Banh Cuon is among Hanoi´s most popular food, which is mainly served for breakfast. Despite its prestige among local, not many tourists come to know about this specialty.
The origin of Banh Cuon is traced back from Northern Vietnam. No matter the exact date and time Banh Cuon was initially made, people seem not to deny that Banh Cuon has been made for years and served over and over. Banh Cuon is classified under wrap and roll dishes in Vietnamese cuisine as a dedication to its nature and the name itself. The dish features a thin and delicate steamed rice sheet fills with a variety of filling then rolls it up. In English words, “Banh” is pastry presents in both sweet and savory Vietnamese recipes. “Cuon” means the process to roll a pastry sheet with or without stuffing. Undoubtedly, Banh Cuon is named after its process in making a tasty roll.
Banh Cuon is probably one of those strongly influenced by French cuisine. It is a thin crepe-like rice savory pastry, with some meat and mushroom in between. The process of making banh cuon resembles that of making crepes. The only difference is that the pastry is steamed from a rice-based mixture, instead of light-oil fried from wheat-based liquid like crepes. This gives the dish a light yet unforgettable flavor and a thin and delicate texture.
The pastry is completed by the accompanying sauce- a mixture of fragrant fish sauce blended with a light sour of lime, Cha lua- Vietnamese Pork sausage, and fried onions. Vegetarians can avoid the meat component by requesting for a plain Banh Cuon, which does not change the dish dramatically.
Banh Cuon can be found on many local eateries in local markets or every few blocks. Look for a steaming pot and a bright yellow sign ¨Banh cuon¨ and you will be served this delicious delicacy.