45 Best foods in Hanoi – Part 2

22. Sticky rice with mung bean and fried shallots (Xôi xéo)

Sticky rice with mung bean and fried shallots has been one of the most favorite foods of Hanoi people for many years thanks to low price, fulfillment, and great taste. The food consist of yellow steamed sticky rice which is topped with buttery well-kneaded cooked peeled mung bean, crispy fried shallots, greasy rendered fat. They soak sticky rice in water mixed with turmeric powder to make it yellow. The turmeric powder also enhances the flavor of the sticky rice. Sticky rice with mung bean and fried shallots is usually kept warm in a steamer or a basket. Wrapped in banana leaves, a portion of Xôi xéo with the shining bright yellow sticky rice, the light yellow mung bean, the brown-yellow fried shallots, and the green banana looks charming and delightful. By the way, I would like to explain why this food is called Xôi xéo in Vietnamese. “Xôi” means steamed sticky rice, “xéo” means cut in English. Vendors usually form mung bean into balls and use a knife to cut it into slices, top the slices on to the steamed sticky rice when the food is ordered.

23. Sticky rice and sweet soup (Xôi chè)

In Hanoi, they love to eat Mung bean coated sticky rice (Xôi vò) with sweet soups such as Expanded sticky rice sweet soup (Chè bà cốt), Young green sticky rice sweet soup (Chè cốm), Mung bean sweet soup (Chè đỗ xanh), Black bean sweet soup (Chè đỗ đen). When eating, mix the Mung bean coated sticky rice with the sweet soup. The sweet, viscous, and hot broth of the sweet soup plays off the dry, buttery, and cold Mung bean coated sticky rice. Most of the Vietnamese teamed sticky rice are sticky and not dry. The dry Mung bean coated sticky rice goes well with sweet soup. This is a perfect mix of two familiar Vietnamese foods. Although both steamed sticky rice and sweet soup are popular around Vietnam. Only Hanoi people eat them together. A portion of Sticky rice and sweet soup is cheap but delicious, warm and fulfilling. Sticky rice and sweet soup is one of the most favorite foods of Hanoi people when it becomes cold.

24. Ke Ga sticky rice (Xôi Kẻ Gạ)

Ke Ga sticky rice has won the hearts of Hanoi people as well as visitors from other regions of Vietnam and other countries thanks to its fragrant, sticky, round, not mushy, not too dry not too moist. It has been an elegant food of Hanoi people for many years. Ke Ga sticky rice is cooked from Golden flower sticky rice which is grown in Phu Thuong Ward, Tay Ho District, Hanoi. In recent days, many families in Phu Thuong make their livings on cultivating sticky rice, cooking and selling Ke Ga sticky rice. There are many kinds of Ke Ga sticky rice: Sticky rice with mung bean and fried shallots, Sticky rice with various kinds of beans (mung bean, black bean, etc.), Sticky rice with sesame and coconut, Sticky rice with Gac – a fruit which has red to orange flesh used to enhance the flavor of the sticky rice and make it orange. All of the ingredients should be chosen carefully. The water used to cook Ke Ga sticky rice should be clear. The cook should set the oven not too low not to high. If the heat is too low, the sticky is not sticky enough and not cooked thoroughly. On the other hand, the sticky is burnt over high heat. The sellers usually wrap Ke Ga sticky rice in fresh lotus leaves, banana leaves, Phrynium Pplacentarium leaves.

25. Pyramid rice flour dumpling (Bánh giò)

Pyramid rice flour dumpling is wrapped in banana leaves and has a pyramidal shape. Its smooth and soft crust is made from rice flour and tapioca starch, its filling is made from pork, wood ears, shallots, onions, quail eggs, black peppers, fish sauce, salt. Leaf of apple banana is the best wrap. The most important step of making this dumpling is mixing the batter. The cook should follow a right ratio of the rice flour to water so that after steaming, the crust should be smelling, very soft and can melt it the mouth but not moist and mushy. All of the ingredients for the filling should be ground or minced, cooked (usually stir-fried) until medium-rare. The cook should skillfully wrap batter and the filling into a pyramidal shape. The dumplings are boiled in water for about 40 minutes. This kind of dumpling should be eaten hot so that sellers always keep it in steamers. Pyramid rice flour dumpling can be served with chili sauce. Eaten with Fried cinnamon pork pate, Fried young green sticky rice cake, Vietnamese pork roll, cold cuts, pickles, coriander, it tastes greater.

