The wetland of the Mekong Delta seems to be the most common option for either a short-day or long-day trip from Saigon. However, not everyone knows how to sort out their trip like a real local. This post help you experience one of the best native vibes of the locals in the Mekong by listing down five distinctive South Vietnam food used as the most common desserts in the region.
Grilled banana sticky rice cake – Chuối nếp nướng
The sweetness of ripe banana goes just so well with a tender grease of coconut milk and all dedicate a simple yet distinctive dessert to the dwellers of the Mekong Delta. There are numerous editions of “Chuối nếp nướng” in this vast wetland and hence categorized based on each look. Some chefs choose to steam sticky rice with coconut juice as an outer layer, yet the best one is made out of sticky rice mixed with coconut milk, wrapped by banana leaf and grilled over a charcoal fire.
Grilled banana sticky rice cake (Source: Google)
What makes such a ordinary dish like Chuối nếp nướng so captivating lies in the painstaking procedure in which the artisan behind constantly flips each of the cakes to prevent all from getting burnt. When the banana leaf is licked up by the flame and hence releasing a sweet aroma, you then get to know it is time to pick them out.
Constantly flipping (Source: Google)
Corn sticky rice pudding – Xôi bắp
If corn sticky rice pudding in Northern Vietnam comes in a salty taste, then its Mekong version gives out a tender sweetness. Smashed corn and sticky rice are all long cooked till pasty with coconut juice. Each corn seed is fully opened, white and topped with shredded coconut meat, sesame salt, and peanut.
The main ingredients (Source: Google)
Simple as it may seem, the entire cooking of Xôi bắp is not simply a method but a gastronomy. Corn seeds are first soaked in limewater so that all burst out and softened. Afterward, cooked corn seeds are long steamed with sticky rice, mung bean until a fine fragrance is released, which makes it a perfect time to recognize a cooked pudding. You can get to try this special South Vietnam food when visiting a local market early in the morning or in front of a school gate.
Corn sticky rice pudding (Source: Google)
Vietnamese steamed layer cake – Bánh da lợn
Bánh da lợn, or Vietnamese steamed layer cake, capture diners’ attention by its unique look of a generous overlapping complex of layers, all of which are made out of tapioca powder, sticky rice flour, sugar, and coconut milk.
Vietnamese steamed layer cake (Source: Google)
On a daily basis, such sticky cake is not divided by a knife yet a thread as such mugginess is supposed to attach on the blade. This chewy dish is easy to consume, which makes it an ideal dessert for those just finish their homemade meal or even simply a light breakfast. If you are the one seeking for the truest local vibe in every place you visit, do not forget to ask your local host for a good insight.
Various colors (Source: Google)
Coconut pandan tapioca sponge cake – Bánh bò thốt nốt
Next off, Bánh bò thốt nốt is another big thing we cannot fail to archive in this ultimate list. This An Giang delicacy is a creative gastronomy using the essence of palmyra trees. The main ingredients consist of palm sugar, palmyra powder, flour, and coconut milk.
Coconut pandan tapioca sponge cake (Source: Google)
That one type of powder used for the making of this coconut pandan tapioca sponge cake is well smashed from the skin of ripening palmyra fruit outer skin and accordingly filtered for juice and fused with flour. During the fermentation, the cook in charge is expected to pay a close attention at all times. A strict specific amount of water must be completely followed.
Smaller portions (Source: Google)
There is nothing better than biting a huge bite of a freshly made sponge cake and enjoy such a perfect combination of sweetness, greasy and aroma of this exceptional dessert. Do not forget to visit An Giang for the best authentic version of such cake.
Vietnamese syrupy doughnuts – Bánh còng / Bánh cam
Last but not least, this type of doughnuts seems to be one of the most common syrupy desserts in the dining life of every single Mekong Delta citizen. Chasing down the streets to the smallest alleys in town, you can easily spot out ladies balancing a huge tray of doughnuts atop their heads while crying her wares in a loving sweetness.
Syrupy doughnuts (Source: Google)
Those are made of flour and stuffed with smashed mung beans mixed with sugar. Bánh cam and Bánh còng differ one another in a way that Bánh còng comes in a circle shape with no core stuffing while Bánh cam contains ground mung beans and appears in a round shape.
Mung bean stuffing (Source: Google)
After reading this, why not request for a customized Mekong Delta tour so as to combine both its main attractions and off-the-beaten-track sense in a good way? Remember to get at least one of the South Vietnam food above and you will know how a Mekong civilian enjoys her life.