Banh cuon from Thanh Hoa


The northern province of Thanh Hoa has been fertilised by alluvium from the Ma River for thousands of years, therefore its agricultural sector has strongly developed. Using an abundant resource of agricultural products, the locals create many delicious dishes, including Banh cuon (steamed rolled rice cakes).

It is a paper-thin steamed rice flour pancake, much like delicate sheets of fresh rice noodles. To make the cake delicious, it is necessary to select the special rice variety which is grown in Vinh Loc, Yen Dinh, Thieu Hoa and Hoang Hoa. This rice variety is very tasty with a regular and round seed. Firstly, the rice is soaked in water for five-eight hours before being ground into flour. The white flour is fermented overnight to have a suitable sour taste. Among the different stages, the process of making the pancakes over a huge steam pot is the most difficult.  The thin white sheet of this steamed rice batter are plucked off of the linen steamer base, and immediately rolled with minced pork and mushrooms and peeled shrimp caught from the Ma River then piled on a plate, sprinkled with deep fried shallots, snipped with scissors into bite sized sections, and topped with fresh herbs such as cilantro or Vietnamese basil. 

To eat, dip a section of rolled noodle goodness into the accompanying warm fish sauce, brightened with a squeeze of fresh lime, pepper and fresh chili.  Banh cuon is often served with grilled pork or different kinds of pork sausages, including sheets of an orange hued, roasted cinnamon sausage called cha que.

Thanks to its softness, sweet fragrance of cinnamon, dried onion and strong taste of minced meat and sources, the delicious dish of the Thanh area is well known nationwide and is listed as one of the specialties of regions in Viet Nam.

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