Banh Cuon is among Hanoi´s most popular food, which is mainly served for breakfast (see Video of Vietnamese meal). Despite its prestige among local, not many tourists come to know about this specialty.
Banh Cuon is probably one of those strongly influenced by French cuisine. It is a thin crepe-like rice savory pastry, with some meat and mushroom wrapped inside. The process of making banh cuon resembles that of making crepes. The only difference is that the pastry is steamed from a rice-based mixture, instead of light-oil fried from wheat-based liquid like crepes. This gives the dish a light yet unforgettable flavor and a thin and delicate texture.
The pastry is completed by the accompanying sauce- a mixture of fragrant fish sauce blended with a light sour of lime, Cha lua- Vietnamese Pork sausage, and fried onions. Vegetarians can avoid the meat component by requesting for a plain Banh Cuon (Banh Cuon Chay), which does not change the taste dramatically.
Banh Cuon can be found on many local eateries in local markets or every few blocks. Look for a steaming pot and a bright yellow sign ¨Banh cuon¨ and you will be served this delicious delicacy for just a dollar.