Author Archives: thanhnguyen

Fried Pillow Cake- Bánh gối

Fried Pillow Cake- Banh Goi will be cooked when the sun moon, a bit like a pancake southern or western monster cakes. But the point made distinctive flavor of each type of bread is the raw material and create them.

In those days the freezing air, the Hanoi to find familiar snack to enjoy cake knees together. In ancient times, people often sell bread pillows on their wheelchairs and walk through the streets today pillow cake sold at the old town and the flavor of the cake also different.

Cake picky pillow, by raw materials need many things, first used as a flour crust.Personal gear includes: ground pork, egg, vermicelli, wood ear, mushrooms, pepper, spices. Also, depending on taste you can add vegetables like turnips, carrots or diced small bean roots in both the human.

Take wheat flour mixed with water, knead thoroughly for the first powder, plastic , not buildings but not solid. Then divided into local and rolled out dough into a circle to look better when kneading bread. Because the dough rolled very dry, so do the will of the workers that the shell powder to cake cracking.

Wood ear, bringing hot water soak mushrooms and chopped it. Myanmar softened chopped short. Kohlrabi, carrots, peas or diced small tubers. Then bring the ingredients mixed with ground pork and mixed with spices, pepper and then for about 10 minutes to infuse. Bring hard-boiled eggs and cut the lead.

When material is ready, proceed wheel package. This is an important stage, which requires the ingenuity of people do. Cake is not only delicious but also need to pretty attractive sight of food.


Crust spread out on the table, contact each person on a half tablespoons of the crust, add a few pieces of egg and spread evenly. Then fold the remaining half of the crust, use a bit of water swept it into the side of the shell and closed strokes back of wheel rim, the rim can be made ​​for beautiful teeth. Finished cake to squeeze more oil to the pan and browning. Attention all hands turn to simmer and cooked that’s not burning bread.

Cake pillow will not eat delicious vegetables without sauce and squeeze. Sauce can pillow cake made ​​from green papaya, carrots, fish sauce, sugar, vinegar, water, lemon, garlic, chili sauce, such as paper. In ancient times, people still use chili sauce instead of sweet and sour sauce now


Vietnamese bread- Bánh mỳ

Banh mi Vietnam (Vietnamese Traditional Bread) is really popular in Vietnam, it also has another name “Saigon baguette or Fried pork bread”. This is also traditional Vietnamese food. Bread is made with wheat and rice flour. This can be seen as a combination of sandwich and baguette. Thinly sliced carrots, pickles, cucumbers, liver pâté, mayonnaise and various meats are put into bread and covered by a little soy or fish sauce.
People usually sell bread in small stalls on the street-side. Depending on customer’s needs, the seller will offer lots of types. Common varieties are chicken bread, omelet bread, shredded pork skin bread, grilled pork bread, juicy crushed pork meatballs bread. If you are vegetarian, you can enjoy it with vegetable and tofu. It is one of reasons why traditional Vietnamese food is really delicious.
That’s why this baguette plays an important role in Vietnamese life- particularly with officers and people in a busy city. Any time, they can eat Banh Mi Vietnam (Vietnamese Bread) which is called traditional Vietnamese food: breakfast, lunch or dinner; when walking, doing something and don’t feel bored because there are many flavors to change.

Green papaya salad with Beef Jerky- Nộm đu đủ bò khô

Vietnamese green papaya salad comes in two guises and one of them features earthy beef jerky and heady Thai basil (hung que). The other version of green papaya salad is southern Viet and has shrimp, pork and rau ram herb; the recipe is in Into the Vietnamese Kitchen. A northern Viet favorite, green papaya salad made with beef jerky includes slivers of smoked liver and on occasion, lung too. Both the jerky and liver are a tad chewy, the liver adding a slight minerally quality to the salad. It’s no great shakes.

nom du du bo kho 1

To dress Vietnamese green papaya salad, you have two options. One is a fish sauce and lime dressing. The other features soy sauce and vinegar. The former yields a salad that is lighter in taste and appearance that the latter. Regardless of your dressing, you can serve the salad pre-dressed or with the dressing on the side.

