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Saturday, June 22, 2024

A twist on banh khoai

By Hoa Vang

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When visiting Hue City, diners must try banh khoai made with kinh fish. This unique twist on the traditional dish features a distinctive preparation method and the sweetness of fresh fish, creating an unforgettable culinary experience.

Kinh fish, scientifically known as Siganus canaliculatus, inhabit brackish water. To make banh khoai ca kinh with authentic flavor, cooks select fish that are about the size of two to three adult fingers, ensuring the flesh is sweet, tender, and rich. The best kinh fish come from Chuon and San lagoons.

The main ingredients used to make banh khoai are rice flour, kinh fish, peanut oil, and bean sprouts. A delicious banh khoai possesses a light golden color, the natural sweet taste of rice flour, and fresh “grilled” kinh fish, with the fragrant aroma of sautéed green onions. Each cake contains one to two kinh fish. Diners can buy kinh fish nearby and ask the local cooks to make the cake, only paying for the additional ingredients and a small processing fee.

Banh khoai is only prepared when ordered. While waiting for the cake to cook, diners will hear the sizzling sound as the flour is poured into the hot oil mold. It is served immediately once cooked. Banh khoai is enjoyed with fresh vegetables and a dipping sauce made from pure fish sauce, with minced chili and garlic added for extra flavor.

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