Island Broth: Bún Kèn

Last updated November 2020 | Words and photos by Vietnam Coracle

A Speciality of Phu Quoc, Bún Kèn is a Tropical Island in a Bowl:

Bún Kèn soup, Phu Quoc, Vietnam

Bún kèn is a crunchy, fishy, fruity noodle soup that makes use of Phu Quoc’s abundant ingredients

What is Bún Kèn?

Part salad, part soup, bún kèn is a speciality of Phu Quoc Island, off Vietnam’s southwest coast. It’s a rich, fishy, crunchy, sweet and sour concoction, which makes use of the island’s abundant seafood and tropical fruit. The fish-based broth also has coconut juice and lemongrass, giving it a thicker consistency, amber colour, and distinctive tang. The broth is poured over bún (white rice noodles), on top of which go a variety of fresh herbs, pulverized fish, bean sprouts, and a crunchy mixture of shredded green papaya and cucumber. A little bit of fresh red chilli ties all these flavours together. The result is a tropical island in a bowl: vibrant colours, fruits from the jungle, fish from the ocean; at once hot and refreshing. Try bún kèn at Ms Ut Luon’s street stall: No.87 on 30/4 Street, Duong Dong town, Phu Quoc Island [MAP] for 35,000VNĐ ($1.50) a bowl, served from 6-9am daily.

MAP: Bún Kèn | Ms Ut Luon’s Soup House | No.87 30/4 street, Duong Dong, Phu Quoc

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Images of Bún Kèn, Phu Quoc Island:

Bún kèn, Phu Quoc seafood soup, Vietnam

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6 Responses to Island Broth: Bún Kèn

  1. […] Duong Dong is really two places: to the south, along the beach, is where all the resorts and tourists are; to the north and east, around the river, is where to ‘real’ town is; where local people live and work. The beach here is very nice but it can get crowded during high season (December to March) and public holidays. Also, because all the beachfront has been built on, there’s no more public beach left for people who aren’t staying in beachfront accommodation: normal etiquette is to buy a drink at a resort and use its beach. There are lots of places to stay in all price ranges. For good mid-range value, I like Thanh Kieu Resort ($50-70: If you’re on a budget, look out for signs along the beach road advertising ‘Dorm beds for Backpackers’. However, I prefer to find a local nhà nghỉ (guesthouse) in town: try Nguyễn Trãi Street or, for a really local area, Nhật Anh Hotel (195 Nguyễn Trung Trực Street; 077 3981 798) is near the fish market. For food you could try the incredibly popular Night Market. However, it’s become so busy and touristy in recent years that it’s a better idea to eat at the seafood stalls clustered around Dinh Castle, which is just beyond the Night Market, on Bạch Đằng Street. Here, you’ll find that prices are cheaper, and food is comparable if not better than the Night Market. For a genuine Phu Quoc breakfast speciality read this. […]

  2. cheng says:

    blog is coming soon.

    Hi Tom! I just wanted to say HI and THANK YOU for sharing your experience with food in Vietnam. I am traveling for pleasure to Vietnam and Myanmar in October and stumbled onto your page during my food research. I’m very excited to use your website as a food guide and will gladly share with others too once my website is up and running. Once again, thank you for sharing your passion and love for Vietnam.

  3. […] Island Broth: Tropical Phu Quoc Island has its own soup […]

  4. […] the city. One dish that I haven’t seen before is bún kèn. I read about this on so I was curious to try for my […]

  5. […] to live in the city. One dish that I haven’t seen before is bún kèn. I read about this on so I was curious to try for my […]

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