Banh Beo: A refined speciality of Hue

Hue is a historical city that has a very unique culinary culture. Since Hue was a former imperial capital during the Nguyen Dynasty, people were used to make fancy and high-class dishes to serve the emperor. Thus, Hue foods always have that delicacy even if they are just ordinary snacks. When mention about Hue, you must mention about banh beo, a light snack that bring Hue’s cooking culture famous throughout Vietnam.

No one knows about the history of banh beo since it has existed for a long time. Banh beo is one of the most famous street foods in Hue. Even though it’s a street food, many fancy restaurants also have it in their menu. The ingredients of this dish are very simple: rice cake, dried shrimps, crispy pork skin, scallion oil, and dipping sauce. However, the cooking process is extremely important to determine the deliciousness of the dish. The rice cake has to be very thin but still keeps a chewy texture. The dried shrimps are supposed to be finely grounded and then roasted on a hot pan. It would be the topping of the rice cake along with pork skin and scallion oil. Finally, the dipping sauce is made from fish sauce and shrimp broth, not too salty but has a touch of sweetness.

This dish also has a special presentation. The rice cake is put in a small bowl with toppings and one serving usually contains more than five bowls. People use a small spoon to get the sauce to the bowl and eat, which makes it looked more polite than dipping the whole thing into the sauce. This makes people realize why Hue culinary is so delicate and elegant.

Banh beo is so famous that each region of Vietnam has its own version. Each place adds more or less ingredients to the dish but still keeps the basic elements. No matter eating this dish in fancy restaurants or small street vendors, you will experience a special feeling while eating banh beo that can make you understand Hue’ s culture.