Banh beo, nam, loc

First off, most food shops sell these 3 kinds of “banh” together. In the central region, the name “banh” is applied to many kinds of food made from fine powder except for noodles. Before got boiled in a big pot, Banh nam and banh bot loc is wrapped in banana leaves, while banh beo is poured and boiled in small bowls. These 3 are served with 2 different bowls of fish sauce: one is more salty than the other. Be sure to use the more salty one for banh nam and bot loc, and the other for banh beo. Banh beo varies in shape and size from shop to shop.

You might also find these 3 ‘banh’s in the North or South, but they are nowhere to be compared to those in the central, because obviously here is where they originated from.


More photos:

Banh beo

Banh nam

Banh bot loc

Banh beo uot

Banh ram it


How much: 10~13,000 per dish
1. 100 Hoang Van Thu – 7am to 7pm
2. 291 Nguyen Chi Thanh – Morning (bánh bèo chén), afternoon – early evening (bánh nậm, bánh bột lọc, bánh ướt, bánh ram ít)

Bun mam
Dried noodle with anchovy fish sauce – Bún mắm

Bun mam is made out of vermicelli, pork or roasted pork, vegetables, unripe jackfruit, roasted peanuts and, of course, anchovy fish sauce.

To me, Bun mam:

– is the simplest yet most addictive dish of Danang
– has been haunting me during my four years in Japan
– was what I ate every morning every time I went back to Vietnam on university vacations
– is what I am eating while writing this post (home-made)
As the name suggests, the exquisiteness of this dish depends mostly on its anchovy fish sauce. Originally Bun mam is accompanied with boiled pork, and other alternatives include roasted pork (my favourite) or nem chua (fermented pork roll). Of course it can’t go without the special chilli jam which is a trademark of the central region. It is very easy to make a bowl of Bun mam, but not as easy to make a good one.

With roasted pork and cha

With roasted pork and nem chua

Chilli sauce
Where: Quan 110 – 110 Huynh Thuc Khang 
How much: 25,000VND as of Dec 19, 2011
When: Morning
Mam nem
Anchovy fish sauce – Mắm nêm
Before introducing other dishes of Danang, I feel the urge to write a post about this very special kind of fish sauce that plays a significant role on Danang cuisine – Mam nem.

Mam nem, alternatively mam cai, is a very unique local sauce of the central region. It is made from fermented anchovy sauce (cá cơm), pineapple, garlic and chilli; and is widely used to accompany many kinds of food. It has a very strong scent which for the first times may be uncomfortable to smell, but once you get used to it, this is the kind of fish sauce that you will get addicted to. During my 4 years in Japan, it is its smell and taste that haunted me day after day.

In Danang, Mam nem is used together with many dishes such as “Banh trang cuon thit heo”, “Bun mam” and other traditional dishes. Mam nem is the “hate it or love it” sauce, but as it is so special and unique, why not take a risk and discover one massive feature of Danang cuisine!