Cuisine - Shopping

“Banh Can” – a Delicious Speciality of Binh Thuan - (26/04/2015)

( “Banh Can” (or Can cake) is a very popular dish to local residents in Binh Thuan province. Normally, they have “Banh Can” for breakfast or snack, but it sometimes appears in their lunches and dinners. In 2014, the Vietnam Book of Records (Vietkings) officially recognized “Banh Can” as a famous speciality of the province.

Many people mistakenly think that “Banh Can” and “Banh Khot” are just different names of “Vietnamese mini pancake” since both of them are made from rice flour and are cooked in little pans (which are parts of a big oven); however, they are not the same. While “Banh Khot” is often cooked in metal pans with a lot of grease, pans to make “Banh Can” is made from clay. Therefore, “Banh Khot” is fried and “Banh Can” is grilled in pans.
Althought making “Banh Can” is unsophisticated, there are still some secrets. First of all, you have to create a right mixture of rice flour, water and a bit of cold rice, adding any of them too much or too little can cause serious problems. For the next step, you should cover each pan with a thin layer of cooking oil or grease before pouring the liquid rice flour into them to make it easier to get cakes out of pans when they’re done. You can also add some chicken eggs to the cake if you want to. “Banh Can” are often eaten in pairs because local people usually to put two cakes of “Banh Can” together, with sliced green onions in the middle, somehow like sandwiches.

You can eat “Banh Can” with “xiu mai” (Vietnamese meatball), braised fish or boiled eggs; and don’t forget to add some slices of starfruit or julienne green mango, cracklings, minced chili and last but not least, the sauce. In Phan Thiet, the sauce of “Banh Can” is extremely important. It could be taken from broth of braised fish or could be a cooked mixture of fish sauce, some spices, tomatoes… added some chili and lime.
The most famous place to eat “Banh Can” in Phan Thiet city center is Lan Nguyet restaurant, which is located in number 8 Hai Thuong Lan Ong street. This small, plain restaurant is named after its owner – Ms. Nguyen Thi Nguyet, who has been making “Banh Can” for more than 30 years. With her special recipes in cooking “Banh Can”, the restaurant is always crowded with guests, including many tourists from other provinces of Vietnam and foreign travellers around the world, who come to enjoy the rustic but delicious flavour of the dish recognized to be a speciality of Binh Thuan. This restaurant is so famous that Chef Martin Yan, well-known for his televised cooking show “Yan Can Cook”, came there in 2012 for his film series named “Martin Yan’s Taste of Vietnam”, which was broadcasted in many TV channels specializing in cooking and tourism in Vietnam and many other countries.
In Mui Ne, the “resort capital” of Vietnam, “Banh Can” is a popular too. After wandering around the Mui Ne fishing village taking thousands of pictures of this beautiful place, you just have to walk about 200 meters along the street (the only street that runs along the coast) from the dock and there will be small stalls selling delicious “Banh Can” in a very reasonable price.
 Hong Anh


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