As Vietnam is one of the world-renowned foodie destinations in Southeast Asia, there are so many delicious dishes to try while you are visiting this beautiful country. Talking about Vietnamese food, you may have heard of Pho, Bun Cha or Banh Mi. Those are all good and must-try dishes in Vietnam, Banh Cuon is also on the list of authentic Vietnamese food that one should never forget to try.
Banh Cuon (stuffed steaming pancake), literally translates as rolled cakes, is made of a thin sheet of hot steamed rice batter stuffed with a mixture of cooked minced pork, minced wood ear mushroom and minced shallots. The noodle sheet is extremely delicate and thin, cooked by steaming rice batter on a cloth which is stretched over a pot of boiling water.
The rice batter is made from a combination of rice flour and tapioca starch, those flour ingredients are mixed with water and allowed to rest overnight, so that it has just a hint of fermentation sourness to it.
To cook Banh Cuon, a portion of stirring batter is ladled on the cloth, then swirled to form a wide circle. A domed lid is then covered to steam for a minute, until the noodle sheet is translucent. Afterward, they carefully insert a flat bamboo stick under the noodle sheet and gently prize it off the cloth (it should peel off easily, otherwise they have to steam it for a little longer).
It is served with some fried shallots, fresh herbs such as coriander, mint or white perilla leaves. Nuoc cham, the dipping sauce for Banh Cuon, is sometimes added with a drop of ca cuong (the essence of a giant water bug) for extra flavor. Sides for Banh Cuon usually consist of some cha lua (Vietnamese pork sausage) and pork barbecue.
Join us in our Hanoi Food Tour to try Banh cuon and many other Hanoi's sigature street food.