Vietnamese Green Papaya Salad with Beef Jerky (Goi Du Du Bo Kho)

nom du du bo kho 2

An important part of this salad is to have the papaya crunchy, and Viet cooks can soak the shredded papaya in a slaked lime-and-water solution. I prefer the old fashioned method of squeezing on the shreds, which renders the papaya dryish so that once the dressing is poured on, the papaya soaks up all the flavors like a sponge.

Serves 4 to 6

2 tablespoons regular (light) soy sauce
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons Sriracha hot chili sauce, or 1 or 2 Thai or serrano chiles, finely chopped

1 green papaya, about 2 pounds
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 ounces homemade Vietnamese beef jerky or Asian-style beef jerky, cut into strips with scissors to match papaya pieces (about 1 cup total)
1/4 cup shredded fresh Thai basil leaves

1. To make either dress dressing, in a small bowl, stir together all of the ingredients, stirring until the sugar dissolves. If guests are chile heat sensitive, leave the Sriracha out and serve some on the side. Set the dressing aside to develop the flavors.

2. Peel the papaya with a vegetable peeler and then cut off the stem. Halve the papaya lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out and discard the seeds. Cut each half lengthwise into quarters, and then use a knife (or grapefruit knife or melon baller) to remove the thin white layer lining the cavity. Using a Japanese Benriner slicer or a food processor fitted with the largest shredder blade, shred the papaya pieces. Aim for thin strands about 1/16 inch thick, no more than 3/16 inch wide, and 2 1/2 to 3 inches long (about the size of the shredded mozzarella you put on a pizza).

3. Put the shredded papaya in a colander, add the sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt, and use both hands to massage the sugar and salt vigorously into the papaya. After a few minutes, the papaya will be a little slimy and limp yet still firm. At that point, rinse it under lots of cold running water to remove the salt and sugar.

4. Working in batches, wring out excess moisture from the papaya in a nonterry dish towel: position a mound of the papaya in the center, roll it up in the towel, and then twist the ends in opposite directions to force out the liquid. Do this 3 or 4 times. You want to extract enough water from the papaya yet not completely crush it. Transfer the papaya to a large bowl and fluff it up to release it from its cramped state.

5. Just before serving, add the beef jerky and Thai basil to the green papaya and toss to distribute evenly. At home, I normally pour on about 3/4 of the dressing, toss and taste, adding more dressing as needed. Or, serve the dressing on the side and invite guests to dress their own salad.

Vietnamese Sticky Rice- “Xôi”

There is nowhere in Vietnam that so many types of sticky rice – or “xoi ” present like they do in Hanoi . But standing out among the various kinds,“xoi xeo” is not only creative art with a sophisticated combination of ingredients and color but the sophistication even leaks out to its odd name.


Amazingly attractive with its bright yellow color, “xoi xeo” is sold in every wet market or may even be right on the street corner early in the morning. The seller keeps “xoi xeo” warm in a bamboo basket which is carried on the shoulder or fastened behind the bicycle. “Xoi xeo” is a special dish for breakfast, especially with students and manual laborers thanks to its rather low price, its fulfillment and palatability.

“Xoi xeo” is regarded as one of the hardest-to-cook “xoi”, despite the fact that it is concocted from ingredients which are very popular and familiar with Vietnamese. The ingredients for making “xoi xeo” remain the same everywhere: glutinous rice, turmeric powder, mung bean, shallot, and some liquid fat. The turmeric powder, mixed with water and glutinous rice, will create the natural yellow for the dish. Mung bean, after being carefully chosen and peeled; is steamed, pummeled and then rolled into small balls. Travellers often are amazed at the sight of the seller skillfully smashing those balls inside their palms, covering the base with yellow thin layers of bean.


On top of the portion lays brownish crunchy deep fried shallot. To complete the taste of “xoi xeo”, the seller will add a tablespoon of liquid fat. The yellow of the turmeric rice and bean, the brown of shallot, the distinctive green of banana leaf mix and match perfectly, and combine to make an eye-catching “xoi xeo”.

Some people, especially children, like eating “xoi xeo” with much mung bean or fried shallot while other may enjoy theirs with lot of “ruoc”- smashed and fried salted pork. A warmly large portion of “xoi xeo”, wrapped in banana leaf and old newspaper, first thing in the morning, which runs for a mere 5000-7000vnd can keep one full until late noon.

