11.019 Banh Chung


24 (Fri) January 2020

Banh Chung


by YE

in their home

-Salcedo Village (Four Seasons), Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines-

with W, EE and YE, K

Banh chung is a Vietnamese dish.  It’s a cake made of glutinous rice, stuffed with pork and mung beans, wrapped and steamed in leaves.  The central dish of the Tet celebration – the Vietnamese new year.

EE’s sister-in-law, visiting from Viet Nam for the extended Tet holiday break, brought a banh chung with her, along with various accoutrements.

All-purpose condiment = loads of vinegar + loads of garlic + loads of fish sauce.
Mixed bitter greens – intense.

This first experience with banh chung was exhilarating.  The textures and flavors were all vaguely familiar, but wildly different in that combination.   The accompanying condiment and greens were intensely unfamiliar, not entirely pleasant to my uninitiated palate, yet weirdly intriguing.  What a privilege to try the dish in such a manner: from Hanoi, in a Vietnamese home, on the occasion of the Tet.


In fact, what a treat to enjoy a home-cooked Vietnamese meal cooked by a Vietnamese person (see also 8.155 Indian Cuisine, Home-Cooked by an Indian; 5.081 Home-Cooked Spanish Cuisine, Home-Cooked by a Spaniard).

I’ve been to their home before, but previously YE had cooked Korean food, with some last-minute assistance from me (see 9.246 Japchae).

Spring Rolls (3.0)
Beef Pho (2.5): frankly, I found the noodles to be a bit too soft.
YE reports that Vietnamese eat pho everywhere, even at home.

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