An alien’s breast implant or a Vietnamese dessert? If you guessed the former, you’ve got a wicked sense of humor, but are unfortunately incorrect. What you’re looking at is banh xu xe—a Vietnamese sweet with a jelly-like texture made of tapioca flour, pandan, mung bean paste, sugar, sesame seeds and coconut milk.
This one time, I left a banh xu xe in my messenger bag unknowingly for over a week and as a result, it grew fuzzy with mold. The day I discovered it at the bottom of my bag, I asked my colleague Chris at the AsiaLIFE office if I could please pelt him with it. Believe it or not, he said yes. I wound up softball-style and pitched it at him with all of my might. As anticipated, the banh xu xe exploded upon contact! God, it feels so good being a small child sometimes.
The bottom line—banh xu xe are interesting to look at, but lack substance and flavor. At 1,000 VND a piece, I suggest you buy a dozen and pelt them at your friends to show them how much you care. To satisfy that pandan-flavored, jelly-textured, mung bean-filled craving, eat banh da lon.