In the cold weather, the brazier is used to prevent the oil from being frozen. “Xoi xeo” is exceptionally favorite dish in winter because the bright yellow and the liquid fat make people feel warm and cheerful.

Nobody knows where “*xoi xeo*” came from and why it has such a weird name “xeo”; as in Vietnamese, “xeo” is used as an impolite way when telling people to go away. Abnormal as it is, “xoi xeo” is still a unique part of Hanoi’s cuisine that is loved by many people, both locals and foreigners.

Rolled rice pancake- Bánh cuốn

Among Vietnam’s delicate specialties, “bánh cuốn” ranks top thanks to its softness, sweet fragrance of cinnamon, dried onion and strong taste of minced meat and sources! 

banh_cuon_2Among other members of the extended noodle family, bánh cuốn (rolled rice pancake) almost ranks first. It is a paper-thin steamed rice flour pancake, much like delicate sheets of fresh rice noodles. The pancakes are plucked off of the linen steamer base, and immediately rolled with minced pork and mushrooms, then piled on a plate, sprinkled with deep fried shallots, snipped with scissors into bite sized sections, and topped with fresh herbs such as cilantro or Vietnamese basil. A plate of bánh cuốn is a light dish traditionally eaten as breakfast in Hanoi but now can also be found as a late night snack.

To eat, dip a section of rolled noodle goodness into the accompanying warm fish sauce broth, brightened with a squeeze of fresh lime. You can also pick the leaves off the herbs and add them to the dipping sauce, grabbing a leaf or two as you dip, or you can follow each bite with a chaser of herbs. Bánh cuốn are often eaten with different sides of pork sausages, including sheets of an orange hued, roasted cinnamon sausage called chả quế.

Where to find it?

banh_cuon_3A short walk north of Hàng Da Market and Hàng Điếu street will bring you to Bánh Cuốn Thanh Vân, just look for the bánh cuốn station—two large covered steaming pots—out front along the sidewalk. Just take a look! The practiced hands keep the bánh cuốn rolling out with experiences, alternating seamlessly between spreading the thin batter on the linen base of one steamer, then at right time, turning to the other to peel the delicately steamed pancake off the linen base with a bamboo stick. By the time the batter is spread on its newly emptied linen base, the pancake in the first steamer is ready and waiting. With only 6 tables nestled inside the small open storefront, the pace never slows. Serving 7AM-1PM and 5PM-11PM.



No. 14 Hàng Gà street, between Hàng Mã and Hàng Vải (the Hàng Vải corner is lined with bamboo ladders and poles). It is located on the west side of the street, not far from where the street name changes from Hàng Cót to Hàng Gà.

The restaurant Quán Ăn Ngon, No.18 Phan Bội Châu Street, also does a very respectable version of bánh cuốn.

Spring Roll- Nem rán

“Nem Rán” (or “Chả Giò” in the South) is one of the most popular traditional Vietnamese food, literally meaning minced pork roll.


The most common English translation of “Chả giò” is spring roll, though this is just a fancy name since the food has nothing to do with spring.


The main ingredients of a roll of “chả giò” are commonly seasonal ground meat, mushrooms, and diced vegetables such as carrots andjicama, rolled up in a sheet of moist rice paper. The roll is then deeply fried until the rice paper coat turns crispy and golden brown. The ingredients, however, are not fixed. The most commonly used meat ispork, but one can also use crab, shrimp, sometimes snails (in northern Vietnam), and tofu (for vegan chả giò). If diced carrots and jicama are used, the stuffs inside the rolls are a little bit crunchy, and match well with the crispy fried rice paper.

nem_ran_2Nevertheless, the juice from these vegetables can soon cause the rolls to soften after only a short time. To keep the rolls crispy for a long time, mashed sweet potato ormung beans may be used instead. One may also include bean sprouts and rice vermicelli in the stuffing mix, yet, this is a rare practice. Eggs and various spices can be added based on each one’s preference.


