BANH GIO

SALT Magazine - - Lightly Salted -

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.

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