26. Vietnamese salted rice flour cake (Bánh đúc mặn)

Vietnamese salted rice flour cake has many version including salted and sweet ones. Hanoi people have created a Salted rice flour cake which has a soft texture, mild flavor. It is topped with herbs, fried shallots, wood ears, stir-fried ground pork, and served hot. One of the highlights of the food is sweet and sour dipping sauce which goes well with the steamed rice flour cake and toppings. The salted rice flour cake has been a specialty food of Hanoi, a favorite food of Hanoi people, and a should-try food for travelers to the capital for many years.

27. West Lake fried shrimp cake (Bánh tôm Hồ Tây)

West Lake fried shrimp cake has been in the hearts of most people in Hanoi thanks to cheap price and tasty. Walking along West Lake – the symbol of Hanoi, you can see tens of street food stalls selling crispy, yellow, and smelling fried shrimp cake. To make this cake, mix a batter from tapioca powder and wheat flour. Use a small ladle to get some batter, put a marinated shrimp in the middle of the ladle, fry the ladle with batter and shrimp in oil until crispy and yellow. One of the highlights of this cake is that the shrimps used to make the cakes are caught in West Lake, the shrimps have thin shell, firm, sweet-tasty, a little greasy flesh. The cakes are usually served with sweet-sour fish sauce dip and various herbs. Some vendors add shredded sweet potatoes to the batter to enhance the flavor of the cake.

28. Khuc cake (Bánh khúc)

The key to this cake is “rau khúc” (Gnaphalium affine D. Don) which has a typical taste, smell and is in green color. It takes many steps to make this cake. Harvest fresh green young rau khúc leaves in the morning, steam them until well-done, then pound them until well-kneaded. The pounded leaves are mixed with rice flour to make the crust of the cake. To make the filling, steam peeled mung bean until tender, pound it into a smooth mixture, mix the mung bean with cubed pork belly, black pepper. Form the pork belly and mung bean into small balls, wrap each ball in rice flour and rau khúc mixture, cover each of them with sticky rice, then steam them for about 45 minutes. The harvest season of rau khúc is February and March in the lunar calendar. They usually dry the leaves in order to store it for a long time and use the dried leaves to make the Khuc cake in other months of the year. The sound of vendors offering Khuc cake and the image of street food stalls which serve Khuc cake have become familiar to Hanoi people.

29.Thanh Tri stuffed rice pancake (Bánh cuốn Thanh Trì)

“Thanh Trì có bánh cuốn ngon

Ăn vào mát ruột mắn con chồng chiều”

(“In Thanh Tri there is delicious stuffed rice pancake

It can satisfy your taste, make your husband love you more, help you have many children”)

Thanh Tri is a district of Hanoi, it has been famous for the best stuffed rice pancake in Vietnam. Khang Dang rice which is smelling and a little sticky is chosen to make stuffed rice pancake by Thanh Tri people. Soak the rice in water for 2-3 hours, grind it with water into a smooth mixture. Steam a very thin layer of the mixture using a pot which contains water and is covered with a thin cloth and a lid. The water in the pot should be kept boiling. When the layer of rice flour mixture is well-done, use a bamboo chopstick to put it onto a plate, apply the rice flour sheet a thin layer of scallion oil, then fold the sheet into a long thin rectangle. Thanh Tri stuffed rice pancake is not stuffed with a filling made from pork and wood ear like other kinds of stuffed rice pancakes. It is served hot with deep-fried tofu, Uoc Le pork cinnamon pate, fried shallots, herbs, and a great sauce made from fish sauce, sticky rice vinegar, chili pepper, scent of giant water bug (tinh dầu cà cuống). The highlights of the cake are soft and a little sticky texture and great smell.

30. Quan Ganh round sticky rice cake (Bánh dày Quán Gánh)

Quan Ganh round sticky rice is made in Thuong Dinh Village, Nhi Khe Commune, Thuong Tin District. Ingredients for the crust is white, sticky, fragrant sticky rice which is grown in Hai Hau District, Nam Dinh province. The sweet cake is filled with mung bean, coconut meat stir-fry. The savory cake is filled with mung bean, pork belly, coconut meat, and black pepper. It takes not less than 20 steps to make this traditional cake. The sticky rice is steamed, pounded until very smooth. Wrap the filling in pounded steamed sticky rice, then wrap the cake again in banana leaves into a square. Thanks to the great taste, Quan Ganh round sticky rice cake has become a favorite gift, a food at important occasions such as wedding, death anniversary. Talented Hanoi cooks have created a perfect cake from familiar and cheap ingredients. Unwrapping the cake, the smell of banana leaves and the sticky rice spread in the air, the shining white crust is revealed. Eating the cake, you can feel the stickiness of the crust and the buttery taste of the filling.

