Skip to Content

Bun Noodles versus Pho Noodles – Differences Explained

In this post, I’m sharing with you the differences between Vietnamese bun noodles versus pho noodles. There are a lot of Asian noodles to choose from when making bun or pho, so I’m going to explain the differences so you are using the right noodles for your dish.

Both bun and pho are absolutely delicious noodle soups that Vietnamese cuisine is known for. If you have ever tried bun or pho, you know that these dishes are absolutely delicious. But you are probably wondering what the difference is between the noodles in Vietnamese Pho versus Vietnamese Bun Bo Hue. I’m going to explain to you the subtle differences between these two very popular noodle ingredients.

Pho is the quintessential soup dish that westerners are familiar with. It’s most commonly served as a beef broth noodles (chicken and vegetarian versions exist) with rice noodles.

pho noodles versus bun noodles

There are also a range of bun recipes from Vietnam, and the most popular of these is Bun Bo Hue.

pho noodles versus bun noodles

Difference Between Bun Noodles and Pho Noodles

Bun noodle soups use vermicelli noodles, which are round in shape and have a darker white color when cooked. Pho noodle soups use rice sticks, which are flat and have an opaque and translucent color when cooked.

Bun noodles are made from maida flour whereas rice noodle sticks are prepared from rice flour. In terms of shape, bun. noodles have a round form, which is similar to that of spaghetti. Pho noodles are flat and are similar to that of fettuccini noodles. Both noodles are opaque and transparent uncooked. When cooked, pho noodles have a more translucent look whereas bun noodles turn a dark white color.

Preparation Differences Between Bun Noodles and Pho Noodles

Bun noodles and pho noodles take both less than about 10 minutes to make in boiling water. Often, pho noodles can be soaked in boiling water and covered for a few minutes until softened. Bun noodles requires a longer cooking time over boiling water.

Vietnamese Dishes that Use Bun Noodles

Bun noodles are used in a variety of Vietnamese dishes. It can be served in a hot soup or served as a cold dish with toppings of fresh vegetables along with grilled meats. Some dishes that Bun can be used for include:

If you are looking for recipes outside of Vietnamese cuisine that use these noodles, check out my ultimate recipe for Khao Poon (it’s delicious).

pho noodles versus bun noodles

Vietnamese Dishes that Use Pho Noodles

Pho noodles are made with rice sticks, and rice sticks can be used in a variety of dishes. Often, Vietnamese dishes that use rice sticks include:

If you are looking for dishes outside of Vietnamese cuisine that use pho noodles, check out my recipe for delicious cheater Phad Thai.

Best Brands for Bun Noodles in Vietnamese Cuisine

Vermicelli noodles that I recommend include the ones that have the following logos on the packages:

  • Three Ladies
  • Cart
  • Horse

rice vermicelli noodles versus rice noodle sticks

Best Brands for Pho Noodles in Vietnamese Cuisine

Pho noodles that I recommend include the ones that have the following logos on the packages:

  • Three Ladies
  • Dragonfly

rice vermicelli noodles versus rice noodle sticks 020-2

Summary of the Differences Between Bun Noodles and Pho Noodles

I hope this helps explain the differences between bun noodles and pho noodles. I know it can be daunting trying to replicate some of your favorite recipes without being familiar with the different ingredients, and then being bombarded by a wall of options in a language you might not understand. Hopefully, I gave you some guidance on the best brands to purchase for either making pho or bun.

Other Vietnamese Noodle Recipes You Might Love

If you liked this post on the differences between bun and pho noodle comparisons and now are willing to try some recipes that incorporate these ingredients, you might love and enjoy these recipes:

Are you too intimidated by your local Asian grocery store?

Let me help you out!  I'll send you a free shopping list to your email inbox that will help you navigate your next visit. 

Sign up now to open up a whole new world of flavor!

Vietnamese Iced Coffee versus Thai Iced Coffee - Differences Explained
← Previous
Difference Between Laotian Pho and Vietnamese Pho
Next →
Comments are closed.