for context at least it was during this trip that I first tried Bun Moc.
Vietnam is my favourite street food nation, but even though I know a lot of the dishes to try, there is nothing I love more than just disappearing down an alley and trying the first nice thing I see and this is how I discovered the Vietnamese noodle soup, Bun Moc (bún mọc).
One thing I love about the street hawkers in Saigon, and Vietnam in general, is that they tend to pick you rather than you picking them, so when the pretty Vietnamese lady said: “Hello, you wanna try”? I looked at her stall, with the sole thing on the menu being “bun moc”. No ambiguity on what was on sale here. We sat down and ordered a few bowls.
I sat on the plastic chair and watched as the pretty lady prepared by Bun Moc.
Stage one involved grabbing a handful of “bun” which is the Vietnamese glass noodles, before adding bits of pig, which included skin, and bone (sounds great I know). It is then added to the broth with cilantro and shallots, before being delivered piping hot to our table.
Whilst that might look like a drawn-out process, this was typical Vietnamese style fast food, and it all happened in under a minute (include my beer Saigon).
How does Bun Moc taste?
I usually like to add a fair bit of hot sauce, but in the interests of science, I decided to try it without first. It tasted like a fine meaty broth, with a pork undertone. I am not usually a massive fan of glass noodles, so in some respects found it a bit meh. That being said Southern Vietnamese hot sauce is the bomb, a little salt, and hot sauce and I was a happy street food guy.
Bun Moc won’t exactly revolutionize your culinary world, but it does a job when you need a snack whilst hanging out with your Hollywood friends.