“Chả giò rế” is a rare kind of “chả giò” that uses “bánh hỏi” (thin rice vermicelli woven into a sheet) instead of rice paper. The stuffs inside the roll are the same as normal chả giò, and the roll is also deeply fried. Since the sheets of “bánh hỏi” themselves are not very wide, and the rice vermicelli is too easily shattered, “chả giò rế” rolls are often small and difficult to make. They are only seen at big parties and restaurants.

Side notes

At some restaurants, “chả giò” is incorrectly translated in English as “Egg rolls”, and sometimes “Imperial rolls”. Egg rolls are significantly different from “chả giò”, as the wrapper is a wheat flour sheet instead of moistened rice paper. However, many Vietnamese restaurants in America have adopted the wheat flour sheet to make their “chả giò”, since it makes the rolls harder to shatter when fried, and the rolls stay crispy for longer time.

“Banh Chung” – the soul of Vietnamese New Year!

“Banh Chung” (Chung cake) is a traditional and irreplaceable cake of Vietnamese people in the Tet Holidays and King Hung’s anniversary (10th March Lunar). For the Vietnamese, making “Banh Chung” is the ideal way to express gratitude to their ancestors and homeland.

The legend of ” Banh Chung”

banh_chung_4Chung cake was invented by the 18th Prince of Hung Emperor in the contest of looking for new Emperor. According to the legend, 3,000-4,000 years ago, Prince Lang Lieu, made round and square cakes, the round Day cake symbolizing the sky and the square Chung cake symbolizing the Earth (under the ancient Vietnamese perception), to be offered on the occasion of Spring.

In the ancient conception, the Earth is square, hence Chung cake’s shape is square, too, to reflect the Earth shape. Since the cakes he offered were of special meaning and delicious taste, Lang Lieu was selected to be the next Emperor. Since then, in honor of this 18th Prince, Vietnamese people always make and have Chung cake in the Lunar New Year. Up to now, Chung cake has become the most famous and irreplaceable traditional Vietnamese food in Tet Holiday. This legend aims to remind the next generations of the ancient tradition as well as the primary of Chung cake. Besides, it emphasizes the important role of rice and nature in water rice culture.

How to make a “Banh Chung”?


In contrast to the fast food in modern life, the process of making Chung cake is time-consuming and requires the contribution of several people. Main ingredients are glutinous rice, pork meat, and green beans wrapped in a square of bamboo leaves that will give the rice a green color after boiling. The

sticky rice must be very good and was soaked in water in the previous day. Rice cake is wrapped in square shape, and the wrapping power must be neither tight nor loose. Then the cake will be boiled in about 12 hours by wood. The Green Chung cake has nutrition with an original tasty flavor and may be kept for a long time. Eating Chung cake with vegetable pickles will bring you unforgettable taste!


In the traditional conception of Vietnamese people, the process of making Chung cake is the opportunity for family to come together. Sitting around the warm fire, all members in the family tell one another the past stories and are ready for a New Year with wishes of best things. Nowadays, in some big cities, the business lifestyle of modern society prevent people from preparing the cake, however, the habit of worship ancestors with Chung cake never changes. It is the evidence of the Vietnamese loyalty and deep gratitude to ancestors.

Pyramidal rice dumpling- Bánh giò

Not everyone can eat “banh gio”. Yet, it is very easy to get addicted to it. That is true!

This simple dish sold in country markets has become a favorite breakfast of many Hanoians. People can find this dish in small stands o­n any street in Hanoi. The stands are always crowed with diners. Hanoians can enjoy this dish at any time, at breakfast, lunch or post-lunch.

Although pyramidal rice dumpling is simple, it is very good and healthy, especially its appealing fragrance. This white and smooth dumpling is wrapped in green banana leaf, which is regarded as the quintessence of heaven and earth.

The pyramidal rice dumpling is made from a few ingredients including plain rice flour, minced lean meat, cat’s ear, onion and mushroom. The process of stirring and kneading flour is the most important, which decides the deliciousness of the dumpling. Processing the dumpling flour is a secret handed from generation to generation. Some famous makers of pyramidal rice dumpling said that they bought flour in Ha Dong District but still kept secret what kind of flour was. Therefore, it is not easy to make delicious rice dumplings.


