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Sunday, June 16, 2024

A sweet treat in Can Tho

By Hoai Ly

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CAN THO – Chuoi nep nuong (grilled banana wrapped in sticky rice crust) is a popular dish in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho. The dish is characterized by a crispy crust of sticky rice outside and a core of sweet, soft banana inside, plus the tasty flavor of coconut milk dip.

Grilled banana wrapped in sticky rice is traditionally a favorite snack of Can Tho locals. Visitors to this Mekong Delta city can easily find it at street stalls there. The version in Can Tho is often smaller than its counterparts in Saigon or Tien Giang’s My Tho City.

A delicious grilled banana wrapped in sticky rice means the outer crust must be crispy enough and the banana core is not mushy.

According to local cooks, xiem banana, which is arguably the best banana in the Mekong Delta, is the main ingredient of this dish.

In preparation, fresh bananas are kept in containers for several days until their covers turns yellow. Then, the bananas are peeled and seasoned with sugar and salt.
The bananas must be wrapped in banana leaves. Now, they are ready to be grilled over charcoal.

As for the dip, which is indispensable to the dish, coconut milk is cooked with sugar, salt and tapioca starch.

In addition, a plate of this sweet treat in Can Tho will not be completed without pounded peanuts which have been roasted.

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