|Bánh cuốn is one of the ten must-try dishes of the world in 2023, according to Australian daily online Traveller. Photo dulich.laodong.vn|
HÀ NỘI - Bánh cuốn (steamed rolled pancakes) has been named one of the top dishes from around the world by Australian daily online Traveller.
According to Traveller, bánh cuốn is a simple dish and less popular with international tourists compared to phở (noodle soup) and bún chả (vermicelli with grilled pork and fresh herbs). However, making the dish requires a lot of skill.
“There's a certain magic to how these big sheets of steamed rice noodles are made before they're wrapped around savoury fillings and served with herbs and sauce,” it says.
The famous US magazine, Travel and Leisure, also recommended that bánh cuốn is one among three must-try dishes on a food tour in Việt Nam, besides phở and bánh mì.
Nine other dishes were also named on the list are grilled turbot of Spain, Oklahoma smash burger from the United States, mole negro from Mexico, short eats from Sri Lanka, sushi from Japan, ragu napoletano from Italy, sarawak laksa from Malaysia, duck sausage sanga from Australia, and tahdig from Iran.
Bánh cuốn impressed diners with its special cooking style and the harmony of flavours from its ingredients. The dish can be found across Việt Nam, but each region has variations in ingredients, cooking methods and tastes.
The most famed variation is said to be found in bánh cuốn’s cradle, Thanh Trì, an ancient suburb of Hà Nội.
Thanh Trì rolled pancakes are paper thin and look almost transparent. Minced pork and wood ear mushrooms are rolled in the rice sheet, and the whole dish is served with dipping sauce.
The sauce served with the rolled pancake is similar to that in bún chả (noodles served with grilled pork) – fish sauce with sugar, water (to lessen the saltiness), chilli and vinegar. They could also be eaten with chả quế (orange-hued, roasted cinnamon sausage) or chả lụa (Vietnamese classic silky sausages) to boost their taste.
|Phủ Lý steamed rolled rice pancakes are eaten cold with charcoal-grilled meat. — Photo Đặc Sản Hà Nam Facebook|
Unlike Hà Nội’s version, Phủ Lý steamed rolled rice pancakes in Hà Nam Province have no stuffing. This type of bánh cuốn is eaten cold with charcoal-grilled meat instead of roasted cinnamon pork. The meat must be both lean and fatty to be soft, fragrant, and not too dry. The pancakes are dipped in diluted fish sauce and served with various herbs.
|In Cao Bằng and Lạng Sơn, rolled pancakes are eaten with pork bone broth. — Photo kenh14.vn|
In the northern provinces of Cao Bằng and Lạng Sơn, rolled pancakes are eaten with pork bone broth instead of fish sauce like in Hà Nội. While spreading the wet batter over the steaming basket, cooks would add an egg and then cover the cooked egg with a rice sheet. Diners could add some fermented bamboo shoots and chilli to fortify their broth.
In central provinces like Nghệ An and Hà Tĩnh, bánh cuốn is also known as bánh mướt. Here, the steamed Vietnamese rolls often contain only rice batter, without any pork or mushroom.
In Nghệ An, locals often serve bánh mướt with eel soup, another local delicacy, while in Hà Tĩnh, the dish is eaten with ram, the local version of spring rolls. To enjoy this dish, diners wrap the crispy spring roll with the rice pancake and dip it into fish sauce. VNS