I take breakfast very seriously. I am the kind of person that wakes up hungry, probably having dreamt about food all night long. I will sacrifice sleep, waking up early, to make sure that I have time for an unhurried breakfast.
In northern Vietnam, people typically eat phở for breakfast. I ate it almost every day while in the north- I love how the noodles fill you up, the broth rehydrates you for the day, and I think the rising steam even opens the pores of your skin.
Huế, however, has a culinary competitor to phở- bún bò Huế. Anthony Bourdain, again, is famous for his claim that bún bò Huế is the better version of its northern relative, phở. And I am here to throw my weight with Bourdain- bún bò Huế may be the best breakfast ever.
There is something magical that lies in the combination of all its ingredients- rice vermicelli, the spicy, salty, sour beef broth, the fermented shrimp sauce that is a little bit sweet, the lemongrass, the different hunks of meat that are all steaming hot and fatty. Then there is the side plate of cilantro, green onions, thin slices of banana flower, various herbs, and all the other side vinegars, chilis, and fish sauces. The many parts combine to make a magnificent whole.
I have found my new favorite breakfast. Now, to try to find someone to teach me how to cook it!