Vietnamese shrimp crackers or Banh phong tom play an important part in Vietnamese cuisine. They are usually eaten as snacks or served with many Vietnamese salads. They are not only a favorite food at home meals but also served at important events (Tet, Mid-autumn festival, wedding, death anniversary). Banh phong tom is made from many types of freshwater and seawater shrimps. The better shrimps, the tastier Banh phong tom. The crackers are made from tapioca starch, fresh shrimp, duck egg, garlic, onion, and spices. Traditionally the dough is steamed, rolled out, cut into round chips then dried. Dried shrimp crackers can be stored for from 6 months to 2 years. The dried cracker can be a round sheet with a diameter of 2-3 cm. Or they can make it a rectangle. Dried shrimp crackers could not be eaten because they are very hard. They must be fried in oil for a few minutes until crispy, smelling, lighter and 3-4 times bigger. Fried shrimp crackers look like small bowls.
When eating, the crackers melt right away in dinner’s mouth. A Vietnamese person can eat dozens of fried shrimp crackers. To eat the crackers with salad, just put a little delicious salad into one shrimp cracker and bite the cracker with salad. Some of the salads that go with shrimp crackers are Lotus stem salad, Banana blossom salad, Pig ear salad, etc. Vietnamese people also cook flavorful soup with Banh phong tom, sweet mushrooms, carrot, tofu, etc.
The best Vietnamese shrimp crackers are produced in Ca Mau and Dong Thap. Sa Giang shrimp crackers have been a famous brand in Vietnam since 1960. Hang Vinh village in Ca Mau province is well-known for great shrimp crackers which contains a high proportion of shrimp. Coming to Vietnam, do not miss a chance to enjoy delicious cooked shrimp crackers and buy some dried Vietnamese shrimp crackers to bring home as special gifts for your family and friends.
Eating Saigon is a great thing to do on your trip. How to eat the city to its fullest? It is easy to eat at fine dining restaurants which are for rich people and tourists. However, the real Saigon is at local restaurants which are favorite places of many Saigon people. Reaching the local restaurants outside of District 1 sometimes is difficult for foreigners. A Saigon Food Tour is a great choice to immerse into the city life, enjoy all the exotic foods with your tour guides as friends.