ID this Asian dish!

Two or three times, I have had this wonderful Asian (most likely from the Indochina region) dish, but I have no idea what it’s called or what exactly goes in it. I would like to cook it, if possibly.

Very thin, almost paper thin, strips of beef are cooked, with pepper and lemongrass and possibly some other seasonings. You eat it on top of some sort of skinny rice noodle. The sauce you poor over the top appears to be a variation of fishsauce with pieces of garlic in it.

So what’s this called and how do I make it??

Sounds vaguely like Bun, a dish I typically see at Vietnamese restaurants.

Googling “bun” and “Vietnamese” brings up a few recipes, and google images has some pics that might confirm whether what you ate was in fact bun. I believe it’s pronounced like “boon”. Good luck!

I’m very familiar with Vietnamese food and it could be bún but it could also be a lot of other things. Bún is usually meat served over rice noodles, bean sprouts, chopped cucumber with cilantro and crushed peanuts sprinkled on top. It’s always served in a bowl because you are supposed to pour the fish sauce mixture on top - a plate would allow the sauce to spill over. The meat is usually skewered.

Maybe this is a silly question, but: What kind of restaurant were you in when this was served to you? How come you don’t know the name of the dish; did somebody else order for you? Has the sauce a watery consistency or is it thick? If watery, it could be Nuoc Mam which is fish sauce mixed with water, lime juice, sugar, garlic and crushed hot peppers.

Now I’ve made myself hungry.

Well, I should know this one, but food doesn’t make a huge impression on me. I’m vaguely aware that the best food in the world is right in my neighborhood, but I tend to forget what everything is called.

Bún just means rice noodles, so you see it in a number of dishes. The dish Patty O describes sounds like bun thit nuong (bún thịt nướng). I think the dish is the original post is banh uot (bánh ướt). Ideally, you wrap the meat and noodle with various mints, cilantro, starfruit, and some leaves that I can’t translate all together with rice paper, then dip the result in fish sauce. There’s a nice place just down the street from me that makes it really well. Next time you’re in Saigon, drop by and I’ll take you there!

Bun is a cold dish. Is the dish you refer to cold? The places where I eat bun offer grilled and/or marinated pork, not beef, but of course this is Oakland and not Vietnam…

The bun noodles are the right ones, but I didn’t see a picture of the right dish. One time it was served, the noodles but not the meat were cold. The other time, all of it was hot except the fish sauce stuff. Both times nothing was wrapped up or dipped, the sauce was just poured over.

My two favorite bun variations are with fried tofu with garlic, onion, hot pepper and lemongrass, or charcoal broiled pork slices with fried eggroll. Both come with lettuce and other veggies, and the fish sauce. Unfortunately, no restaurant sells bun in this little Oklahoma town.

I think I’ve found something very close, thanks to everyone telling me the noodles are called “bun.”

This page has (what looks to be) a very good recipe. I will definitely be trying it out. The only main variation between what I had and what the recipe describes is there weren’t that many herbs and such, only mint and a little garlic.

caligynephobia, are you within driving distance of OKC or Norman? Norman, I believe, has an authentic Asian noodle restaurant. Near OKC’s downtown, there is a whole district of Asian stores and restaurants, including an Asian version of Wal-Mart and a noodle restaurant next door (Mr. Pho’s, I think?). I can give you directions if you’d like.

Also, does anyone know of a good fish sauce recipe? I’m finding way too many online!

That “Pleasures” book is fantastic. I have it. Go buy it and all will be revealed.

ps You, I think, are referring to nuoc pham,the dipping sauce, as making fish sauce requires putting a barrelful of anchovies in the sun and waiting. There are a ton of variations. My fave is water, fish sauce, a splash of vinegar, sugar, grated carrots and chopped peanuts.

Yes, many many variations on Nuoc Mam depending on the dish it’s served with. Seems like every time I make it, it comes out tasting a little different than the last time (but always good). Roughly half water, half fish sauce, lime juice from half a lime, teaspoon of sugar to take the edge off, chopped garlic, crushed chile peppers.