Generally eaten as breakfast everywhere in the northern part of Vietnam, Banh Cuon or literally rolled savoury pastry is one of the lightest, but amazingly delicious, dish that can be found in the Vietnamese menu.
Banh Cuon is a plate of thin warm rice noodle rolls, made of steamed fermented rice batter, filled with seasoned ground pork and minced wood-ear mushrooms topped with crispy fried shallots and served with a warm, sweet dipping sauce.
On our very last night in Hanoi, we managed to slip in this light snack before we headed to Pho Gia Truyen for our pho. It was so delicious that we took the effort to come back again for a take-away supper.
The rice rolls were very transparent and thin, with a smooth silky texture. Dipped in the sweet broth-like dipping sauce, it was very flavourful. The meat was well-seasoned and plentiful. In a way, Banh Cuon resembles the Cantonese chee cheung fun, except that Banh Cuon has a lighter ans sweeter taste.
We also realized many locals ordering this side dish with some unidentifiable orange square pieces. Well, turns out it was the gio lua (Northern)/cha lua (Southern) or Vietnamese ham made from grounded pork paste - apparently a must to go with Banh Cuon. Maybe next time.
While we were waiting for our take-away supper to be ready, we observed how the ladies skillfully prepare Bahn Cuon by steaming a thin layer of rice batter on a cloth over a pot of boiling water before another lady fills the rice sheets with meat and mushrooms. All done without breaking a hole on the delicate rice sheet. Now that is skill.
This shop is open for breakfast and dinner/supper.
Banh Cuon Gia Truyen
14, Hang Ga Street