Welcome to Chuoi Nep Nuong Emagazine where we will explore about a Vietnamese street food that recently made CNN’s “World’s Best Desserts” list and the story of Ms. Nga and her family’s business selling Chuoi Nep Nuong. For over 20 years, their stall has been a delicious beacon on a bustling street corner, captivating locals and tourists alike with the mouth-watering aroma of their sweet delicacy.
Vietnamese culinary is not just available in luxurious restaurants, but it also appears daily under the shade of shady trees, at street corners, junctions, and crossroads where many people pass by. That’s a major part of Vietnam’s culinary culture – The Rustic.
One of the things that few people know is the famous Chuoi Nep Nuong originating from the ancient village of Long Tuyen – Can Tho.
In the past, it used to be a dish for the rich and gourmet. Later, the dish was widely popularized, becoming a famous street food in Vietnam. Soft, ripe bananas wrapped in a layer of crispy grilled sticky rice served with sweet and fragrant coconut milk have become a childhood memory of many Vietnamese.
“Once I sold more than 100 servings to a Vietnamese customer living abroad, they ordered me to make it ready, pack it to take it abroad to eat gradually, and give it to friends.” Ms.Nga shared with us.
As a local, I have been experiencing and enjoying this dish since I was a child. When eating Chuoi Nep Nuong, I feel the specialty of this dish, a traditional dish that is the pride of local people.
I still remember it was a beautiful sunny day and a cool breeze blew when I was leading a tour for a group of Dutch people. We were attracted by the passionate aroma of bananas and sticky rice while walking on the road and decided to stop by Ms. Nga’s stall.
When enjoying this dish, my tourists felt the special of this dish. Not only that, the seller’s warm and affectionate feeling also made for a great experience for us.
“This is a very delicious dish and worth trying when coming to Can Tho.” I remembered Guest. Lisa told me.
Chuoi Nep Nuong always makes me feel very proud because it is a typical dish of my locality. Every time I eat this dish, I always remember the happy memories of my childhood, as well as the traditional cultural values that this dish brings.
Ms. Nga began to tell the story of more than 20 years in the profession, from 2000 she started selling Chuoi Nep Nuong, and in 2013 she moved to sell at the corner of the current street. Over 20 years, there have been many changes in her life and career, but her dedication and meticulousness have remained the same. After completing the sale of Chuoi Nep Nuong, she has to begin preparing the new ingredients for the next day.
“Bananas must be Siamese bananas, each fruit must be the same, just ripe, not too ripe” – Ms. Nga shared.
After choosing each bunch of bananas she liked, she started making sticky rice. Sticky rice has been soaked since the night before. Glutinous rice must be of good quality, then the sticky rice will come out fragrant, flexible, and shiny.
Sticky rice for grilling must be cooked thoroughly, soft, and with coconut milk added during cooking. That is also the secret of this dish. After that, each banana will be wrapped in a layer of sticky rice of moderate thickness, creating a cylinder with 2 rounded ends evenly, the surface of the sticky rice must be dry and smooth.
“It’s a dish with a rather complex texture. The outer layer of sticky rice is crispy, but the inside is still soft and not too dry. The inside of the banana is soft and blends into the sticky rice layer.” My Guest Katerine said
But that’s still not enough. Coconut milk is the soul of the dish. Coconut milk is cooked with low heat, has a smooth texture, fatty but not greasy taste. It will be sprinkled on the Chuoi Nep Nuong that is still warm, sprinkled with fragrant, crushed peanuts. It can be said that only a rustic dish from Vietnam has shown the meticulousness of a skilled cook. Everything has to be done with perfect balance.
To make your experience more perfect, you should go to Ms. Nga’s Chuoi Nep Nuong stall in the morning when the sun is still light to sit on a stool at the crossroads in the shade.
You will feel the sound of the street, the gentle sunlight through the leaves, and a piece of Chuoi Nep Nuong sprinkled with warm, fragrant coconut milk in your hand. A piece of banana, when put into the mouth, must have a full layer of the crispy outer layer of sticky rice, soft and fragrant inside of banana with rich sweet, and fatty coconut milk, and crushed roasted peanuts. All blended together will create an unforgettable taste for anyone who has tried it.
This will not be just street food, it will be an experience – a very Vietnamese experience that will be etched in your mind. So, this will be one of the most exciting experiences that you definitely have to add to your itinerary to Can Tho.
EMAGAZINE by FME Travel