Vietnamese desserts to try in Saigon

Banh bo is served with coconut milk sauce

When your sweet tooth is begging to be satisfied, what to do in Saigon? Don’t just ignore your dessert cravings! Visiting Saigon means that you can go on the most exciting culinary adventure where you can indulge your inner child with the most stunning of all of Vietnamese desserts. Mainly made from rice, sugar cane and fruits, especially coconuts, desserts in Vietnam extensively vary in origins and flavors but all taste divine. saigon to phnom penh by river boat

Che (Vietnamese sweet soup)

Che (Vietnamese sweet soup)

Che (Vietnamese sweet soup)- source: internet

Asking every kid that you meet in Vietnam about che, a Vietnamese sweet soup or pudding which is extremely refreshing – a perfect way to stave off the tropical heat, all of the answers you have are yes. There are probably a hundred or so types of che. Cold, hot, in a tall glass over ice or in a little bowl – you can try them all!

The recipe calls for a wide range of glutinous rice, tapioca, vegetables, seeds, beans, jellies and fruit. At an outdoor market, along the street, down some alleyways, che is sold everywhere and you can run into a che street vendor or a shop almost anywhere in the city. Vietnamese people often enjoy che not only for dessert but also for particular occasions such as a family gathering, Lunar New Year, a death anniversary or a child’s First Birthday. Che surely plays a major role in the culinary foodways of Vietnamese folk.

Thanks to its colorful elements, che is one of the most appetizing and eye-catching of all Vietnamese desserts. Without fail, a glass of any kinds of che makes every kid jump up in excitement. Even adults are big fans of this syrupy beverage. private tour in vietnam

Even for locals, it would be impossible to list out all types of che. However, when you are in Saigon, there are some most popular ones that are worth a try:

Cambodian sweet soup

Cambodian sweet soup- source: internet

  • Che Dau Den – black bean sweet soup with coconut syrup
  • Che Troi Nuoc – sweet glutinous rice dumplings
  • Che Ba Mau – three-color dessert
  • Che Bap – Vietnamese sweet corn pudding
  • Che Chuoi – banana with sago pearls and coconut milk sweet soup
  • Che Buoi – Vietnamese pomelo sweet soup dessert

Where to find the best che in Saigon

  • Xoi che Bui Thi Xuan, 111 Bui Thi Xuan, District 1
  • Hot Che shop, 50 Ly Chinh Thang, Ward 7, District 3
  • Che Ky Dong, 153/7 Ky Dong Street, Ward 9, District 3
  • Khanh Vy Che tray shop (the Su Van Hanh street corner) Nguyen Chi Thanh Street, District 5
  • You can find a unique variation of che from Cambodia in Ho Thi Ky Flower Market.

Banh bo (Cow cakes or steamed rice cakes)

Banh bo is served with coconut milk sauce

Banh bo is served with coconut milk sauce- source: internet

Banh bo, which literally means cow cake (banh means cake and bo means cow), is a popular treat named after cows but not made of beef or anything cow-related. Some said that the name was shortened from bánh vú bò (cow udder cake) as the cake looks like a cow’s udder. Others said that this cake got its name from the inner texture, which resembles that of beef liver. This cake’s tastiness is utterly undeniable although the true origin of banh bo’s name is still shrouded in mystery. Soft, moist and slight sweet, banh bo is certainly one of the best dishes to satisfy your sweet tooth. Cut a piece of cow cake in half exposes an amazing fluffy and spongy interior.

A full-size banh bo

A full-size banh bo- source: internet

Glutinous rice flour and yeast, sugar and water, the ingredients to make banh bo are quite simple. Also, servers often add some sorts of dye to color the dessert, which not only makes the dessert more aesthetically pleasing but also stimulates one’s appetite. When serving banh bo, sellers often pour coconut milk sauce all over the cakes and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top. The aroma and richness of coconut milk will enhance the flavor, making you want more.

Where to find the best banh bo in Saigon

  • 575 Cach Mang Thang Tam, District 10
  • Banh Bo Dong Thap, 352 Nguyen Trai Street, District 5
  • Banh Bo La Dua, 3 Pham Ngoc Thach, District 3
  • 40 Hong Bang, Binh Thanh District

Banh pia (Pia cake)

Primarily as pia cake’s main ingredient is durian– which certainly is not everyone’s cup of tea, banh pia is not as popular as the aforementioned dishes. However, the creamy banh pia is a must-try if you are a huge fan of durians and have no issues with its ungodly odor.

Creamy banh pia is a must-try

Creamy banh pia is a must-try- source: internet

Banh pia is a puff pastry with such a sweet filling of durian, salted egg yolk and green bean. The most sophisticated step in the process of baking banh pia is making the crust, as for many, the most special feature of banh pia lies in the flaky pastry crust. Traditionally, locals serve this cake with really hot ginger tea. Bite a slice of pia cake while sipping on tea should be a delightful experience. The sweetness of banh pia blending with the bitterness of tea will create a really delicate aftertaste. A regional specialty of the Southern region, especially Soc Trang province, is a reflection of three ethnic groups: the Khmer, Hoa and Kinh.

Where to find the best banh pia in Saigon

  • Banh Pia Minh Dung, 169 Phan Dang Luu, Phu Nhuan District
  • Banh Pia Tan Hue Vien, 116C Nguyen Thi Nho, District 5
  • Dac San Mien Tay, 123 Bach Dang, Binh Thanh District
  • Banh Pia Nhu Lan, 64 Ham Nghi, District 1
  • Banh Pia Soc Trang, R52 Nguyen Huu Hao, District 4

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