After soaking in water, flour is dried, which is similar to the kind of “banh te” (rice cake). This flour is continously dissolved in water when being cooked. After 45 minutes, the flour turns pure white and viscid, which means it is well-cooked. Then the flour is placed o­n phrynium leaf and wrapped with meat. These rice dumplings are then put into the boiling water for 20 minutes. After that, pyramidal rice dumplings are picked up. People can feel the fragrance of the filling, rice flour and the special smell of phrynium or banana leaf. It is so great to serve this dish with sour vegetable pickles, which makes good taste; therefore, some people can eat two or three dumplings at a time.

Sitting in crowded stands, feeling hungry and enjoying this dish, you will find it a pleasure in life…

Vietnamese Sweetened Porridge- Chè

“Chè” is a Vietnamese term that refers to any traditional Vietnamese thick, sweet dessert soup or sweetened porridge.Sweetened porridge is a kind of sugary flavored beverage which is protein-rich.

As such, it may, with the addition of qualifying adjectives, refer to a wide variety of distinct soups or puddings, which may be served either hot or cold. Some varieties, such as “chè xôi nước”, may also include dumplings.

Chè are often prepared with one of a number of varieties of beans and/or glutinous rice, cooked in water and sweetened with sugar. Other ingredients may include tapioca starch, salt, and pandan leaf extract. Each variety of chè is designated by a descriptive word or phrase that follows the word chè, such as chè đậu đỏ (red bean sweetened porridge), chè đậu đen (black bean sweetened porridge) and so on.


In southern Vietnam, chè (Vietnamese Sweetened Porridge) are often garnished with coconut milk.Chè may be made at home, but are also commonly available freshly made in plastic containers, in Vietnamese grocery stores.

If you would like to prepare yourself, you could use the following recipe to cook Taro Sweetened Porridge, a kind of very delicious one.


– 0.4 kg taro.

– 0.25 kg sticky rice.

– 0.5 kg caster sugar.

– 0.3 kg grated coconut flesh.

– 1/2 liter water.

– 1/2 teaspoon salt.

– vanilla.


– Bowl, plate and spoon.

– Pot and stove.

– Filter.

– Grater.

Preparation Steps:

Taro Sweetened Porridge

1. Wash and drain sticky rice.

2. Wash and cook taro until well done.  Peel and dice taro.

3. Grate coconut flesh into a bowl to extract coconut milk with water (0.5liter).  Add 0.5 liters of water to extract coconut flesh for the second time.

4. Boil the second coconut juice and add the sticky rice. Continue to cook until well done.  Allow water to evaporate.

5. Add diced taro and sugar to the mixture.  Simmer for about 20 minutes then stir the  mixture constantly to avoid  sticking to the bottom of the pan.  Stop cooking and add vanilla.  Stir regularly for about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat when the water has evaporated. Taro sweetened porridge should be thick and consistent.

6. Serve hot or cold  with the first coconut  juice.

Recommendations: When  sweetened porridge is cooked, make sure the grains do not lose their shape.

Then, you together with your family members can enjoy bowls of Taro Sweetened Porridge. So delicious!

“Ô mai” – a dilicious nosh!

“Ô mai” is salted dry apricot or sugared dry apricot that is a favourite nosh for many people in Hanoi and other provinces.

“Ô mai” – a dilicious nosh! It  is produced for traditional method, since chosing material, the company also send staff to gardens in Hung Yen, Hai Hung, Hoa Binh, Lai Chau in order to gather all crop of kinds of sour fresh fruit like plum, apricot, dracontomelum, star, tamarind, kumquat, pineaple, canari, lemon. That is the secret of Hang Duong experts, they plus sugar, ginger, add chilli, stir liquorice to have smooth yellow food with sweet-smelling.

This product is for instant all year and you can enjoy with a pot of tea and a few friends to chat. This is also valuable present from Hanoi people giving to their friends.


How to make dried apricot?

If you would like to make dried apricot, you can use the following recipe and you can make the perfect nosh. First, you soak the apricots in water to cover overnight. Then, place them to cook in the same water. Cook until tender. Mash them or chop in blender. After that, peel, core, and cut the pineapple into small pieces. Cover with water and cook until tender. Measure the fruits and juices. Last, place equal amounts of sugar with the measured fruits into a heavy kettle and cook slowly until thick and clear.