On his visit to Hanoi, US President Obama sampled a local delicacy – Bun cha. We look into popular versions of this quintessential Vietnamese dish

Bun cha with spring rolls

Bun cha is a dish of grilled fatty pork served with soft white vermicelli noodles. Spring rolls and bun cha are often served together, along with a special sauce made of fish sauce, garlic, chilli, and pepper. The sauce is considered the soul of the dish. Popular varieties of spring rolls include those made with crab and prawns. A dish of fresh green herbs adds freshness to this delicious meal.

Bun cha on bamboo skewers

Traditional Hanoi bun cha is grilled on bamboo skewers. Rather than being grilled in metal clamps, the pork meatballs are stuck on bamboo sticks. The minced meat is wrapped in betel leaves. The meatballs are seasoned with fish sauce, sugar, pepper and herbs. Being grilled on bamboo skewers lends the meat a delicious flavor and scent.