Well, if you make it to go to Ho Chi Minh city, you have to try one of their signature meal, called Banh Xeo (reading: Baan say-oh). I was lucky enough to have my Vietnamese friend recommending me the best place to eat it. I’ve read about this Vietnam rice pancake at internet before I go to Vietnam, but seriously, the experience of trying it myself is way more fun of course.
When I heard pancake, I thought it’ll come with chocolate or at least maple-syrop, but I was wrong! The taste is nowhere near sweet. It’s actually more look like crepes than pancake, it’s thin and a bit crunchy, and its using rice flour, not eggs. After making the crepes, the chef will put – most common – bean sprouts, shrimp, pork / other meat and a little this and that on the crepes, but they have another kind of things to stuff there if you want, only vegetables or meat.
Now, my friend told me that there are 2 ways to eat Banh Xeo, the first one of course the most interesting one. You take a small portion of the crepes (with some stuff inside) and put it on the leaf served. I forgot to ask the name of the leaf but it’s fairly big (it might be lettuce). Then you add your selection of fresh vegetables served in the basket (and it’s a lot, a lot of vegetables) and then you roll the leaf neatly. After you have the roll, dip it into the condiment, it’s a watery orange condiment, I think it’s a combinations of vinegar, fish sauce, pepper, garlic and red chili (in small pieces), perhaps a little sugar (there’s sweet taste in it). Viola! you have a fresh roll of Banh Xeo ready to eat!
The other way to eat it is, you just put the pieces of the Banh Xeo and the selected herbs to your bowl of condiment then mix it eat it with your chopstick. It’s just like salad. Simple, but not as interesting as the first one 🙂
Well, since I’m a big fan of fresh herbs or vegetables or eatable exotic leafs (I even try the taste of several flower’s petal), I love love love love it.
Now, if you don’t mind please watch me making my own Banh Xeo! 😀