Finally. Banh Trang phoi suong. I figure if it’s Noodlepie’s favorite southern Vietnamese dish, I’ve got to give it a go. And I realized mid way through that I’ve eaten something very similar to this before.
The difference, in my opinion, like in many cuisines, is in the details. The mix of fresh minty-citrusy-bitter herbs, many which I probably don’t pronounce properly, add tremendously to the depth and vibrancy of the flavors. The pork seems to be the ‘authentic’ meat choice. The types of veg. Although I’m omitting bean sprouts – likely something that would be frowned upon. Or perhaps outright laughed at. And I have no idea if hoisin is normally served with this, but I love the stuff, so it’s served that way in my house.
Overall, it’s a tremendously fresh, light, healthful, vibrant, and fun dish to muck about with. I’m always one to praise a dish where the diner gets to customize it to their tastes. And the way I see it, this is essentially their sandwich. It’s like a burrito. But healthy.
Nuoc Cham [the dipping sauce]
3 tablespoons lime juice (1 fat, thin skin lime)
2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup water
2½ tablespoons fish sauce
This stuff is fantastic. I think it may have something to do with some really outstanding limes, and that I bought the fish sauce this chef recommends. Combine the first three, to make a tasty limeade, adjusting the balance to taste. Then add the fish sauce. I garnished with carrot, as it seems to be the thing to do. Personally, I’m going to either cut back on the water, or omit it entirely – as I’d like it to be a lot more bold in flavor. But that’s just me.