“Banh xeo” is Vietnamese style crepe with whole shrimp, thinly sliced pork and bean sprouts.
Like the salad roll, the “banh xeo” is a do-it-yourself dish that involves the messy but delicious process of wrapping the crepe in lettuce with cilantro and basil. Though the filling might fall out on your table, you will be completely lost in the crispy, warm combination of lettuce and crepe, and the attentive staff will happily clean up after you.
“Banh xeo” is prepared differently throughout the country. Tourists traveling about in Vietnam are sure to encounter a different recipe, and sometimes even a different name, for “banh xeo” depending on which region and province they are visiting.
These are a pale yellow spicey Vietnamese style crepe. One piece on the bottom, and another on top encase what is usually a salad consisting of been sprouts, prawns, boiled pork, taro and carrot. Drenched in fish sauce, and you have a deliciously messy slice of fine pleasure. The dish is round, and you cut it into slices, like a pizza, so it resembles a triangle on the main platter, but usually by the time it arrives on your plate, it could resemble anything really.
In the Southern region, the “banh xeo” is the size of a large dish and yellow in color due to the employment of turmeric powder. The Southern people always add coconut milk to the rice flour to make the crepe extra delicious. The crepe is stuffed with bean sprouts, mung beans, shrimp and pork. A sweet and sour fish sauce and fresh vegetables are used as accompaniments.
In the Central region, “banh xeo” cooks make a smaller crepe that is white in color. In Hue, the crepes are called “banh khoai”, which is similar to “banh xeo”, but smaller in size and stuffed with fennel, sour star fruit, green banana and a thick soy sauce.
In addition to selling the crepes to patrons vendors also prepare them en masse for birthday parties and festivals. Northern preparations of “banh xeo” are similar to the ones down south, but include special fillings like slices of Indian taro and manioc. In some regions, “banh xeo” is prepared thick, but Southern crepes are characteristically thin, crispy and served fresh out of the frying pan. The secret to extra-thin crepes is a deep frying pan and a quick wrist to coat the frying pan with the batter before it starts to set.
Where to enjoy “banh xeo”?
In Hanoi, there are a lot of addresses for you to enjoy “banh xeo”, such as 22 Hang Bo Street, “Quan Ngon” restaurant at 12 Phan Boi Chau Street or “Chin Tham” restaurant on Thai Ha Street.
In HCMC, southern-style “banh xeo” can be found at Banh Xeo 46A on Dinh Cong Trang Street, District 1 or An la ghien Restaurant at 54A Nguyen Van Troi Street, Ward 15, Phu Nhuan District. Those seeking a meatless version of “banh xeo” can find them at vegetarian restaurants on An Lac Restaurant, 175/15 Pham Ngu Lao Street, District 1, and Thien Nguyen Restaurant, 174 Calmete street, District 1.
Banh Mi is actually a fusion food which is one of the top most favorite dishes. According to Vietnamese, Banh Mi means bread. French people at first brought this dish into Vietnam. It is a sort of sandwich that consists of meat including steamed or may be roasted pork belly and also grilled chicken. Banh Mi is served with a variety of vegetables including cucumber, pickled carrots, coriander, daikon etc. and condiments including mayonnaise, sauces, chilies, cheese etc. To get served with fresh bread it is better to have Banh Mi in morning or evening. You can find many places selling Banh Mi and they will arrange the filling according to your choice.
Rice is a very common dish in Vietnam. Rice paper rolls is one of the very special foods. The rolls are prepared in front of you. It comes with either seafood or pork and sauces. The dipping sauces usually include hoisin sauce and a fish sauce naming nuoc mam pha. It is an excellent snack. You can find these rolls in many places and generally they are very fresh and delicious.
While travelling Vietnam, you can see a lot of seafood on the street. Most of street carts keep the raw seafood on display from which you can choose whatever you want. Seafood include crabs, scallops, tuna, shrimp, swordfish etc. All you have to do is to choose or point the seafood you want to have and they will fry or grill it according to your order.
