Firing up breakfast pancakes Vietnam-style
These little rice pancakes, originally a common food of the Cham people in Ninh Thuan Province, have gradually become a regional specialty.
The cakes, called banh can in Vietnamese, are cooked by pouring a mixture of rice powder and egg into round clay molds. The rim should be slightly burnt to add flavor to the tasty treat.
Slices of pork, shrimp and scallions give the pancakes their tantalizing flavor.
Banh can are baked over hot coals that vendors have to fire up very early in the morning to be hot enough in time for breakfast.
Banh can in Ninh Thuan are served with a bowl of sauce made from braising of fish, pickles and onions. There are various versions of the sauce, like the one with fish sauce, fried shallots and ground meat balls found in the Central Highlands resort town of Da Lat.
Banh can are available on many street corners in Phan Rang, the capital of Ninh Thuan. Some of the best are served on Doan Thi Diem Street, across from the Ninh Thuan Culture Center. The pancakes here cost VND1,000 or 2,000 ($0.04-0.08) for two depending on the stuffing.
Photos by VnExpress/Le Bich