What is Banh Tam Bi?
Coming to South Vietnam, it would be a shortage if you do not enjoy Banh Tam Bi (or Silkworm Cake with Pig Skin). People call it Silkworm Cake because cake fibers look like silkworms. A plate of Banh Tam Bi consists of:
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– thick noodle made from rice flour and tapioca flour;
– sliced boiled lean pork;
– shredded boiled pig skin mixing with roasted rice powder;
– cooked coconut cream with sugar;
– fish sauce dip made from fish sauce, coconut water, garlic, chili and lemon juice;
– fresh vegetables such as cucumber, sliced salad , beansprouts and herbs.
To eat, dinners mix all above well. The food has a perfect taste which could make any person love it. Most of people eating Silkworm Cake at the first time want to eat it again. Anyone eating Silkworm Cake at first time may be surprised because the dish is both salty and sweet. In fact, the salty taste comes from fish sauce and sweet taste comes from the coconut cream. If you eat Silkworm Cake slowly, you can feel salty, sweet, sour, hot tastes and greasy.
Silkworm Cake with Pig Skin is a rural dish which is both delicious and healthy. Eating Banh Tam Bi is that we enjoy Mekong Delta taste. The noodles make us think about Can Tho, “Can Tho gao trang nuoc trong” (“Can Tho where rice is white and water is pure” which sings the pray of this city is a good place to live). Coconut cream reminds us about Ben Tre province, “Dua xanh la ngon Ben Tre” (“Ben Tre is full of green coconut trees bending under force of the wind” which sings the pray of the beautiful countryside).
Silkworm Cake with Pig Skin has an origin from Mekong Delta, South Vietnam. However, it could be found easily in Ho Chi Minh City which is the paradise of foods from different regions and country. Its price is very cheap, you only pay about 30,000 VND for a portion