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June 8, 2024

The Strange and Wonderful Vietnamese appetizer known as Bánh bột lọc

4 min read

One of those strange and delicious Vietnamese treats that you can only discover by just ordering it after taking a look at it and wondering what on earth it is. This is called banh bột lọc.

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I’ve spoken a lot about how much I like Vietnamese cuisine. The world’s greatest street food is found in Vietnam, and even after living there for a while, I continue to discover new foods to taste while traveling there!

I thus developed a taste for Vietnamese cuisine while in Phnom Penh. This brought me to the delicious Magnolia Vietnamese restaurant, where we had Bánh bột lọc for our first course of the evening. What is Bot Loc Banh? We’ll get around to it eventually.

Vietnamese food in Cambodia

Vietnam was formerly Cambodia’s colonial master, having driven out the Khmer Rouge, in addition to being its neighbor. This means that their Vietnamese neighbors have had a significant effect on Khmer food. One example would be the Banh Xeo/Banh Chao that we also enjoyed at the eatery. Other such ones include Num Pang, of course, and Loc Lak!

Magnolia Restaurant

However, you have to go to a genuine Vietnamese restaurant to have genuine Vietnamese cuisine, and Magnolia is a great choice (yes, I will write an article on it).

Place a Bánh bột lọc order

I had not eaten Vietnamese cuisine in a long time, so I decided to (largely) throw caution to the wind and try some new things from Magnolia’s enormous menu. On one specific page, there were many “banh” foods that were described as variously cooked Vietnamese-style dumplings, but the photographs gave the impression that they were nearly jelly-like in texture.

A few, such banh nam, which is similar to a Latin American tamale made in Vietnam, banh it, which is referred to as “little cake,” and banh bot loc, drew my attention. I was first drawn to the meal because I thought I knew what “banh” and “lok” were, even though I was entirely mistaken.

Bánh bột lọc: what is it?

Bánh bột lọc is simply a dumpling made of tapioca that looks transparent. Traditionally, it is stuffed with a mixture of pork, onions, and sometimes mushrooms, or with shrimp and pig belly. This was the menu item that really led me to place my order! This little meal is often eaten as an appetizer or as a beer snack. It was the first dish of the evening that we ordered!

Banh bot loc

From whence is it?

Like many of Hue’s greatest Vietnamese meals, banh bột lọc is delicious. I recently had Bun Bo Hue in Phnom Penh and found it to be much better than Pho.

From Hue, it became well-known among Vietnamese people, and it was even sold in Phnom Penh.

What the heck are the loc, the bot, and the banh?

Banh mi connoisseurs will know that banh may refer to either cake or bread. Introductory context: cake. Bot is short for “flour” and loc for “clarity,” albeit not in the sense of the midway you would think. Bánh bột lọc, or clear flour cake, is what it stands for.

How does one serve banh bột lọc?

Because it is cooked on banana leaves, banh bột lọc is served on them. I should also mention that because of the environment, the presentation we got was probably better than it would have been otherwise. Strangely, we were given two big pieces of pork sausage that resembled luncheon meat in addition to seven pieces of Bánh bột lọc.

To be quite honest, I have no clue how stated luncheon meat was related to Bánh bột lọc, but I still ate it!

Banh bot loc

It comes with a sweet chili sauce, which you should dip your chopsticks into before digging in.

What is the flavor of Bánh bột lọc?

Again, there are variants; however, instead of pig belly, ours included onions, prawns, and minced pork. It tastes and feels a much like “banh,” or cake, at first. Although this meal may include sweet components, Hue is known for its inventive but straightforward cuisine. Thus, the shrimp excellently complemented the sweetness of the cassava/tapioca dumpling, but strangely, the pork offered the most difference. The main flavor was, in many ways, the minced pork.

Thus, banh bột lọc was a fantastic appetizer that wasn’t at all filling since it was so little! The remainder of the Vietnamese feast was going to be perfectly set up by this!

Which is Phnom Penh’s Best Bánh bột lọc? You may put your best down that it is!

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