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Wednesday
Nov282012

Just Another Bánh Cuốn Sunday

Banh cuon is a popular breakfast dish in Vietnam made from rice batter. The batter composition is similar to that of banh xeo, but the cooking technique is entirely different. Banh cuon batter may sometimes be fermented, but it is always steamed.

The rice batter is steamed on a piece of cloth that is stretched over an aluminum pot full of boiling water. A straw cover is placed over the batter for roughly 30 seconds, after which the cooked sheet is carefully removed with a wooden dowl. A single sheet is filled with ground pork, mushrooms, and shallots, then rolled and cut into thirds; all with deft movements and two spoons. This is how the dish gets its name; banh cuon loosely translates as "rolled cake." The finished product is garnished with fried shallots, bean sprouts, and mint.

Banh cuon may be ordered with our without an egg yolk. With a yolk (banh trung), the yolk gets placed in the batter after it's spread on top of the cloth. The back of a wooden ladel is used to blend the yolk into the batter and the result is a colorful, slightly more toothsome noodle.

Nothing on the menu is more than $1.70.

Bánh Cuốn Thiên Hương | 155 Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, phường Phạm Ngũ Lão, Quận 1 | 0903 969 695

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