It is merely a thin steamed rice cake with its top stuffed with minced shrimp mingled with scallions, green bean paste, and crispy fried shallots. But with addictive sour and spicy sauce, an eye-catching color mixture of fish sauce, sugar, garlic, chili and fresh small shrimps, watery grease, the cake is certain to whet appetite of anyone. The cake is not wrapped in leaves but served in “chen” ( a small condiment size bowl) or stacked on a “dia” (a plate).

 

 

 

 

It is not surprised when guests smile with satisfaction after leaving a pile of more than 10 empty bowls but still crave for more. After a day of sightseeing, sitting in a small vendor stall, savoring sweet, spicy and refined flavor of Bèo cakes is really a great experience.

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Tommy Ngo

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