Chi-City

Banh Khot, Ho Chi Minh City

Banh khot is a Vietnamese dish I’d never seen or heard of before arriving in Ho Chi Minh City. Not on any menu I’ve come across in my travels before. Turns out it’s a quite popular snack in the country where it was created though. We stumbled upon banh khot by chance as we were leaving Ben Thanh Market, just outside of this shop…

The store was closed, but its entrance was where these women had set up shop…

Banh khot are Vietnamese mini pancakes… savory, not sweet… made from rice flour, corn starch, tumeric powder, coconut milk and scallion, cooked in what looks like a takoyaki pan, or “aebleskiver” as it’s known in Europe…

The woman in pink ladeled in the batter and grilled the “pancakes”…

The woman in black made the toppings, either fried shrimp or minced pork with vegetables…

For about $2.75 US, you’re delivered a tray of 12 banh knot with lettuce, fresh herbs and dipping sauce…

You then use the lettuce as your base and make your own pancake wraps, like so…

I enjoyed a few as wraps but actually preferred eating the small, savory pancakes as is, with just a touch of the vinegar and chilli sauce along with some mint, to be honest.

Yet another common Vietnamese cuisine I wish we had back home.

Oh, and if you do go to Ben Thanh Market to look for these banh khot, go early in the day. These ladies set up here around noon and sell out by around 4pm every day!

2

Walking around Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City yesterday, a woman with a stack of baguettes and big boiling pot of meatballs caught my eye. The smell coming from the stand was just amazing! In my mind, I was about to have the greatest meatball sub ever, Vietnamese style.

However, when I sat down and ordered, the woman simply brought me one meatball in a bowl and an uncut roll.

Immediately sensing my confusion, she offered assistance, slicing open the baguette, putting in the lone meatball, smashing it into a paste and smearing it inside the bread, then dumping the rest of the contents of the bowl on top of that.

So I got my delicious meatball sub, just not the way I’d imagined it.

My food education continues.