In Vietnamese, the term bánh refers to a wide variety of sweet or savoury, distinct cakes, buns, pastries, sandwiches, and food items, which may be cooked by steaming, baking, frying, deep-frying, or boiling. Foods made from rice or wheat flour are generally called bánh, but the term may also refer to certain varieties of noodle and fish cake dishes, such as bánh canh and bánh hỏi.
Each variety of bánh is designated by a descriptive word or phrase that follows the word bánh, such as bánh bò (literally “cow cake” or “crawling cake”) or bánh chuối (literally “banana cake”). Bánh that are wrapped in leaves before steaming are called bánh lá (literally “leaf cakes”).
In Vietnamese, the term bánh is not limited to Vietnamese cuisine: it applies equally to items as varied as fortune cookies (bánh may mắn), pudding, caramel custard (bánh caramen), and sacramental bread (Bánh Thánh).
- Bánh tiêu – hollow doughnutsphoto
Sweet cakes (steam)
- Bánh bò – “cow cake,” made from glutinous rice flour and coconut milk, with a honeycomb-like texture
- Bánh cáy, rectangular-shaped sweet dessert made by roasting and grinding glutinous rice and other ingredients
- Bánh da lợn – colored steamed layer cake made from tapioca starch, rice flour, coconut milk and/or water, sugar, and other ingredients
- Bánh đúc – rice cake or corn cake eaten as a dessert or savory meal
- Bánh chuối – banana cake
- Bánh khoai môn – taro cake
- Bánh bông hồngphoto
- Bánh bông lan – sponge cake
- Bánh chay – served together with bánh trôi
- Bánh cốm – green rice cake made using cốm with mung bean filling
- Bánh đa (Northern) or Bánh tráng nướng (Southern)- rice cracker
- Bánh đậu xanhphoto – sweet mung bean paste
- Bánh dứa
- Bánh gai – made from the leaves of the “gai” tree (Boehmeria nivea) dried, boiled, ground into small pieces, then mixed with glutinous rice, wrapped in banana leaf. The filling is made from a mixture of coconut, mung bean, peanuts, winter melon, sesames, and lotus seeds.
- Bánh giầy, also written as bánh dầy – white, flat, round glutinous rice cake with tough, chewy texture filled with mung bean or served with Vietnamese sausage (Giò lụa)
- Bánh giò – pyramid shaped rice dough dumplings filled with pork, shallot, and wood ear mushroom wrapped in banana leaf
- Bánh ít lá gai – triangular dumpling wrapped in ramie leaf, similar to Chinese zongzi
- Bánh kẹp – Vietnamese waffle cookies made from rice flour – like a Pizzelle
- Bánh kẹp lá dứa – pandan waffle
- Bánh mật – Molasses-sweetened glutinous rice cake (filled with green bean paste or groundnut)
- Bánh lá dừa – Cake wrapped in coconut leaf
- Bánh phồng tôm – prawn cracker
- Bánh phục linh
- Bánh quế
- Bánh tráng mè
- Bánh chưng – square-shaped steamed glutinous rice dumpling wrapped in a dong leaf (lá dong)
- Bánh tét – log-shaped cylindrical glutinous rice cake, wrapped in a banana leaf and filled with a meat or vegetarian filling
- Bánh trôi photo (also called bánh chay; literally “floating cake”) – served together with bánh chay
- Bánh tô – a round, golden/taupe colored, sticky cake served for new years. It’s made of glutinous rice flour, sugar, water, and soybean oil. Like the Chinese new year cake, neen gow, the bánh tô is cut into thin slices then dipped in egg and fried before serving. This is an uncommon pastry and it’s said the shape represents a wheel. It is sometimes decorated with white sesame seeds and red food coloring. (cf Kue Keranjang in Indonesia)
- Bánh canh – tapioca noodles which are cut from a large sheet.
- Bánh hỏi – extremely thin noodles that are woven into intricate bundles and often topped with chopped scallions and a complementary meat dish
- Bánh phở – The steamed flat and thin cake made from rice flour and water before being cut into strips. The strips are not only called Bánh phở but also “con phở” or “cọng phở,” noodles that are used in phở. The width of the strips is usually around 1cm or less