Bo la lot:
Bo la lot is an interesting and tasty food. Travelers and visitors may find it different. In, Ho Chi Minh City, the beef grills are cooked in the street and whenever you go right past it, the fragrance will strike you definitely. They prepare Bo la lot by wrapping the grilled spicy beef in betel leaves which taste bitter and this brings a different taste to the beef, different but tasty. If you want to finish your meal with something sweet, then Banh kep is a very good one. All over the Ho Chi Minh City, ladies sell coconut milk waffle cookies which are quite crunchy. The whole thing is prepared in front of you. They put batter into waffle iron and then heat it on the charcoal fire. So, frankly speaking Ho Chi Minh City can give you a new perspective about the street foods. They are fresh and most importantly quite delicious enough to compete with even high quality restaurant dishes. Vietnamese are really good with flavors and cooking. So, whenever you walk down the street, the smell and look of the dishes will surely tempt you to have the foods. For food lovers, it is a really good place to try up the street foods and moreover, do not forget to taste the above mentioned foods. They are so good that I would say if you leave Vietnam without tasting those, you are going to regret it forever. Ho Chi Minh City is an excellent place for tasting new foods and getting surprised by the taste and flavors. The city is a real source of joy for the food lovers as well as for the amateurs.
“Mứt Tết”, very delicious preserved fruit!
In Vietnamese New Year party, beside traditional dishes, no family can forget to make a tray of “Mứt Tết”, a cup of tea, betel and areca ready to entertain their visitors.
“Mứt Tết” refers to fruits or vegetables that have been prepared and canned for long term storage. The preparation of preserved fruit traditionally involves the use of pectin as a gelling agent, although sugar or honey may be used as well. There are various types of fruit preserves made in Vietnam, and they can be made from sweet or savory ingredients.
“Mứt” is made from all sorts of fruit, including mandarin oranges, apples, banana, coconuts, persimmons and breadfruit. Vegetables like patatoes, carrots and squash are also turned into “Mứt”, as certain types of blossoms.
The most famous variety of “Mứt” is made from rose petals or peach blossoms. The raw materials are cleaned and peeled, then soaked in sugar and cooked until dry. Other types of “Mứt” have the sticky consistency of jam. Some varieties, like “cu lac” (peanut jam) are covered with a thick layer of sugar, but most have thin layer of sugar.
In Hanoi, Hang Dieu or Hang Duong Streets in Old Quarter are famous for shops that sell “Mứt”. Preserved fruits are masterpieces in these shops. They make all kinds of preserved fruit such as ginger, waxy pumpkin, apple, orange, lemon and carrot in various shapes and colours.
To welcome Tet is to welcome the spring. However, in January, which is spring time, the weather in Vietnam is still cold. It is a good idea to warm up with a cup of hot tea and a slice of preserved ginger with golden yellow colour and a special flavour…
“Banh gio” – Pyramidal rice dumpling
This simple dish sold in country markets has become a favorite breakfast of many Hanoians. People can find this dish in small stands o¬n any street in Hanoi. The stands are always crowed with diners. Hanoians can enjoy this dish at any time, at breakfast, lunch or post-lunch.
Although pyramidal rice dumpling is simple, it is very good and healthy, especially its appealing fragrance. This white and smooth dumpling is wrapped in green banana leaf, which is regarded as the quintessence of heaven and earth.
The pyramidal rice dumpling is made from a few ingredients including plain rice flour, minced lean meat, cat’s ear, onion and mushroom. The process of stirring and kneading flour is the most important, which decides the deliciousness of the dumpling. Processing the dumpling flour is a secret handed from generation to generation. Some famous makers of pyramidal rice dumpling said that they bought flour in Ha Dong District but still kept secret what kind of flour was. Therefore, it is not easy to make delicious rice dumplings.
After soaking in water, flour is dried, which is similar to the kind of “banh te” (rice cake). This flour is continously dissolved in water when being cooked. After 45 minutes, the flour turns pure white and viscid, which means it is well-cooked. Then the flour is placed o¬n phrynium leaf and wrapped with meat. These rice dumplings are then put into the boiling water for 20 minutes. After that, pyramidal rice dumplings are picked up. People can feel the fragrance of the filling, rice flour and the special smell of phrynium or banana leaf. It is so great to serve this dish with sour vegetable pickles, which makes good taste; therefore, some people can eat two or three dumplings at a time.
Shredded Chicken Porridge (Cháo Gà Xé Phay)
Shredded Chicken Porridge (Cháo Gà Xé Phay) a which sold by many hawkers, usually by those who also sell Pork Porridge. I understand that in the West, porridge refers more to soft food made by boiling oatmeal or other grains. Here, rice is used instead.
