The coastal Phan Thiet city of Binh Thuan province is not only famous for dishes from seafood but also Bánh rế (or Banh re, Re cake)- a simple traditional cake which has won the hearts of most locals and travelers. Once eating the tiny, round, crispy, sweet, greasy Re cake in Phan Thiet, you will not forget it. Although Banh re originated in Ninh Thuan province, Phan Thiet people with skillful hands and creative brains have changed the recipe and turned the cake into a specialty food of the city.
Main ingredients for Re cake are sweet potato or cassava. High-quality sweet potatoes/cassavas are peeled, washed, cut into julienne strips which are 4-5 cm long, mixed with vanilla. Because the strips are thin and long so that they stick together and can be formed into the shape the cook desires. Then the cook deep-fries the strips in coconut oil and skillfully forms the cake into a round shape. The cake is fried until crispy and brown-yellow. The cake looks like Rế (or Re) – a bamboo basket used as a pad for hot pots so that it is called Bánh rế (Re cake). The last step is covering the cake with caramel and toasted sesame. The cake is good-looking, sweet-tasting and nice-smelling. Re cake is a perfect mix of greasiness of coconut oil, buttery taste of sweet potato/cassava, the sweetness of sugar and special smell of sesame.
Instead of using yellow sweet potato to make the brown-yellow Re cake, they use Duong Ngoc sweet potato which is purple to make the purple Re cake. The purple Re cake is more expensive and has a special taste.
5- 10 Re cakes are usually packed in a plastic bag for selling. Coming to Phan Thiet, do not miss tasting the exotic Re cake and buy some to bring home. It is worth a try.
Read more about What to eat in Phan Thiet?
Purple and yellow sweet potatoes are cut into julienne strips.
The strips are skillfully formed into a round shape using a solid cooking turner.
Fry the cake in coconut oil until crispy.
Cover Re cake with caramel.
Yellow and purple Re cakes look mouth-watering.
A plate of Re cakes are decorated beautifully.
It is better to eat this sweet cake with some tea.
Re cakes are packed and sold in plastic bags.