Having a natural yellow colour (normal vermicelli is white), the ‘bun day’ threads are tough and fragrant with the buttery fat of roast peanuts, hot chili and sour from the dipping sauce.
The process for making ‘bun day’ is rather complicated. The main ingredient is old rice. The best rice is left from the last rice season because it helps make the ‘bun day’ more tough compared to that made from new rice. The rice should be soaked in water for an hour and then dried before soaking it again in ash water for six hours.
The ash water should be made from wood charcoal, particularly coconut charcoal because it helps give the vermicelli a special fragrance.
After soaking it in ash water, the rice should be ground into a wet dough, then cooked over a small fire, regularly stirring it to ensure it doesn’t get burned. This is the most difficult stage involved in making the ‘bun day’ tasty, she said, noting that after the wet dough is done, the maker has to take it out from the pot, let it cool, then knead it well before putting it in a frame to be pressed into thin threads.
The threads are round, the size of your palm. They are usually steamed.
The dish is tastier when eaten cool and dipped in sauce which includes fried dried minced onions in cooking oil and fish sauce plus lemon juice, minced garlic, chili and sugar. Many diners, particularly young people, like mixing boiled pork belly and shrimp with the dish.
It is more enjoyable when topped with roast peanuts and fragrant herbs such as basil and coriander.