Feb 2008

Bánh Tằm Bì

January 12, 2008
Cuisine: Vietnamese

Ton That Thuyet Street
District 4, Ho Chi Minh City

Phone: none
Website: none

Bánh Tằm Bì (7,000 VND)

I think the couple pictured above just moved into the neighborhood because I’ve gone from never seeing them to seeing them daily. Welcome to D4, guys! You’re a delicious addition to the neighborhood.

Bánh tằm bì is a dish that I did not grow up with. In fact, I only tried it for the first time this past summer at a restaurant in San Diego. While everyone was eating seven courses of beef, I went for something completely different.

Short, worm-like, rice noodles form the base of the dish. (a mixture of pork and pork skin) is piled atop the bed of noodles. Coconut milk, nuoc cham (fish sauce vinaigrette), scallion oil and freshly julienned cucumber and basil add the finishing touches on this uniquely sweet and savory dish.

The mixture of coconut milk and nuoc cham in bánh tằm bì makes me feel like I’m eating che for dinner.

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7 thoughts on “Bánh Tằm Bì

  1. Uniquely southern dish. I love this stuff! We make it at home during the summer months when it’s just too warm for noodle soups. Happy New Year’s Miss Cathy! Keep up the great work. We just got back from our month long trip to VN and your posts are making me miss VN already =)

  2. I just came across your blog two days ago and I have completely fallen in love with it! You’re the first that I’ve seen blog about these homey and humble dishes – It makes me want to live with my parents again so I can eat as well as you do. I look forward to reading your blog all the time. Happy New Year!

  3. I’ve seen this before when I was in Saigon, but never tried it. I really wish I did, now I’ll have to find it in America. Thanks for the reminder! Show us more!! Did you eat any for us ? 🙂
    BTW- Happy New Year !!!!

  4. First time visitor linked from Noodlepie’s blog!

    I’ve never heard of this dish either. At first, I thought that the coconut milk was a sheet of banh cuon!

  5. Anh – Ah, I had no idea this was a southern dish. My guess would’ve been northern because it’s my northern uncle’s fave. Any chance you want to share your banh tam bi recipe with me and fellow readers ;-)?

    Tina – Thank you for your kind comment! There ain’t no place like home. I say, rent an apartment next door—privacy and good eats.

    Wandering Chopsticks – I am most certain you can find some banh tam bi in Little Saigon. There are a ridiculous number of banhs!

    WoR – You, Todd, and Wandering Chopsticks should go seek out some banh tam bi in Little Saigon together 😉 And of course I had some for you and Todd! It’s our special policy.

    Christine – Hopefully Anh will hook us up with a recipe so we can all enjoy this dish at home :-). And as always, Noodleman rules.

  6. I really miss this dish. Thanks for writing about it. There’s a kick-ass bánh tầm bì stall in Tân Định market (chợ Tân Định) in the 1st district. Perhaps you should check it out if it’s still there.

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