Gallery: Vietnamese Street Food: Bánh Cuốn

  • Seating Arrangement

    Like most street-side "restaurants" in Hanoi, seating consists of often second-hand plastic stools pulled up around a portable burner over which the cook steams, simmers, or grills their specialty.

    Batter

    The cook starts by spreading a thin layer of rice-flour batter on top of a fine-mesh screen set inside an aluminum steamer.

    Cooked

    After covering and steaming for about 30 seconds, the lid is lifted. By this point, the rice flour has cooked into a cohesive sheet.

    Careful Lift

    Using a single bamboo stick, the cook carefully lifts the set Bánh Cuốn from the steamer and transfers it to a plate for stuffing.

    Getting Stuffed

    The filling of choice is traditional: ground pork cooked together with wood ear mushrooms.

    Plated and Served

    A few generous slices of traditional Vietnamese pork terrine—like a cinnamon-scented mortadella—come on the side along with a small bowl of a sweet fish sauce and a lime juice-based sauce crammed full of aromatic fried shallots. Like most Vietnamese street food, the bánh cuốn comes with a handful of fresh herbs (sweet basil and cilantro).

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