Experience Mekong Delta cuisine in Vietnam
Southwest Vietnam is the home of rustic delicacies such “bánh tằm bì”, coconut worm, Fish Paste Hotpot, Mini Savory Pancakes, which are strange but familiar and ordinary as local people.
“Bánh tằm bì” in Can Tho *
The white color of plump cakes blending with the green color of cucumber, finely chopped herbs, the red color of pickled carrot makes the yellow color of strips of pork skin and fried pork stand out. Sweetness from rich coconut sauce and fish sauce and tasteful greased onion are mixed together. “Bánh tằm bì”, the mixture of different flavors of greasiness, saltiness, sweetness, sourness, attracts many tourists.
Ingredients for 6 servings:
Bánh tằm bì: 0.5 kg/ Pork skin: 200g/ Fried pork: 200g/ Coconut sauce: 150ml/ Pickled carrot, cucumber, herbs, bean sprouts, greased onion, crushed roasted peanut, sweet-and-sour fish sauce.
“Bánh tằm bì” flour is made of Sadec rice mixed with wheat flour for a tough and clear cake. Add salt and coconut water in flour, then roll dough into pieces like silkworms. Drop dough strands into boiling water, boil, pick up into the cold water, dry and add some oil to avoid sticking.
Wash, cut and mince cucumber, herbs and bean sprouts separately. Wash and dry pork skin. Roast and crush fried rice to make “thính”, then mix with pork skin and spices. Put some greased onion in to make it smooth and nice. Marinate pork with garlic, salt and honey, boil with coconut water until being dry and golden. Cut into strips and mix with pork skin.
Grate dry coconut, boil, squeeze coconut milk, pour into a pot, add sugar, salt, flour, potato flour (soak some before), put on a small flame, boil and lift immediately.
Place on the dish with herbs, cucumber, “bánh tằm”, pork skin, fried pork, souse coconut milk and sweet-and-sour fish sauce on.
*(Silkworm-shaped rice cake with long thin strips of pork skin and fried pork)
You can enjoy this dish at: Water Fern Cake Le Lai, 4/2 Le Lai (near Luu Huu Phuoc park), Can Tho.
Mini Savory Pancakes
Being the traditional rustic dish of the Southwest for breakfast or for inviting guests, mini savory pancakes are favored because of its crispness, aroma from coconut milk. It is great to taste yellow cakes with aroma of coconut milk, shrimps, greased onion, herbs and chili fish sauce.
Cake skin (rice flour: 30g, fried flour: 20g and wheat flour: 20g)
Stuffing (crushed rice: 40g, bean: 10g, coconut milk: 30g, condensed milk: 30g, 7 fresh peeled shrimps -30g, shredded shrimps: 10g, greased onion and rice flour: 20g, grinded meat: 10g, fresh , fresh diced squid: 10g)
Sauce: fish sauce: 100ml, sugar: 70g, kumquat juice: 70g, coconut water: 30g, minced pepper: 10g, garlic: 5g
Vegetables: leaves of tinospora crispa, sesame vegetable, fruticosus, banaba leaves, cinnamon, herbs, salad, oak leaves.
Mix rice flour, wheat flour, fried flour with 250ml water, wait for 30 minutes, pour the mixture into the mould.
How to make stuffing: mix coconut milk, condensed milk, crushed rice, rice flour and 100ml water to make well-kneaded mixture.
When the cake skin is well done, put the stuffing, diced shrimp, squid, minced meat. After frying, place on the dish, cover with greased onion and shredded shrimp. Finally, decorate with herbs and spices.
How to make sauce: blend 100ml fish sauce with sugar, kumquat juice, coconut water, minced pepper, garlic to make sweet-and-sour sauce.
You can enjoy this dish at: Bến Ninh Kiều Restaurant. 78 Mai Hac De, Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi. Tel: 04. 3974 9955.
Goby Fish Paste Hotpot
Goby Fish Paste Hotpot is impressive by its strong taste, particular aroma from fermented “cá linh”, “cá sặc”, snakehead fish and other ingredients such as eggplant, boby fish. To make the best preparation for the hot pot, fish is fermented with powdered grilled rice, sugar for 10 days. The tasty hot pot served with herbs is irresistible in summer days.
Fermented snakehead fish: 100g/ Fermented “cá linh”: 100g/ Fermented “cá sặc”: 100g/ 1 coconut/ Krachai: 200g/ ½ pineapple/ Pork bone broth: 250ml/ Goby fish: 350g/ Bitter melon: 200g/ Eggplant: 200g/ Okra: 200g/ Limnocharis flava, water lily, so dua flower, hollowed vegetable, banana flower (100g for each)/ Vermicelli: 300g
How to make fish sauce: cook fermented “cá linh”, “cá sặc” and snakehead fish for 30 minutes, then remove the bones. Boil with coconut water, grilled krachai in 20 minutes. Pick krachai out, add spices.
Sauce: pure sauce
You can enjoy this dish at: Bến Ninh Kiều Restaurant/ 78 Mai Hac De, Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi/ Tel: 04. 3974 9955.
Goby hotpot with Giang leaves
It is an unforgettable experience to enjoy the sweet-and-sour taste of goby and Giang leave in a steaming hotpot. This dish cannot go without vegetables such as hollowed vegetable, “rau rút”, bitter vegetable, banana flower, and bean sprouts.
Goby/ Giang leaves/ Sodium glutamate: ½ tablespoon/ Gourmet powder: 2 tablespoons/ Sugar: 3 tablespoons/ Vinegar: 1 tablespoon/ ¼ pineapple/ Fried garlic/ Vermicelli/ Side vegetables: hollowed vegetable, banana flower, water lily, limnocharis flava, daylily, “so đũa” flower, sesbania sesban (seasonably, mainly in flooding season).
Clean goby. Pick Giang leaves, remove strands, clean, dry and crumple. Wash bitter vegetable, bean sprouts and enydra fluctuans. Wash hollowed vegetable, split, soak, take out to dry. Scrape banana flower, soak in vinegar water, fish out before meal. Cut tomato into wedges. Fry garlic. Slice pepper. Boil Giang leaves with spices. Scoop broth in hotpot covered with pepper, fried garlic, fried onion, enydra fluctuans and pineapple. Open the lid, drop goby into boiling water, then serve with vermicelli, vegetables and sauce.
You can enjoy this dish at: Phương Nam Restaurant/ 155 Bui Thi Xuan, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi/ Tel: 04. 3974 9687.