Bánh cuốn is a local specialty in the Northern Vietnam, which is one of the favorite dish for breakfast by the local people.
Banh cuon is made from rice powder. The cook will pour water into the powder and make it a liquid of powder, then boil a big pan of water, put a piece of cloth on the pan and keep it flat. The liquid will be poured onto the cloth made stretch on all the flat, the heat from boiling water quickly cook the liquid, turn it to a rice sheet, the cook in the mean time quickly add grounded pork and ear wood mushroom on it and then roll it, that’s how Banh Cuon is made.
Being popular as the breakfast but Banh Cuon is always well decorated with dipping sauce and local herbs to add the flavor. A plate of white Banh Cuon spotted with brown grounded pork and ear wood mushroom, topped with crispy shallot is always served with a bow of dipping sauce made from Nuoc Mam (fish sauce), the seller will carefully consider the amount of Nuoc Mam, sugar, lime juice, garlic to form the best flavor for the dipping sauce.
Speak of the dipping sauce, despite being a side dish, it has great influence in the flavor of many dishes in Vietnamese cuisine. For Banh Cuon, the importance of the dipping sauce is the same, it could be said to be the soul of the dish making the unique flavor for each Banh Cuon stall. The magic comes with the additional drop of Ca cuong, the essence of a giant water bug common in Southeast Asia. The essence helps add an extra flavor giving a taste similar to scallops or shrimps.
Today, except for Banh Cuon itself, people also like to enjoy it together with some slices of Cha-a dish made from pork with texture partially the same as sausage.The eater will dip pieces of Banh Cuon deeply in to the sauce and enjoy the flavor of the magic combination stretch in his mouth until his stomach is full enough for a half day at work. If you have never try this dish before, never miss it when you have chances.
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