Bánh bò, literally “cow cake”, is a Vietnamese traditional steamed cake that is especially popular in central and southern Vietnam. While banh bo in the south comes in a wide variety of colors, banh bo in Da Nang is generally white and has a mild coconut taste. I believe that many of Vietnamese Y generation like me, as well as older generations, fell in love with it when we were small kids and now for any grown-up, banh bo has become such an unforgettable childhood memory. It’s not as easy to find a place that sells banh bo these days, and equally sad to see traditional cuisine values fading with time.
How to make “Banh bo”
400ml (13.5 fl. Oz) coconut milk
300g (10.6 oz) sugar
500g (17.6 oz) rice flour
100g (3.53 oz) tapioca starch
7g (2 ¼ tsp) active dry/ instant yeast
450ml luke warm water
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the sugar and coconut milk. Stir well to dissolve. Let cool to room temperature.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the rice flour, tapioca starch and yeast. Make a hole in the middle and pour in luke warm water. Mix well and knead for 10 mins to form a soft dough. Then add thecoconut milk mixture and mix well to dissolve the dough.
Let sit for at least 1½ hours in a warm place until batter rises and many small bubbles appear
Spray egg cups with cooking spray or brush with vegetable oil. Pour the batter into the cups.
Steam each batch for 10-15 minutes.
The cakes taste the best freshly steamed. They normally turn hard by cold weather. In that case, just microwave the cakes 15 seconds before serving (or steam again for 2-3 minutes).