31. Tranh Khuc square sticky rice cake (Bánh chưng Tranh Khúc)

Tranh Khuc village, Duyen Ha Commune, Thanh Tri District, Hanoi has been famous in Vietnam and other countries for one of the best square sticky rice cakes. Every year, at Tet festival, families in the village have made tens of thousands of sticky rice cakes for domestic sales and export. At this time, the village is busy, noisy and crowded. Square sticky rice cake is one of the most famous traditional Vietnamese cake. It is a must cake in Tet festival – the biggest traditional festival of the country. Square sticky rice cake represents for the Earth and piety according to a famous legend about Lang Lieu prince who created and offered Square sticky rice cake to Hung King – Lang Lieu’s father and chosen to be the new king thanks to the excellent recipe and his piety. Besides Square sticky rice cake, Lang Lieu also offered round sticky rice cake which represents for the sky to his father. The cake has a square shape and consists of the Dong (Phrynium placentarium) leaf wrap, sticky rice crust, and filling made from pork belly and mung bean. It is boiled in water for more than 6 hours and can be stored for up to one weed at room temperature.

32. Grilled wheat flour and lime leaf cake filled with pork belly (Bánh chả)

The cake is called “Bánh chả” because it looks like “chả” – patty. The cake has a crispy, light sweet crust which melts in your mouth when eating. Lime leaves which have typical taste and smell make the crust special. The cake is filled with fatty and greasy pork belly, Chinese sausage (lạp xưởng), and crunchy sweet icing wax gourd (mứt bí đao). The cake is one of the oldest cakes in Hanoi. Although the cake is simple, it is a favorite cake of many families in Hanoi at Tet festival, an offering to the ancestors, a part of the rich culture of elegant Hanoi. Eating some Grilled wheat flour and lime leaf cake filled with pork belly while sipping some green tea is the way Hanoi people entertain.

33. Pillow cake (Bánh gối)

They call this cake Pillow cake because it looks like a beautiful semicircle-shaped pillow. The cake’s crust is made from wheat flour, sticky rice flour, and oil. The filling is made from pork, cellophane noodles, shiitake, wood ear, kohlrabi, jicama, carrot, quail egg, shrimp, etc. After wrapping the filling in the dough into a semicircle, fry the cake until crispy and yellow. The outer part of the crust should be crispy, the inner part of the crust should be tender and sticky. The cakes are usually served with herbs, pickled carrot and daikon radish, and a dip made from fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, and chili pepper. Pillow cake is considered as “cake for the winter” in Hanoi. Do not miss eating warm crispy Pillow cake when you are in Hanoi in the winter.

34. Gia village sticky rice and Boehmeria nivea dumpling (Bánh gai làng Giá)

Sticky rice and Boehmeria nivea dumpling is wrapped in Boehmeria nivea leaves and has a square shape. Made from sticky rice flour, sesame, and Boehmeria nivea extract, the dumpling’s crust is smelling, tender, sticky, smooth, and in black color. The sticky rice flour is made from Golden-flower sticky rice – the best sticky rice in Vietnam. The crust is not too thick but not too thin. The filling is made from pork fat, banana extract, coconut meat, peeled mung bean, wax gourd, sesame, lotus seed. Pork fat is cut into small pieces, marinated with sugar until the pork fat becomes transparent. Coming to Gia village, Yen So Commune, Hoai Duc District, Hanoi, do not miss tasting awesome cakes and buying some cakes to bring home.

35.(Bánh phu thê)

36.(Bánh chè lam)

37.Young green sticky rice (Cốm)

38.(Tào phớ)

39.(Bánh trôi tàu – lục tàu xá – chí mà phù)

40.(Lạc rang húng lìu Bà Triệu)

41.(Ô mai Hàng Đường)


43.(Bưởi Diễn)

44.Ổi Đông Dư)

45.(Kem Tràng Tiền)


45 Best foods in Hanoi – Part 1

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