Vietnamese Cow cake (Banh bo)

Originated in South Vietnam, Cow cake (Banh bo) is one of favorite traditional cake in the country.  It has won the heart of most Vietnamese people from children to elders, from rich people to poor people, for special texture and flavours. Vietnamese cow cake is a soft airy cake which is made from rice flour, water, sugar, yeast and coconut milk. The cake is sweet and greasy. It looks shiny, oily and smells great.

There are 2 main kinds of Cow cake: baked and steamed. Cow cakes are in different sizes, shapes and colors.  The cook can add pandan leaf’s juice, magenta plant’s juice, momordica cochinchinensis’s meat… to make Cow cake green, purple and orange… They also add banana to make Cow cake with banana (Banh bo chuoi).

Vietnamese cow cake is usually eaten as dessert. To eat big Cow cake, dinners should cut it into smaller pieces. Some prefer eat Banh bo with a sauce from coconut milk, sugar and a little salt. Some prefer putting Cow cake into Fried wheat flour cake with sesame, then eating. At weddings, birthday parties, death anniversaries Vietnamese people usually serve Cow cake with roasted pork and dipping soy sauce. The combination of sweet Cow cake and savory roasted pork is surprisingly perfect. Vietnamese people also offer this kind of cake to ancestors at Tet festival, Worm-killing festival, death anniversaries…

Although Cow cake is simple, it has played an important part in Vietnamese culture and cuisine. It has been a part of beautiful memory of many Vietnamese people. In recent days, you can find this rural cake not only at street food stalls, at street food shoulder poles, at local markets but also luxury restaurants. If you have chance to visit Vietnam, do not miss Cow cake. It’s worth a try.

Tiny Vietnamese Cow cake

Attractive colorful shiny Cow cake

Cow cakes are in different shapes

Some people prefer eating Cow cake with Fried wheat flour cake with sesame

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Pyramid Shaped Glutinous Rice Cake (Banh It)

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