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Bun Ca – the soul food for chilly days



During the chilly weather of fall, there’s nothing more comforting than a bowl of steamy and hearty fish noodle soup, or Bun Ca in Vietnamese.

Although fish noodle soup is not as well-known to foreigners as Pho or spring rolls, this dish secures a dear place in the heart of many Vietnamese diners. It is, indeed, one of the epitomes of Hanoi’s dazzling cuisine culture and which features a mouth-watering combination of veggie, spices, fish, and rice.

Bun Ca – the soul food for chilly days

As its name indicates, the main ingredients of Bun Ca consist of Bun (rice noodle) and Ca (fish). It sounds quite simple, right? Widely consumed in Vietnam, rice noodle is made from rice and has a round, thin shape.

The toppings of Bun Ca are, obviously, made from fish. Usually, they are crispy fried catfish, steamed fish, and fish cakes. But if you don’t like any of the toppings, you can always ask for a swap with others.

Now, let’s talk about the spirit of Bun Ca – the broth. Just take one sip of the broth and your mind will be blown away at how sophisticated the flavor is. The broth is made out of pork bones simmered in a seasoned liquid for a long period of time and therefore, has a rich, naturally sweet taste. In addition, some tomatoes and wine vinegar are added to create an interesting sour note and also a touch of dill to further enhance the fragrance of the dish.

And similar to other noodle soups in Hanoi, Bun Ca is served alongside a variety of fresh vegetables such as coriander, basil, lettuce, and so on.

There is another version of the traditional fish noodle soups that is equally scrumptious – fish noodles for dipping. Both dishes have the same components – broth, rice vermicelli, fried fish and fish cakes, and a side of fresh veggies.

However, when it comes to dipping fish noodles, the noodle and fried fish are served separately. So simply dip the noodles into the soup and enjoy! Also, for the fried fish, you should dip it with the chili garlicky fish sauce on the side. Since the fish is not submerged in the broth, it remains crispy and lip-snakingly delicious.

So let’s sum up what Bun Ca can offer you. You will get a rich, slightly sweet and tangy broth, some crispy fish, the fresh, crunch veggies, and an aromatic flavor from herbs. Has your mouth watered yet? We hope so!

It’s not that hard to find a place serving Bun Ca in Hanoi. It is a perfect meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So, whether you’re needing a hearty breakfast, a completely lunch or dinner, Bun Ca is an excellent choice.

Bun Ca Huong Thuy

Nettled in a narrow alley on Hong Phuc Street, Bun Ca Huong Thuy is one of the locals’ favorites whenever they’re craving for Bun Ca’s flavor. The shop has been open for about 20 years and is famous for its rich and mildly sour broth that is absolutely addicting.

Each bowl does not contain a lot of rice noodle, but instead large slices of crusty fish that are fried to perfection and also fish cakes to satisfy those who are given up to Bun Ca. Watch out for the thin spines while eating the fried fish though! The store uses big fish, so it’s quite difficult to completely remove all the spines. Besides fried fish and fish cakes, there are some other unique toppings that you might not find in any other shops – fish stomach and big chunks of fish roe.

On top of each bowl, you will find some taro stems that add a crunchy, refreshing note to your bowl of Bun Ca.

Do you know what makes this shop even more special? The answer is the opening time! From 7 pm and until 4 am on the next day. So if you are in search of a comforting late night treat, go to 40 Hong Phuc and savor a bowl of Bun Ca.

One down side of this shop, however, is the narrow space. The shop is indeed pretty small, so if you arrive when it is crowded, you will most likely have to sit outside on plastic stools and even share tables with some strangers. But hey, that is the peculiarity of Hanoi’s culture! If you want to mix with the locals at all.

Address: 40 Hong Phuc street, Nguyen Trung Truc ward, Ba Dinh district

Prices: 35,000 – 50,000 VND

Operation hours: 7 pm to 4 am

Bun Ca Cham An Vien

Bun Ca Cham An Vien is specialized in dipping fish noodles. When served, you’ll get a full tray of a bowl of piping hot soup, a plate of fried fish, a chili garlicky fish sauce, and a bowl of fresh veggies. So instead of everything in one bowl, you will actually receive a whole big meal. Sound like a great deal, right?

