Banh cuon (rolled cake)


Bánh cuốn (literally “rolled cake”) is a dish from northern Vietnam. It is a crêpe-like roll made from a thin, wide sheet of rice flour filled with ground pork, minced wood ear mushroom, and other ingredients. Sides for this dish usually consist of chả lụa (Vietnamese pork sausage) and bean sprouts, with the dipping sauce called nước chấm. Sometimes, a drop of cà cuống, which is the essence of a giant water bug, Lethocerus indicus, is added to the nước chấm for extra flavor, although this ingredient is scarce and quite expensive.

Unlike shahe fen, the rice sheet in bánh cuốn is extremely thin and delicate. It is a light dish, and is generally eaten for breakfast everywhere in Vietnam. A different version of bánh cuốn, called bánh cuốn Thanh Trì and bánh cuốn làng Kênh, may be found in Thanh Trì, a southern district of Hanoi and Kênh village of Nam Định, an ancient village in the centre of Nam Định city.Bánh cuốn Thanh Trì or Bánh cuốn làng Kênh are not rolls, but just rice sheets eaten with chả lụa, fried shallots, or prawns; see the article Bánh cuốn in the Vietnamese Wikipedia.

A similar Chinese dish is the Cantonese dish coeng4 fan2 (肠粉; pinyin: chángfěn), usually translated into English as “steamed rice roll” or “rice noodle roll,” which is a form of dim sum.