Banh Khot, A Vung Tau Street Speciality
Every little village in Vietnam seems to have its own special dish. When Vietnamese travel in their own country, trying the local speciality is an absolute must — and I am more than happy to tag along, eating multi-course multi-site meals, with plenty of exotic snacks in between.
In Vung Tau, a former fishing village turned oil industry hub, the speciality is banh khot, small savory pancakes.
They don’t look too impressive at first glance, but like many Vietnamese dishes, the deliciousness is the result of wrapping and dipping.
The pancakes are made with rice flour, coconut milk, chopped spring onion and shrimp. After being cooked on a huge iron griddle, the pancakes are sprinkled with the delightfully-named pork floss and more chopped spring onion.
A plate-full of banh khot is usually served with a side of sliced green papaya, a plate of fresh herbs, a stack of wrappers — usually mustard leaves and lettuce leaves — and a dipping sauce. At this little eatery in Vung Tau the dipping sauce was in a big plastic jug on the table. We nearly mistook it for tea!
While you wait for the pancakes to be cooked, pour some dipping sauce into little bowls. When your fresh-off-the-cooker pancakes arrive, take a mustard leaf and place a little pancake on it. Add some herbs and some strips of papaya. Wrap it up into a little bundle and dip. Wonderful! Order a second plate.
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10 years ago