Although it was just a marketing campaign by Chaquita, I really do think that bananas are “quite possibly, the world’s perfect food.” Besides being packed with oodles of nutrients, bananas are low-maintenance and deliciously versatile.
I love bananas squished between a peanut butter and honey sandwich, I love them gooey and caramelized atop vanilla ice cream, and I especially love them in the form of bánh chuối hấp.
Bánh chuối (literally “banana cake”) is a sweet banana cake or bread pudding from Vietnam. Although its exact ingredients may vary, it is usually made with ripe bananas or plantains, coconut milk, sugar, white bread, shredded young coconut, condensed milk, butter, eggs, and vanilla extract. In the finished dish, the cooked banana often appears purplish-red in color.
Can you believe that Wikipedia has an entry for bánh chuối? Incredible.
The version I had of bánh chuối was steamed (hấp) and generously doused in a sweet and salty coconut milk with tiny tapioca pearls and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. The accoutrements highlighted the banana’s natural sweetness and slight zing. At 2,000 VND a pop, bánh chuối is indeed good, clean and tasty fun.