In Hoi An's favorite steamed cakes, the perfect taste of simplicity

By An Quan, Thanh Nien News

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A dish of steamed rice cakes at a shop in Hoi An. Photo: An Quan A dish of steamed rice cakes at a shop in Hoi An. Photo: An Quan


For the past 70 years a small shop in Hoi An has been selling a simple, unpretentious Vietnamese dish that somehow manages to please even the most discerning palates.  
Bánh bèo Bà Mỹ (Steamed rice cakes of Mrs. My) is one of the most loved culinary brands in the central town.
The owner started her shop in a bid to earn enough money to raise her children. The shop is now run by one of them, Du Tan Ha. 
Ha, 56, said he is faithful to the recipe that his mother created decades ago. He said he is still using his mother's millstone to make rice flour every day. 
The milky rice flour mixture is poured into tiny bowls and then steamed. The soft cakes will be served with toppings such as shrimp floss and beef sausage, and a lightly sweetened fish sauce. 
A serving of 20 cakes costs only VND15,000, or less than 75 US cents. 
The small shop is located at the end of Tran Phu Street, around 70 meters from the Bridge Pagoda. It opens from 2 p.m. every day.
Rice flour is mixed with water. Photos: Anh Quan
... and poured into small bowls. 
 The cakes are done after three minutes.

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