Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 214

Banh Chuoi (Steamed Banana Cake): Today's post will be short and sweet (just like this steamed banana cake). Due to my schedule, I only have a few minutes in the entire day to put this post up, but the blog must go on. I found this banh chuoi during yesterday's visit to Lee's Bakery, which had all sorts of interesting Vietnamese treats for me to choose from. Several kinds of desserts and sweets were featured there, and I noticed this one in the prepared section as soon as I walked in the door. I like bananas, but I'm not too crazy about anything banana flavored. However, this looked really cool, so I added it to my purchases.
I decided to give it a try as a breakfast dessert this morning before I left. We should all be eating dessert after breakfast more often, right? As I looked at the ingredients, I saw a few things that I was familiar with (rice flour, thai banana), but based on this dish's gelatinous appearance, I had no clue what it would taste like.It also included a little cup of something called "coconut cream," which I assumed was a dipping sauce.

My first bite was interesting - it reminded me of chewy banana Jell-O, with little pieces of real banana strewn throughout. I've tried so many Asian dishes with this consistency, but it's one that I'm guessing a lot of Americans would have a tough time with. The real winner was the coconut dipping sauce - it added a much sweeter element to the banana cake. Kind of like that Coco Lopez stuff, but not quite as syrupy. I actually enjoyed this one, and I could definitely see buying it again as a light dessert.

More to come from my visit to Lee's Bakery over the weekend...stay tuned.


  1. There's a large Asian market in the city where I work, and I love going in there for the sheer fact that there are so many more foods to check out and experiment with! And everything is a fraction of the cost that it would be at a larger supermarket.

    THere's also an added level of mystery - most of the packaged food labels are not in English, so I take a chance with whatever I get every time!

  2. I agree - that really is one of my fave things. I love the element of mystery, and it's always exciting to bring home something I can't identify. Luckily, I usually have good experiences.