Bamboo is one of my top favourite ingredients in a soup. Bamboo comes in a few forms, I like to look for young bamboo that’s yellow. With this ingredient, we’re making bún măng gà, which is a Vietnamese noodle soup with chicken and bamboo. This dish is classically made with Duck instead of Chicken, but because Chicken is much more affordable, I love using it over Duck anyday. In my opinion, this is one of the simplest yet most complex tasting Vietnamese dishes.

If you order bún măng vịt at a Vietnamese restaurant, it would be served as a fragrant duck noodle soup (with no duck pieces!), along with a plate of duck served on top of shredded cabbage. Read along for the full ingredient list, and trust me, it’s fairly effortless for a load of flavour!

Here’s a few tips for that perfect bowl of Bún Măng Gà

  • Bamboo differs! If you look for the yellow bamboo at the grocers, there are some packages with young or older bamboo – I would select the younger one, as it’s a nicer bite, and sometimes find the older one to be tougher. There’s also white bamboo, which is used for sour fish soups!
  • The goal is a clear broth. Make sure to attentively skim any scum, as skipping this would change the taste of the soup.
  • Do not skip the dipping sauce! It’s similar to the beloved Fish Sauce dip, but just more concentrated, with a hit of grated ginger, which goes so well with chicken.

Recipe: Bún Măng Gà (Vietnamese Chicken & Bamboo Noodle Soup)

Serves: 4
Cooking time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Preparation time: 30 minutes

Rating: 5 out of 5.


Bamboo Shoots

454g Bamboo Shoots
2 tbsp Neutral Cooking Oil
1 shallot
1½ tbsp Garlic, minced
1 shallot
¼ tsp Granulated Sugar
¼ tsp Salt
½ Knorr Chicken Bouillon Cube


4 Chicken Legs (thigh and drumstick attached, with skin on)
1lb Chicken Carcass
4.5 litres Water
140g Ginger, unpeeled, sliced into 1-inch chunks
100 grams Rock Sugar
3 ½ Knorr Chicken Bouillon Cubes
2 tbsp Fish Sauce 


2½ cups Coconut Water
3½ 454g Thin Vermicelli Rice Noodles
Cilantro, chopped
2 Green Onions, thinly sliced lengthwise
White cabbage, shredded
1 Lime, cut into wedges

Dipping Sauce

¼ cup Fish Sauce
⅓ cup Granulated Sugar
⅓ cup Water
1 inch Ginger
1½ tbsp Garlic
½ Lime (or 1 tsp rice vinegar)
1 Thai Chili Pepper (to taste)

To Serve

454g Thin Vermicelli Rice Noodles
Cilantro, chopped
2 stalks Green Onions, thinly sliced vertically
White cabbage, shredded
1 Lime, cut into wedges


Bamboo Mix

  1. Add oil to the pan and saute garlic & shallot until fragrant.
  2. Add bamboo shoots. After 3 minutes, lower the heat and add sugar, salt and boullion cube. Set aside.


  1. Prep the chicken legs and carcass by rubbing clean with salt on all sides, then rinse chicken and pat dry.
  2. To a large pot, bring 4.5 litres of water to a boil. Once boiled, add chicken and ginger. Simmer for 25 minutes on medium, and skim off any foam.
  3. Remove chicken from the stock and set aside to cool. Discard ginger.
  4. Add soup seasoning to pot: bouillon cube, rock sugar, and fish sauce. Add shallot & bamboo mix to the pot. Continue to simmer on medium heat for 30 minutes.

Dipping Sauce

  1. Add garlic and ginger to mortar and pestle, pound until a rough paste is created.
  2. In a pan, heat up water and mix in sugar. Turn off heat.
  3. Add fish sauce, garlic/ginger mix, remaining water and lime (or rice vinegar). Add chili to taste (optional).


  1. To serve, add noodles, soup and bamboo to bowl. Garnish with cilantro, onion, lime and green onion.
  2. In a side bowl, arrange portioned chicken legs on top of cabbage. Ladle sauce over, or dip chicken directly in sauce.