If you can't find fresh pork hocks, you may use pork shoulder, cut into 2" cubes, instead. This dish is traditionally prepared with dried and rehydrated bamboo shoots, but we found that canned ones are a worthy stand-in.
- 2 1⁄2 lb. fresh pork hocks
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 2 tbsp. canola oil
- 1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 (3/4") piece golden rock sugar
- 6 canned bamboo shoot tips, cut lengthwise into sixths
- 2 dried wood ear mushrooms, soaked in hot water, drained and cut into 1⁄2"-wide strips
- 4 large dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water, drained, stemmed, and quartered
- 1⁄2 lb. dried round bún rice noodles, boiled until tender, drained, and rinsed
- 12 scallions, white and pale green parts only
Season pork with salt and transfer to plate. Heat oil in a 6-qt. dutch oven over high heat. Add the pork and cook, turning occasionally, until lightly browned, 5 minutes. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 6 minutes. Add the fish sauce and 10 cups water and bring to a boil, skimming any foam on the surface. Add sugar and bamboo tips, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, uncovered, until pork is tender, about 2 hours. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. Season the broth with more salt and fish sauce, if you like.
Divide noodles between 6 bowls. Transfer pork to a plate; cut off and discard skin. Slice the meat off the bone, and divide between the bowls. Return broth to a boil; add scallions and cook for 30 seconds. Ladle broth over noodles and pork; serve.