The special part about this dish is definitely the soup which boasts a well-balanced, tangy and sweet flavor. Looking at the bowl, you will definitely be impressed with the gorgeous colors – red from tomatoes, yellow from pineapples, fish roes, and fish cakes, and green from taro roots, dills, and onions. Also, keep in mind that the broth is quite rich and fatty, so it is best enjoyed hot.

The restaurant’s inside place is pretty spacious and has a clean and cozy atmosphere. There are always enough seats even when the restaurant is crowded, so definitely give it a shot.

Address: 48 Bat Dan street, Hang Bo ward, Hoan Kiem district

Prices: 35,000 – 50,000 VND

Operation hours: 11 am – 11 pm

Bun Ca Trung Vu

This store is located inside a wet market, so the space is quite small with only a few tables and stools. Nevertheless, the flavorful bowl of Bun Ca here is definitely worth trying. One of the highlights is the fried fish that is crunchy on the outside but still tender and moist on the inside. Each serving contains around four huge pieces, so you will definitely feel satisfied. There is also a side dish of pickled bamboo shoots that feature a harmonious combination of tangy, sweet, and sour flavors which pair awfully well with the noodle broth.

Another special point that sets this store apart from other counterparts is the dipping sauce for the fish. There are two kinds – the traditional chili garlicky fish sauce and the tamarind sauce that is slightly sour, slightly sweet.

The rich broth is also delightful on the palate. After first sip, you will definitely know that it is made from bones and fish heads simmering for hours.

Address: P112 A – B1 – Tap the Vinh Ho, Thinh Quang ward, Dong Da district

Prices: 30,000 – 55,000 VND

Operation hours: 7 am – 10 pm.




Exhibition on Communist Party of Vietnam opens in Hanoi



An exhibition on the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) opened at the Vietnam Exhibition Centre for Culture and Arts in Hanoi today, to mark the CPV’s 91st founding anniversary (February 3, 1930) and welcome the upcoming 13th National Party Congress.

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The “Dang ta that la vi dai!” (Our Party is great) exhibition is being co-organised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the National Library of Vietnam, the Vietnam Military History Museum, and the Museum of Vietnamese Youth.

It features multiple sections, including one displaying photos and documents on the CPV’s history.

Some 200 photos, 100 documents and exhibits, along with nearly 250 publications are being on display, telling how the Party led the Vietnamese people to independence and recorded great achievements during the “Doi moi” (renewal) process and the era of international integration, as well as Party building efforts today.

Of particular note, images of the previous 12 National Party Congresses and nearly 60 posters featuring the 13th National Party Congress are also on showcase in a separate section.

Another section exhibits photos on the contributions made by the Vietnam People’s Army and the People’s Public Security in the construction and safeguarding of the socialist Vietnamese Fatherland.

Photos, documents, and other exhibits depicting the trust of Vietnamese youth in the CPV’s leadership and how they have followed President Ho Chi Minh’s words are showcased.

Exhibition on Communist Party of Vietnam opens in Hanoi hinh anh 2

Students look at the exhibits (Photo: VNA)

Addressing the opening ceremony, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Dao Cuong said that the exhibition aims to highlight the CPV’s leadership during the country’s struggle for independence, “Doi moi” (renewal) process, and national construction, and the Vietnamese people’s achievements in constructing and safeguarding the socialist Vietnamese Fatherland.

It is also to foster patriotism, especially of the youths, he added.

The event will run until January 24./.VNA


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Brazilian forward misses two penalties in V. League clash



Brazilian forward misses two penalties in V. League clash

Brazilian forward Claudecir (R) puts the ball on the penalty spot during a V. League game between Hong Linh Ha Tinh and Than Quang Ninh on January 17, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Hung.

Claudecir dos Reis Rodrigues Júnior, commonly known as Claudecir, failed to convert two penalties in a V. League match Sunday, leading to his club Hong Linh Ha Tinh’s defeat.

Hong Linh lost 1-2 to Than Quang Ninh in the opening round of V. League. In the 33rd minute, Claudecir was fouled inside the box, and the referee rewarded Ha Tinh a penalty. The 31-year-old’s shot subsequently went wide.