When I prepared this batch (which gave me about 5 rice bowl-full), I actually worked harder to get a stronger tasting porridge than usual. On that morning, I bought 3 legs of chicken and got it deboned. I boiled the bones for about 1 hour and used the stock to cook the porridge. I only used meat from 1 leg of chicken and kept the other 2 legs for other use. If you are not keen to spend the extra work boiling chicken stock, you can use plain water instead.
The usual condiments to this are ginger, chopped spring onions and fried shallots. Just sprinkle them liberally and add a drop or two of sesame oil and you will get a really nice and homely tasting porridge. By the way, if you prefer to have a smooth consistency, I would suggest that you first soak the rice for 15 minutes and drain before cooking it. Once cooked, and before adding anything else into the porridge, switch off the flame and allow the porridge to cool down for about 15 minutes. Then add some water and boil again whilst stirring. You should get really smooth porridge then.
Bring chicken stock to boil. Add leg of chicken and allow cooking until just done. Don’t over cook the chicken or the meat will become tough. Remove leg of chicken and set aside to cool. Shred the meat with finger tips.Place rice in pot. Add chicken stock and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and stir occasionally until rice grains are cooked (puffed up or broken). Switch off heat and close lid and allow standing for 15 minutes.Meanwhile, fry the shallots till golden brown and set aside the fried shallots.Reheat porridge and add some water whilst stirring. Bring to boil until you get a smooth consistency. Add light soya sauce and salt to taste.Pour onto serving bowls, top up with white pepper powder, sesame oil, some shredded chicken, ginger, spring onions and fried shallots.
This is served better when it still hot. Moreover, you can easily find this dish on streets in Vietnam. Its price around $1 – $2. Really cheap, right? Make sure you will not miss this dish when visit my country. Good Luck to your trip.
“Ô mai” – a dilicious nosh!
“Ô mai” is salted dry apricot or sugared dry apricot that is a favourite nosh for many people in Hanoi and other provinces.
“Ô mai” is produced for traditional method, since chosing material, the company also send staff to gardens in Hung Yen, Hai Hung, Hoa Binh, Lai Chau in order to gather all crop of kinds of sour fresh fruit like plum, apricot, dracontomelum, star, tamarind, kumquat, pineaple, canari, lemon. That is the secret of Hang Duong experts, they plus sugar, ginger, add chilli, stir liquorice to have smooth yellow food with sweet-smelling.
This product is for instant all year and you can enjoy with a pot of tea and a few friends to chat. This is also valuable present from Ha Noi people giving to their friends.
How to make dried apricot?
If you would like to make dried apricot, you can use the following recipe and you can make the perfect nosh. First, you soak the apricots in water to cover overnight. Then, place them to cook in the same water. Cook until tender. Mash them or chop in blender. After that, peel, core, and cut the pineapple into small pieces. Cover with water and cook until tender. Measure the fruits and juices. Last, place equal amounts of sugar with the measured fruits into a heavy kettle and cook slowly until thick and clear.
Vietnamese Mixed Rice Paper Street Food (Banh Trang Tron)
Mixed Rice paper (Banh trang tron) is one of well known . It is also appropriate with every ages, this dish attract kids and people around Vietnam, it were sold in many school canteens, and usually had a few different varieties.
Core ingredients of Mixed Rice Paper (Banh trang tron) usually involved: Rice Paper (in 1 round piece or shredded), chili powder, dry shrimp, and seasoned fried onion. Rice paper then was not the normal type we used to wrap spring rolls. They had those tiny shrimp or scallion on them, and the combination tasted…. wicked. That is the reason why this food becomes one of best popular for young people.
A packet of flavoring agents that includes chili powder and oil mixes with fresh Vietnamese coriander; some mango chopped fiber and hard boiled quail eggs. Mixed Rice paper (Banh trang tron) is covered by a plastic bag with two skewers serving as makeshift chopsticks. I do notthink any of the kids were not addicted to the thing.
They are sold on some sort of rolling metal cart is sold exclusively by conical hat-donning women carrying weighty baskets over their shoulders.
The price of Mixed Rice Paper (Banh trang tron) is absolutely cheaper than another. Just pay less than 10,000 VND for 1 serving. Moreover, it is sold in some snacks restaurants; it is easy to find this dish in some large department of Vietnam.
There still have many other in our country. From South to North, you can find them easily. Do not miss any chance to taste it when you visit Vietnam. Hope you will have a happy trip with your family and friends.