Monday, April 22, 2013

Rolled cake Thanh Trì (bánh cuốn Thanh Trì)

When still in high school, I was told about some traditional dishes in the North of Vietnam, especially in our folklore. I actually didn't have a chance to taste anything at that time as I was living in Saigon, without knowing the flavor, but I never forget the names, they all sound nice. 

Bánh cuốn Thanh Trì, bánh giầy Quán Gánh, 
Bánh đúc làng Kẻ, bánh tẻ làng Diễn 
Thanh Trì có bánh cuốn ngon, 
có gò Ngũ Nhạc có con sông Hồng.

One of those specialities that I heard all the time was rolled cake Thanh Trì. 
Where is Thanh Trì? Could be a place or  just an old village not very far from Hà Nội and surely famous for their rolled cake. My first time to try this cake was long ago, from a street vendor in Hanoi - a very old woman, right on the Hanoi's sidewalk. At that time I had no impressions, but I promised myself to taste it again at another time, because...the name of "bánh cuốn Thanh Trì" was engraved in my mind and sounds strangely me.  

                      A tray of rolled cake Thanh Trì for only 20,000 VNĐ. 

Time really flies when my second chance came only two months ago, in Hanoi, after probably years and years. It was a cold morning, I woke up early, skipped my hotel breakfast, I decided to have a walk along Hanoi's street in the cold. And not far from my hotel, I met a street vendor of rolled cake Thanh Trì at the corner. 

                  I was not alone, some early bird customers in the wet and cold morning. 

I was not alone, there was another two customers in that early morning. One of them was a little woman in her mid 60s, suffering from dwarfism, a book, newspaper's seller in the night trains, her life was not easy, as the vendor told me after I took a photo of her, she seemed happy to pose for my camera together with her simple breakfast.

                    Rolled cake was not warm as I expected but thanks to ...

Sitting in a very small chair, I was served with a small tray. Rolled cake with cinnamon ham, topped with deep fried shallot, some very fresh veggie and dipping sauce. The dipping sauce seemed made of something else, it was quite "flat" to me but very warm as it has been kept in a Thermos, it surprisingly warmed the cake up when I dipped it.

                   ...very warm dipping sauce, the vendor keeps in an old Thermos. 

                 Rolled cake was very thin, not oily as in Saigon, a bit strong, crispy shallot...

                 served with very fresh herbs, I just put everything in my bowl. 

                the basket of rolled cake Thanh Trì, is it truly the original from Thanh Trì ? I believe so. 

             and here my rolled cake's vendor in Hàng Bông street in the early cold, wet morning in Hanoi.   

My second try of this original cake, I would say - almost the same as the first time, I'm surely spoiled by the Southern strong, sweet, spicy taste dipping sauce, that's why I couldn't find the sauce here "attractive" but the rolled cake was special and I do believe it really comes from a famous village named "Thanh Trì" and where is it - this village? I just know somewhere very near to Hanoi.
By the way, you can check some of my very first reviews on rolled cake: rolled cake Tây Hồ or at Thiên Hương in Sài gòn.

1 comment:

  1. Hi anh!
    Thật ngạc nhiên và may mắn khi được ghé qua blog của anh. Và càng bất ngờ hơn vì tình yêu của anh dành cho những món ăn đường phố của Việt Nam.
    Không biết anh có ý định hay đã từng xuất bản cuốn sách tập hợp những món ăn này chưa? Nếu có thể, em rất mong chúng ta có thể hợp tác làm một điều gì đó như một sự ghi nhận vẻ đẹp ẩm thực, cũng là văn hóa vùng miền của Việt Nam.

    Nếu có thể reply "lời thỉnh cầu" của em qua địa chỉ mail này nhé!

    Mong thư hồi âm của anh!


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