With Claudecir’s miss, Ha Tinh failed to extend their lead. Earlier in the game, they got the opener by Tran Phi Son. Witnessing the inaccurate penalty, Ha Tinh coach Pham Minh Duc could do little but provide a sheepish smile.

In stoppage time of the first half, Claudecir had the chance to redeem himself when Ha Tinh were awarded another penalty. However, the Brazilian failed to put enough power into his shot, which the Quang Ninh keeper easily saved.

Quang Ninh scored two goals to turn the tied in the last eight minutes of the game.

Claudecir is renowned in the V. League, having played in Vietnam since 2016. He won the domestic club title with Quang Nam FC in 2017. The forward became the top scorer of the season with 12 goals. However, he lost his form during the next two seasons, scoring only six goals.

The Brazilian moved to Hai Phong FC at the start of the 2020 before being loaned to Quang Ninh in the second phase. Claudecir joined Ha Tinh in the transfer window for the 2021 season.


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Defending champions Viettel stumble in V.League 1 opener




Nguyễn Phú Nguyên celebrates his goal, which turned out to be the winner. Photo

Peter Cowan

HÀ NỘI — Viettel’s new slogan ‘Your Way’ might be a good fit for a telecommunications company, but having the words plastered around Hàng Đẫy Stadium’s advertising hoardings did the football club no favours on Saturday.

That’s because Hải Phòng really had ‘their way’ with Viettel’s football side for much of the defending V.League 1 champion’s opening fixture of the 2021 season.

While the visitors only came away with a slender 1-0 victory, the manner of the defeat will be concerning for Viettel coach Trương Việt Hoàng, who watched his normally watertight defence look decidedly shaky against a Hải Phòng side so unfancied they didn’t even have a player featured in the league’s swishy season-opening promo video.

It took just two minutes for Hải Phòng to expose that frail defence, bereft of captain Bùi Tiến Dũng and Quế Ngọc Hải, as good linkup play between forwards Andre Fagan and Jermie Lynch and a poor challenge from Viettel defender Walter Luiz gave Lynch a sight at goal, but keeper Trần Nguyên Mạnh was able to beat the shot away.

Luiz was at fault for the goal 13 minutes later when the Brazilian failed to deal with a high ball and Fagan outpaced him to race through on goal. The Jamaican’s shot was saved by Mạnh, but Nguyễn Phú Nguyên was on hand to net the rebound and send the loud visiting support into raptures.

The away side should have doubled their lead on 29 minutes after a quick counterattack ended with Lynch taking a shot from just inside the box, but his effort struck the inside of the post and bounced agonisingly across the face of goal and out for a goal-kick.

Viettel’s best chance of the first half came in the 37th minute when Venâncio Caíque laid the ball off to Bùi Duy Thường after a nice move, but his powerful volley was comfortably saved by Nguyễn Văn Toản.

Hải Phòng had yet another chance to make it two late in the first half after Lynch outpaced Silva and squared to Fagan, but Mạnh was equal to his effort, as well as the rebound from Nguyễn Hữu Khôi.

Coach Hoàng rang the changes at half-time, taking off the struggling Luiz and changing Viettel’s shape, which put them in the ascendancy and changed the complexion of the match, and one briefly felt Hải Phòng might be made to pay for their wastefulness in front of goal.

Their best chance to equalise came in the 61st minute when the silky Nguyễn Hoàng Đức somehow squeezed between two Hải Phòng players and found Pedro Paulo on the edge of the six-yard box, but the Brazilian couldn’t control the ball and Văn Toản smothered the ball and the golden opportunity.

While Viettel dominated possession for the rest of the match, Paulo’s miss was as close as they came to snatching a point, kicking their league title defence off to an inauspicious start.

Hà Nội stunned

Elsewhere in the opening weekend of fixtures, Nam Định shocked Hà Nội FC 3-0 on Friday night at Thiên Trường Stadium.

The visitors are among the favourites for the title this season, but two goals from Gramoz Kurtaj and one from Rodrigo Dias left them reeling. Hà Nội coach Chu Đình Nghiêm lamented the poor state of the pitch after the match, but that alone doesn’t explain such a stunning reversal.

In Saturday’s other matches, Sông Lam Nghệ An and newcomers Bình Định drew 1-1, while Becamex Bình Dương defeated Thanh Hóa 1-0. —


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