Uncle Phien’s Banh Beo Spot

banh beosThe Nguyen Dynasty gets a lot of credit when it comes to the tasty snacks served in the city of Hue.

No description of the “imperial cuisine” is complete without some mention of Emperor Tự Đức who famously demanded that every meal consist of 50 dishes prepared by 50 cooks.

Few note that Tự Đức insisted upon these elaborate feasts during times of famine and pestilence or that his cooks stole what they wanted from vendors in the local markets.

Here in Ho Chi Minh City I’m more impressed by cooks to make one thing and do it really well. Especially those who manage to do so on a sidewalk without stealing from anyone.

Uncle Phien is just such a man. He opens his Hue cuisine shop in the afternoon – usually around 3 p.m.

As soon as his stools hit the pavement, a team of shy waitresses begins dealing bite­sized snacks with all the speed of a Vegas blackjack dealer. They do bánh nậmbánh ít and bánh lọc – all snacks made of pork and shrimp wrapped up and steamed in soft rice or cassava dough.

Their biggest seller is bánh bèo –a chewy pudding dusted in crumbled pork rinds and dried shrimp. Some say the dish derives its name from a round aquatic plant of the same name. Few note, however, that “bèo” also means “cheap.”

For less than a dollar, you can eat your fill of these mothers. Phien’s fish sauce is good enough to drink alone; he claims to blend it with sugar and homemade shrimp stock. Drop a wad of chopped yellow­green chilies into your bowl and pour a spoonful over each cake.

If you’re really hungry a slice of chả (a pepper­studded meat log) lends the snack some heft.

A lot of street bánh bèo are shucked from their tiny bowls in advance of your arrival. Here, you have the pleasure of carving each one out with a spoon

For less than a dollar, you can eat your fill of these mothers. Phien’s fish sauce is good enough to drink alone; he claims to blend it with sugar and homemade shrimp stock. Drop a wad of chopped yellow­green chilies into your bowl and pour a spoonful over each cake.

If you’re really hungry a slice of chả (a pepper­studded meat log) lends the snack some heft.

A lot of street bánh bèo are shucked from their tiny bowls in advance of your arrival. Here, you have the pleasure of carving each one out with a spoon.

ADDRESS:

Uncle Phien’s Banh Beo

BÁNH BÈO THANH NGA

43 Rach Bung Binh St., Ward 9, District 3. Tel: 0906 879 528 VND1,000 per bánh bèo 3 p.m.-9p.m. every day

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *