Fresh green banana leaves, softened by blanching or boiling, encase these dumplings, which are a well-loved breakfast or snack food in Vietnam.
While it’s not unknown for cooks to come up with flavour variations, banh gio are by and large a predictable mouthful. Typical fillings are sliced wood ear mushrooms, lean minced pork (sometimes chopped leftover gio- pork sausage), and finely chopped shallots, seasoned with pepper, salt and fish sauce. They’re hidden in generous dollops of a thick, viscous batter made from rice flour and water; stock or broth is sometimes used for seasoning. Wrapped up tight, these dumplings are then boiled for between 40 minutes to an hour. The final product is smooth, glistening white, with an almost translucent appearance and a texture somewhere between kueh and dense cake. Popular accompaniments are pickled cucumber, sliced gio hua (pork roll), and chilli sauce.