Monday, April 20, 2009

Bobby Chinn's Bun Bo

Bobby Chinn demonstrated 3 dishes last Friday: Fresh Spring rolls (he forgot to bring rice papers so he rolled the spring roll in a lettuce leaf instead), Bun Bo and Sticky Rice Pudding. I didn’t manage to get hold of the recipes handout but I did manage to write down the recipe for Bun Bo.

Bun Bo in English (according to his book) means Sautéed Beef with Rice Noodles and Salad. It is a fresh and light dish and is perfect as an appetizer. Right after Bobby’s cooking demo, I immediately know that is the dish that I want to try. I don’t know where to find rice papers here in Brunei, so I cannot make Spring Rolls. The sticky rice pudding needs more effort i.e. steaming the rice on banana leaves, so no sticky rice pudding for me.

Bun Bo is a very simple dish. But as I was cooking it, I was not sure what the dish would taste like. I don’t really like the taste and smell of fish sauce and the combination of beef and fish sauce doesn’t really appeal to me. But after all ingredients are put together, the dish actually tasted good.

(I browsed through Bobby’s cookbook and compared the recipes in it with those demonstrated and I found out that the recipes are not exactly the same. I think Bobby modified the recipe to make it easier for him to do the demo. The recipe posted here is exactly as demonstrated. I’ll try the recipes in the cookbook next time.)

Bobby Chinn’s Bun Bo (Sauteed Beef with Rice Noodles and Salad)

Preparation time: 35 mins
Serves 2

Printable Recipe Here

Note: The measurements in this recipe are just my estimations. I didn’t manage to write down everything. I was a bit starstruck. :)



1 1/2 tbps white sugar
11/2 tbsps fish sauce
1/2 cup water
2 bird eye chilies
1 clove of garlic
juice of 2 limes


1. Mix in all the ingredients except the lime juice in a saucepan and bring to boil. Pour in a bowl and let cool.
2. When cool, mix in the lime juice. Set aside until ready for use.

Bun Bo


Marinated together for at least 15 mins:-

100g beef fillets, thinly sliced
1 clove of garlic
½ tsp fish sauce
1 tbp oil

Mixed salad (I only have salad at home. You can also use any herbs you like such as mint, cilantro, basil etc and also beansprouts)
Cooked Rice noodles

Garnish: crispy fried shallots, crushed peanuts and sesame seed (I only garnished mine with peanuts)


1. Prepare the serving plate with the salad topped with rice noodles.

2. Lightly oil the sauté pan and make sure the pan is smoking hot. Add in the beef and let the beef sit for a while to create a little caramelisation. Then, stir to ensure the beef is fully cooked.

3. Once beef is cooked, add in the sauce, about 4 tbps. Stir well and let simmer for a few minutes to create a brown sauce. (I didn’t actually measure how much sauce I used. I added in 2 tbps at a time until the sauce reaches the consistency that I like)

4. Spoon the beef together with the brown sauce onto the rice noodles. Garnish.

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