Eatin g banh cuon for breakfast is a great favorite among many Vietnamese.
Banh c uon is made of rice flour. Thoroughly selected rice is soaked overnight, then ground with a stone mortar. Food preservatives are put into the flour to make the rice sheets softer and smoother. A screen of cloth used to mold the rice sheets is fitted over the opening of a pot of boiling water.
Grilled rice is mostly served in the fall. After collecting the rice from the fields, several steps have to be performed to obtain excellent com. After removing the grains from their hulks, the rice is wrapped in lotus leaves to keep it from drying and to allow it to absorb the lotus flavor.
Grilled rice can be found everywhere in Vietnam, but the best com is found in Vong village, 5 km from Hanoi. People in this village still use traditional secret recipes. People eat grilled rice with eggs, bananas, or sapodillas.
Lean pork pie is available in Vietnam only and has different names in the north and south. Foreigners as well as Vietnamese are fond of lean pork pie.
Gio lua consists of pork meat wrapped in fresh banana leaves. The little bundles are then boiled. The most delicious part of lean pork pie is the top layer since it absorbs the flavour of the banana leaves.
Sticky rice cakes are a Vietnamese traditional dish that must be part of Tet meals. As a matter of fact, every Vietnamese family must have sticky rice cakes among the offerings placed on the altar to their ancestors.
Bang chung is made of glutinous rice, pork meat, and green beans paste wrapped in a square of bamboo leaves, giving the rice a green colour after boiling.
According to the legend, under the reign of the Hung Kings, Prince Lang Lieu created sticky rice cakes and presented them to his father. Bang chung won high acclaims from the King who awarded the prince his throne.
In Vietnam, com is eaten at the main meals of the day (lunch and dinner). Rice is eaten together with a variety of different dishes and is made from different kinds of rice. Typically fragrant rice is used, such as Tam Thom and Nang Huong. An ordinary meal may consist of boiled rice and the following:
Mon an kho (meal without soup) consists of dishes of pork, fish, shrimp, and vegetable cooked in oil, as well as vegetables, pickles, etc.
Grilled minced fish has been served in Vietnam for more than 100 years. The Doan family of Cha Ca Street in Hanoi first invented this dish.
A wide variety of fish can be used in this dish including sturgeon and tuna. Tuna is low in fat, has an exquisite flavour, and few bones. The bones are separated from the meat and put into saffron water to be later used in a sauce. The fish is marinated in salt before being grilled.
What is interesting about this dish is that people can add their favourite condiments: coriander, mint, dill, shallots, and more.