What kinds of "cake" do people often eat in Vietnam?
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What kind of cake does the Vietnamese eat?

Vietnamese cuisine is diversified not only in ingredients and recipes but also through plenty of kinds of cake. The “cake” people eat in Vietnam isn’t like the Western ones with cake flour, egg, whipped cream, etc. Since Vietnam is an agricultural country, the “cake”, which means “Bánh” in Vietnamese, prefers to be with rice flour, beans, and some savory ingredients.

Vietnamese sticky rice cake (Banh Chung – Banh Tet) – what people eat in Vietnam’s Lunar New Year

Banh Chung and Banh Tet are traditional Vietnamese cakes during Tet. These two kinds of cake always go together because they share the same ingredients and play the same role in Tet dining table. Banh Chung usually founded in the North while Banh Tet is more common in the South. With the same ingredients including sticky rice, green bean, pork, etc, the taste of Banh Chung and Banh Tet is quite similar. The square shape of Banh Chung represents the Earth, whereas the cylinder shape of Banh Tet represents Heaven. Besides they can add banana instead of pork to make it a dessert.

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Banh Chung and Banh Tet are the most common cake that people eat in Vietnam Lunar New Year.

Hue Province’s traditional cakes – what you must eat in Central Vietnam

Hue was the capital of Vietnam during feudalism period. That’s why the recipes in this old capital still remain the nobility of food offered to the King. Thus, Hue’s traditional cakes what you should eat in Vietnam.

Tiny jicama flour dumplings stuffed with prawn and pork (Banh Bot Loc)

This is a Hue’s special cake consists of jicama, prawn, and pork. The skin is made of jicama flour so that when it’s cooked, it will be chewy and clear enough to see through the filling of sautéed prawn and pork. When eating, diners open the banana-leaf cover then add a little sweet and sour fish sauce on the cake. The sauce mustn’t be too salty so you can dip the cake in it.

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Banh Bot Loc – Image: songhuongfood.com.

Banh Nam

This dish is a snack people often eat in Vietnam. Hue citizens make this dish by adding a little rice powder in banana leaves, dotting some red minced prawn then steaming. You can easily find this Hue’s snack at food vendors on the sidewalk. Banh Nam serving with sweet and spicy fish sauce would make you dig in unstoppably.

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Banh Nam – Image: songhuongfood.com.

Water fern cake (Banh Beo)

It is a popular dish people love to eat in Vietnam. However, Banh Beo in Hue is the original version of those variants. The true Banh Beo must be baked in tiny bowls and served on a bamboo tray. Next, they highlight each white rice cake with dried shrimp and crispy onion. A portion also includes a bowl of sweet and spicy fish sauce.

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Banh beo – Image: thefoodgallery.wordpress.com.

Stuffed rice cake (Banh Cuon) – what people eat in Vietnam for breakfast

Banh Cuon is a common breakfast that students prefer to eat in Vietnam. In a local legend, this cake is a King offering food. It’s a very thin crepe made from rice flour mix with water in an exact ratio. The cook has to be professional to make this cake. They first cover a water pot with a piece of cloth then pour a layer of batter onto it. You can choose the fillings for this dish among mushroom, minced pork, and egg. A portion of this amazing cake includes a plate of Banh Cuon, a plate of fresh vegetable, Vietnamese coriander, some slices of pork pie, and indispensable dipping fish sauce. Like the other cake above, the dipping sauce plays a very important role in this dish.

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Banh Cuon is what most people eat in Vietnam in the morning – Image: adayroi.com.

Vietnamese Pancake (Banh Xeo) – the worldwide famous cake most tourists eat in Vietnam

Banh Xeo is a famous “cake” among not only the local but also foreign tourists and Vietnamese food lovers all over the world. It’s a crispy yellow crepe with filling made of prawn, pork belly, mushroom, sprout, and mungbean. Moreover, they also add turmeric into the flour to make the pancake more yellow. To eat this dish, people would use a piece of lettuce to roll the crust, filling and other kinds of herbs like a spring roll. Next, they will dip the roll in a sweet, sour and spicy fish sauce dip before tucking in.

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Banh Xeo is one of the most famous dishes you must eat in Vietnam – Image: www.house-foods.com.

What cake do people eat in Vietnam for dessert?

As the Western have cake as the most favorite dessert dish, the Vietnamese also have a punch of sweet cake to end the meal. So what cake do people eat in Vietnam for dessert?

Rice cake with coconut milk (Banh Duc)

Banh Duc is another traditional cake made from rice. In the past, this dish used to be served in the temples but it has become popular so that people eat it as a dessert nowadays. The recipe for this cake is very simple. They mix rice flour with water and boil it, then wait till it gets condensed. To serve this dish, they cut it into slices and top with coconut milk. There are many kinds of Banh Duc: peanut, corn, coconut, pandan, and so on.

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Banh Duc – what most people eat for dessert in Vietnam – Image: jamja.vn.

What’s more, in the Northern region, sometimes people add meat and fish sauce to the rice cake to make it a savory dish.

Banh phu the

This is the traditional cake people eat in Vietnam wedding. It’s sweet with jelly-like texture made of tapioca and coconut. Simply wrapped in banana leaves, when you eat them, you can’t help but being surprised with the amazing flavor of this cake. In the traditional wedding, a man would offer these cakes to the woman he wants to marry. It’s also a part of the gift packages that the groom’s family sends to the bride’s family.

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Banh Phu The is a traditional cake in Vietnamese weddings – Image: Van’s Kitchen.


With the simple recipes and unique flavor, those cakes above are the must eat in Vietnam. If you have a chance to visit this beautiful country, don’s miss a chance to explore more about this wonderful cuisine.