The goal of this effort is to promote an understanding of Vietnam to children in Saijō.

“I find this dish very tasty though a bit spicy,” said a student in the FNN report.

“The noodles are soft and delicious like udon noodles, but the soup is orange and its taste is also very different from Japanese dishes,” another child said, adding that was the first time they got to try Vietnamese food and they looked forward to visiting Hue City in central Vietnam — the hometown of the soup.

This screenshot captured from an NHK report shows a bowl of Vietnam’s bun bo hue served for lunch at a school in Saijō city, Ehime Prefecture, Japan.

This screenshot captured from an NHK report shows a bowl of Vietnam’s ‘bun bo Hue’ served for lunch at a school in Saijō City, Ehime Prefecture, Japan.

Toshihisa Tamai, Saijō mayor, visited a grade-four class at Saijō Elementary School on April 26 to introduce students there about Hue City, which established friendly relations with the Japanese city in 2018, according to NHK public television.

Bun bo Hue is a specialty containing rice vermicelli and beef of Hue, a former citadel in central Vietnam, where it was invented. 

A student eats Vietnam’s bun bo hue for lunch at a school in Saijō city, Ehime Prefecture, Japan. Photo: Ehime Asahi Television

A student eats Vietnam’s ‘bun bo Hue’ for lunch at a school in Saijō City, Ehime Prefecture, Japan. Photo: Ehime Asahi Television

The broth requires both pig and beef bones to be boiled with a generous dose of lemongrass, sugar, annatto, and shrimp paste. 

When served, the dish is garnished with a tangle of vegetables like lime, scallions, cilantro, banana blossoms, mint, basil, Vietnamese coriander, and water morning glory.

A bowl of Vietnam’s bun bo hue. Photo: Tuoi Tre

A bowl of Vietnam’s ‘bun bo Hue.’ Photo: Tuoi Tre

In 2016, late American chef, author, travel documentarian, and television personality Anthony Bourdain called the Hue-style beef noodle soup “the greatest soup in the world.”

In addition to bun bo Hue, Saijō children are set to have Austrian and Chinese food for lunch in May and September, respectively, as the Japanese city also established friendly relationships with Seeboden Town in Austria and Baoding City in China.

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