If you are looking to explore the world of Vietnamese cuisine, a delectable treat you shouldn't miss out on is Vietnamese dumplings. These Vietnamese cakes are not just a delightful street food choice but also offer an opportunity to learn about the local traditions on your Vietnam travel.
1. Vietnamese steamed pork dumplings (banh bao)
These Vietnamese dumplings are tiny, soft, and fluffy buns stuffed with a savory mixture of ground pork, chicken, mushrooms, onions, and eggs. The dough is generally prepared using wheat flour and yeast. Banh bao originates from Chinese steamed buns, also known as baozi, which came into Vietnam through cross-cultural relations. Vietnamese chefs have transformed this treat into a uniquely flavorful dish using indigenous foods.
These Vietnamese dumplings are part of the local people’s everyday life, which can be easily found at street vendors, restaurants, and households. You can see these typical dumplings almost everywhere while walking around the crowded streets of Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. It should be of little wonder why Vietnamese steamed dumplings remain one of the most treasured snacks in town among both locals and visitors.
2. Vietnamese tapioca dumplings (banh bot loc)
Another must-try among Vietnamese rice cakes is banh bot loc, or Vietnamese tapioca dumplings. These Vietnamese dumplings are translucent because they contain a mixture of tapioca starch and rice flour blended to achieve a chewy texture.
Vietnamese tapioca dumplings are usually stuffed with minced pork and shrimp. Some variations may have other fillings like beef or chicken. These dumplings are steamed and served alongside small bowls of dipping sauce consisting of fish sauce, sugar, and garlic.
Banh bot loc is available in different parts of Vietnam, each with a unique variation. These balanced and sophisticated Vietnamese dumplings have become popular with both locals and visitors, drawing food lovers from across the globe to sample them.
3. Vietnamese pyramid dumplings (banh gio)
Banh gio is a type of pyramid-shaped Vietnamese dumplings found in the Northern and Southern parts of Vietnam. It is a savory snack that is made up of soft and chewy rice flour dough, with fillings such as minced pork, wood ear mushrooms, and shallots wrapped in banana leaves.
Banh gio has roots in the North. Now, it has become an everyday breakfast dish for many people across other parts of Vietnam, with each region bringing a unique flavor. For instance, in the South, banh gio accompanies a sweet-and-sour dip of fish sauce, sugar, and chili peppers.
Banh gio differs from other Vietnamese dumplings in shape. Apart from its appealing look, this pyramid-shaped treat wrapped in banana leaves gives a faint earthy hint.
4. Vietnamese sticky rice dumplings (banh it tran)
Banh it tran, or Vietnamese sticky rice dumplings (Vietnamese glutinous rice dumplings), is a fine visually-attractive delicacy. These small Vietnamese dumplings are made from glutinous rice flour dough, whose filling consists of a combination of shrimp, pork, mushrooms, and shallots. This involves steaming them until they are cooked well and the dough turns soft and chewy.
Unlike Vietnamese sticky rice cake, these sticky rice Vietnamese dumplings originate from the central part of Vietnam. Now, they are also popular in other regions with different local flavors. Sometimes, banh it tran is accompanied by a sweet and spicy sauce to offer additional flavor and crunchiness.
Whatever way it is cooked, banh it tran never fails to please the eye and palate, making it a must-try for anyone fond of Vietnamese cuisine. With its subtle but intricate flavor profile, it shows just how ingenious Vietnamese cooks can be.
5. Vietnamese flat rice dumplings (banh nam)
Banh nam is another favorite among Vietnamese dumplings. Its ingredients are rice flour and tapioca starch, which give it a unique chewiness but softness. Fillings are often wood ear mushrooms, minced pork, shrimp, onions, garlic and seasoning wrapped up in banana leaves and steamed.
Banh nam originally comes from the central part of Vietnam but has since gained popularity nationwide. Like other Vietnamese dumplings, banh nam is usually served with a dipping sauce made from fish sauce. Sweet and sour tamarind or kumquat sauce is also used in other regions.
Although it may not be the most eye-catching Vietnamese dumplings, banh nam sure goes down as one you must try thanks to the simplicity of its texture and the complexity of its fillings.
6. Vietnamese fried dumplings (banh goi)
Banh goi is another famous street food of Vietnam that has made its way around the globe due to its mouth-watering taste and texture. It is a type of bite-sized Vietnamese dumplings with thin wrappings made of rice dough, where the stuffing is usually fresh minced pork, shrimp, wood ear mushrooms, glass noodles, and various fragrant herbs such as basil and coriander. These Vietnamese dumplings are deep fried until they turn golden colored, soft, and crunchy.
These dumplings come in the form of a pillow, explaining its other name (pillow cake). Banh goi comes from Northern Vietnam and has become a prevalent street food across the country. Whether strolling through the bustling streets of Hanoi or exploring the beautiful countryside of the Mekong Delta, these Vietnamese dumplings are a must-try for anyone looking to experience the flavors of Vietnam.
Beyond savoring these delicious dumplings in Vietnam, tourists should explore the full spectrum of Vietnamese cuisine by visiting popular destinations like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, and Ha Long. Each city's culinary diversity ensures there's something for every palate, making them must-visit destinations for food-loving travelers.
While you are exploring these fantastic spots, don't miss the opportunity to unwind and rejuvenate at Vinpearl's exceptional hotel and resort system. From well-appointed rooms with stunning views to world-class spas that offer the ultimate in relaxation, you will find everything you need for a truly comfortable stay at Vinpearl.
Moreover, don’t forget to explore the enthralling entertainment paradise of VinWonders. Here, you can discover wildlife through interactive encounters, delve into cultural experiences that showcase Vietnam's heritage, partake in vibrant festivals that celebrate the country's traditions, and much more.
In conclusion, Vietnamese dumplings are known for their mouth-watering taste, offering a delightful culinary experience for everyone on their food tour around Vietnam. With these top 6 popular dumpling variations, you now have abundant ideas regarding what to savor during your trip. Plan your journey now and get ready to indulge in the rich flavors of banh bao, banh it tran, banh goi, and much more!