Bun Dau Mam Tom

Bun Dau Mam Tom is a Vietnamese dish which is particularly popular in Hanoi. The principal ingredients are noodles, tofu and shrimp paste which gives the dish its pungent fragrance.

About Bun Dau Mam Tom

There are lots of different Bun Dau Mam Tom recipes. Different restaurants and stalls each have their own unique take on the dish and some are more popular than others for this reason. What makes each of these recipes Bun Dau Mam Tom is the use of the three basic ingredients referred to in the title of the dish:

  • Bun: Thin rice noodles
  • Dau: Tofu
  • Mam Tom: Shrimp paste

The way the dish is made is that each component is cooked separately and then presented together on a plate, or traditionally on a bamboo weave tray, with the shrimp paste served in a bowl as the main ingredient of a dipping sauce. The noodles are cooked so they form a large clump which is then cut into small finger sized pieces. The tofu is shallow fried. The shrimp paste is typically mixed with kumquat juice, sugar and fried slices of chilli, although the precise composition of this smelly shrimp paste based sauce, which is key to the dish, can vary tremendously.

To these basic three ingredients other items are typically added such as boiled bacon, pork patties, fried intestines, and most commonly fresh herbs and vegetables such as cucumber. The more elaborate the dish the more it tends to cost, with the price per plate averaging from 25,000 to 40,000 VND in Hanoi. Sit down restaurants normally charge more than street stalls.

Bun Dau Mam Tom is popular in Hanoi
Bun Dau Mam Tom is popular in Hanoi

The origins of Bun Dau Mam Tom are not known for sure. A popular theory is a lady in a rural area in the north of Vietnam invented the dish to serve to her family and then started selling it from a street stall and it caught on from there. Bun Dau Mam Tom does, however, have similarities to a number of other South East Asian dishes and the real origins of the dish may lie in the adaptation of other dishes to suit Vietnamese tastes and the ingredients available locally. Khao kluk kapi in Thailand, for example, combines rice with shrimp paste, pork, and a range of fresh herbs and vegetables which are presented together on a plate for a diner to mix together.

Location of Bun Dau Mam Tom

Bún Đậu, Mắm Tôm, Giả Cầy at 5 Phùng Hưng, Hàng Mã, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam is one of the best rated places in Hanoi to try Bun Dau Mam Tom.

Google Map of Bún Đậu, Mắm Tôm, Giả Cầy

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