White Rose Cake (Banh bao vac)

Visiting to Hoi An ancient town, tourists can not ignore one of local specialties is that “Banh Bao Vac” (or White Rose Cake).

This is a type of shrimp dumpling made from translucent white dough bunched up to look like a rose. Many people like these cakes not only for their delicious flavor but also for their beautiful appearance. The French gave it the name of “white roses“.

It is basically a dumpling comprising of two small 2-inch diameter rounds of rice paper, with a dime-sized lump of meat filling right in the center. When the rice paper is steamed, the edges get soft and chewy and warp a little, making the dumpling look like a white flower. They are presented about 15 minute on a plate, topped with crunchy bits of toasty garlic and served with a sweet dipping sauce. When prepared well the texture is soft but slightly chewy, sweet from the sauce and crunchy/salty from the toasted garlic, savory from the shrimp meat filling. The translucence of the flour along with the color of the shrimp meat gives it the appearance of a white rose petal.

Tourists can enjoy this kind of cake at restaurants of Palm Garden Beach Resort Hoi An (www.palmgardenresort.com.vn) or going to the town for a more different taste.