dinner/meat/noodles/recipes/soup/vietnamese food

Hue Style Spicy Turkey Vermicelli Noodle Soup Recipe

Posted November 21, 2017 by Stephanie
Hue Style Spicy Turkey Vermicelli Noodle Soup Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Hue Style Spicy Turkey Vermicelli Noodle Soup Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

I’m all about leftovers. I mean, once, when I was at a party, someone asked how everyone liked to eat their Thanksgiving leftovers. I literally said that I like to make myself a plate that looks just like Thanksgiving dinner. I kind of got some weird looks and when everyone else answered, I realized why. Most people were saying things like turkey chili, sandwiches, turkey alfredo pasta, things like that. But really, I mean, I LOVE turkey dinner and don’t understand why people get tired of it. But, as much as I love straight up leftovers, I really really like using leftovers to make entirely new dishes. Dishes like this spicy turkey vermicelli noodle soup, a take on Vietnamese bun bo hue.

Hue Style Spicy Turkey Vermicelli Noodle Soup Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com Hue Style Spicy Turkey Vermicelli Noodle Soup Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Hue style soup is so good. It’s lemongrass-y, spicy, and incredibly addictive. If you like pho, you’re in for a treat because hue noodle soup is like pho but turned up times ten. Traditionally hue noodle soup is made with beef, which is why it’s called bun bo hue. Bun means vermicelli, bo means beef, and hue, well, that’s an area in Central Vietnam. So, this is kind of like bun turkey hue: vermicelli turkey in a hue style soup. The best part of this dish, aside from the fact that it’s delicious, is that it comes together pretty fast.

Start off with your leftover turkey bones. You did save the bones right?! Pop those in a pot with some bruised lemongrass, garlic, shallot, and rock sugar. Bring it to a gentle boil, then pop it in a low oven – the low oven is awesome because it controls the temperature and fills up your house with amazing smells. You could do this in a slow cooker too, but Mike and I are big fans of making stock in the oven.

Hue Style Spicy Turkey Vermicelli Noodle Soup Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

While that’s going, you need to make your spicy oil. This is what gives bun bo hue it’s signature spicy red look. The red is from annatto seeds and the spice is from chili peppers and flakes. It also has minced lemongrass and shallots. You use it to flavor the lemongrass stock and because it’s not in the base stock, you can make your soup as spicy or as mild as you like.

When that’s done, it’s just a question of cooking up some noodles – traditionally they use very thick vermicelli – and topping off your bowl with a generous amount of lemongrass turkey stock, your homemade chili oil, leftover turkey, and fresh herbs.

There you have it! Leftovers into very possibly the very best bestovers you’ll ever have!

PS – I know it’s a bit early to talk about leftovers, considering we haven’t even hit turkey day yet, but I’m hoping you’ll earmark this recipe so your Black Friday is extra delicious :)

Hue Style Spicy Turkey Vermicelli Noodle Soup Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Hue Style Spicy Turkey Vermicelli Noodle Soup Recipe
makes 4 large bowls

Turkey Lemongrass Stock:

  • 1 turkey carcass
  • 3-4 stalks lemongrass, cut into 3-4 inch lengths and slightly bruised
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot, halved
  • 20 grams rock sugar
  • 2 liters water
  • 3 tablespoons – 1/4 cup fish sauce

Lemongrass Chili Oil:

  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3 tablespoons annatto seeds
  • 3-4 dried chili peppers
  • 2 large shallots, finely minced
  • 1/2 head garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped lemongrass
  • 10 grams rock sugar
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste

To Finish:

  • vermicelli noodles, about 2 ounces uncooked, per bowl
  • leftover turkey meat, sliced or chopped
  • sliced red onions
  • mint, roughly chopped
  • cilantro, roughly chopped
  • finely chopped green onions
  • lime wedges

Adjust the racks in the oven so a large pot can fit in the middle and heat to 200°F. Place the turkey, lemongrass, garlic, shallot, and rock sugar in the large pot and top with water. Bring to a gentle simmer on the stove, over medium heat, then very carefully transfer to the oven, uncovered and keep in the oven for 2 hours.

While the stock is going, make the chili oil: in a small, deep sauce pan, add the oil, annatto seeds, and chili peppers. Heat up the oil over medium low heat, stirring often, until it smells aromatic and the oil is red. Remove from the heat and very carefully use a fine mesh strainer and strain out the annatto seeds and dried chilis. Add the oil back to the pan. Over medium heat, stir in the shallots, garlic, and lemongrass. Cook until the shallots just begin to soften, without browning, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in rock sugar until dissolved, then stir in the red pepper flakes, fish sauce, and shrimp paste.

Remove the stock from the oven and carefully strain into a large pot. Season it with fish sauce, by the tablespoon until it is aggressively seasoned but not overly salty, about 3-4 tablespoons. Keep the stock on a low boil.

Cook the noodles according to the package. Drain well and place the noodles in a large bowl and top with about 2 cups of the spicy lemongrass broth, 1-2 tablespoons of chili oil (to taste), and leftover turkey. Add sliced red onions, mint, cilantro, green onions, and lime to taste. Add more chili oil if you like it hot! You will definitely end up with more chili oil than stock so you can save it for another round of whatever soup you might have on hand. Enjoy :)

Notes: You can find annatto seeds and shrimp paste at Asian grocers. The seeds add the red color as well as a nutty, peppery-sweet flavor to the stock and the shrimp paste adds that extra oomph. The shrimp paste is VERY smelly on it’s own, but it’s kind of essential if you want an authentic flavor. It looks like this and you store it in the fridge after you open it. If you don’t have rock sugar, substitute regular.


  1. Natalie says:

    It looks so good! Wouldn’t mind a bowl in this stormy day :) Definitely will make it soon. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Theresa says:

    Is there a substitute for annatto seeds?

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi theresa,
      unfortunately, no. i know that some people use paprika to color their oil but it doesn’t have the same intensity or aroma. they sell annatto seeds at most grocery stores in the states though, in the mexican section!

  3. Allison Day says:

    I’m not even the one cooking the turkey this year, but I’m seriously considering cooking an extra turkey just so I can make this. It looks wonderful!

  4. Kristina Cho says:

    This sounds like the noodle soup of my dreams!

  5. Josh Lewandowski says:

    I’m roasting a chicken for a variety of uninteresting reasons tomorrow, I assume this would work well with chicken as well?

    (Also my fiancé just got me your cookbook, love it!)

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi josh,
      it will definitely work with a chicken but you’ll probably want to halve everything since chickens are so much smaller ;)

      and yay! so happy you like the book!

  6. KW says:

    Hi Stephanie! I’m going to try this recipe this weekend. At what point do you add the fish sauce to the stock? I notice that the fish sauce is listed in the ingredients for the stock, but was left out of the initial stock-making process and assumed it would be added later.

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi kw,
      you add it after you strain it and heat it up again. thanks for catching that! i’ll edit the recipe.

  7. Brenda says:

    This sounds great! What kind of oil do you use? Thanks so much!

    1. Stephanie says:

      i used grapeseed oil but any neutral oil will do :)

  8. nita says:

    This looks to die for! Dang, your photos are seriously amazing and always make me hungry even if I just ate a meal!

  9. Thu says:

    I’m Vietnamese and I just made this following the directions pretty closely and it is awesome! I put it all in my slow cooker though with Turkey legs/thighs! :) Very happy with the result! Thank you for the inspiring recipe! You’re so creative!

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