Reviews

Banh xeo



Bánh xèo (literally “sizzling cake”) are Vietnamese savoury pancakes made out of rice flour, water, turmeric powder, stuffed with slivers of fatty pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts and then pan fried. Traditionally, they are served wrapped in mustard leaf, lettuce leaves, and stuffed with mint leaves, basil, fish leaf and/or other herbs, and dipped in a prepared nước mắm called nuoc cham (Vietnamese fish sauce thinned with water and lemon). In the Central region, the pancake is dipped in a special ‘tuong’ sauce which consists of liver, hoisin sauce and garlic. (Wikipedia)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObPRjgiX2wE

This is by far my most favourite dish of Danang. So much that if I must recommend only one dish to introduce Danang food, I would unhesitatingly choose this over many other great dishes. Why? Because it is absolutely delicious and “edible” to anyone. The sauce doesn’t include any special “nuoc mam” (fish sauce) so don’t worry if you can’t stand nuoc mam’s smell. In fact, the sauce is the key element which separates good and not so good Banh xeo, and makes Banh xeo in Danang unique and different from those in other cities. Most shops also sell “nem lui” together with banh xeo, so don’t forget to try them as well.

The best and most famous shop for Banh xeo in Danang is without doubt “Ba Duong” (literally means “Mrs Duong”. If you’ve noticed, lots of food shops in Central Vietnam begin their names with “Ba”. Well, lucky lucky Central misters). This shop is located in a very small street but is always crowded. There are around 4 more banh xeo shops opened up in that incredibly narrow street just to compete with “Ba Duong”, so make sure you get to the right shop. If you ride a motorbike, make sure you park in Ba Duong’s parking lot unless you want to receive unfriendly glances from other shop owners. Well this may sound troublesome, but believe me, the hot sizzling delicious pancakes worth a try 😉

Click here to know how to roll.

Banh xeo
Nem lụi – don’t forget to try this
How to roll banh xeo
Special “tuong” sauce for banh xeo and nem lui

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WHERE
My pick: Ba Duong – K280/23 Hoang Dieu – 30,000 VND per banh xeo dish, 4000 VND per stick of nem lui (as of Dec 8, 2011)
WHEN: mostly dinner. Afternoon is also OK.
The sign of Ba Duong’s parking lot

 

Banh trang cuon thit heo

The name says it all. It’s as simple as rolling dry pancake with pork and some vegetables, dipping in the sauce and eat. How easy is that! So, what makes this dish one of the most special and must-try dishes of Danang? The answer lies in 3 things:


1- The pork: There are fat at both ends of a slice.   
2- The sauce: click here to learn more about Anchovy fish sauce (mắm nêm)
3- The greens: include more than 10 different kinds of herbs such as lettuce, Thai basils, peppermint, banana blossoms, etc.


Yes, it looks very simple. All you need is boiled pork, herbs, rice paper and anchovy fish sauce. So why bother going out to eat instead of making at home? I honestly can’t explain. Maybe because of the shops’ atmosphere or special fish sauce that can’t be replicated at home. Maybe out of laziness. Or maybe because when you’re craved for that strong beautiful taste and smell, you’d feel like you HAVE to get it as soon as possible. 




HOW TO ROLL
Basically for many dishes you’d roll like this, but Banh trang cuon thit heo, it’s slightly different. There is one more layer of triangle rice flour (which looks like Pho before being cut into strings) to add to the rice paper before inserting vegetables and pork. Small trick: put the rice paper right on top of the rice flour and quickly take it out, one piece of the rice flour with stick together with the rice paper. 



Boiled pork (with fat at both ends) 


Roasted pork

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WHERE: 
1. Mậu 2 – 156 2/9 street. Very original, the best banh trang cuon thit heo in Danang.
2. TRAN II – 334 Hai Phong – 39.000 VND (normal pork) or 50.000 VND (roasted pork) per serve. Tran II is spacious, clean, with very nice and professional staffs. They provide a huge amount of vegetables for each serve and the sauce is delicious. However, the pork is often cut too thinly which is a big minus.

WHEN: Lunch, dinner