Bánh ướt (literally “wet cakes”), is a Vietnamese dish consisting of rice noodle sheets, eaten with nước chấm, fried shallots, and a side of chả lụa (Vietnamese pork sausage).
I’m always translating the names of Vietnamese foods into English, but it has never crossed my mind that banh uot literally means “wet cakes.” When doused in fish sauce, banh uot can get pretty wet, but not anymore so than say, banh beo. Semantics aside, banh uot is a light and tasty way to start the day. While it is available in the mornings and evenings, banh uot is generally considred a breakfast food. In addition to fried shallots, cha lua and fish sauce, the banh uot vendors in Saigon also toss in a mixture of fresh herbs, bean sprouts and cucumbers to add an element of freshness. The folks down south can’t seem to get enough greenery!
Banh uot is very similar in composition to banh cuon, which are thin rice crepes filled with pork and wood ear mushrooms.