This content is also available in: Vietnamese

In Vietnamese cuisine, ‘Bánh Bèo’ (literally water fern cake) is a type of steamed rice cake that is popular across the country. It is prepared differently depending on the region but all versions are made from rice flour.

Hue’s ‘Bánh Bèo’ is thinly made and topped with grilled, ground shrimp. ‘Bánh Bèo’ from the Western region of Vietnam is served with coconut milk and eaten with sweet and sour fish sauce.

Phu Yen’s ‘Bánh Bèo’ is simple, with its own signature flavour.  The cake is made a little thicker, stuffed with pork floss (pork sung or rousong), topped with fried bread cubes and served with sweet and sour fish sauce.


  1. ‘Bánh Bèo’:

  • 400g rice flour
  • 10g tapioca
  • 2L warm water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Small bowl for cake molding
  1. 1611-phuyen2Pork Sung:

  • 250g pork tenderloin
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. fish sauce
  • ½ tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped onion
  • ½ tsp. MSG (optional)
  1. Fish Sauce:

  • 60mL finest fish sauce
  • 65g brown sugar
  • 120mL hot water
  • Lemon, chili peppers
  1. Fried bread cubes, pork rind and fried onions or chives.


  1. ‘Bánh Bèo’

  • Mix rice flour and tapioca with warm water and salt, let sit for 4 hours for the flour to precipitate. Drain the water, then add the same amount of water into the mixture.
  • In a steaming pot, bring water to a boil, then put small bowls inside. When the bowls get extremely hot, stir and pour the flour into each bowl. Reduce to medium heat and cover, wait for about 7 minutes until the flour turns an opalescent color. This means they are ready.
  1. Pork Sung

  • Slice pork tenderloin, marinated with spices and let sit for 4 hours or leave covered overnight in fridge. Put water into pot until it reaches the meat’s surface and cook until most of the water is gone. Take out and pound in a mortar until fluffy. Shred by hand.
  • Put the shredded meat into a pan, pour the leftover cooked broth from the step above over it and stir frequently on low heat until the meat turns fluffy.
  1. Fish Sauce

  • Put sugar into warm water, stir well until dissolved, add fish sauce, lemon and chili pepper to taste.
  1. Bread and Fried Onion

  • Slice the bread into cubes, fry until crispy. Finely chop the spring onions or chives, heat the oil and add the chopped onions or chives. Add some salt and a little more oil to keep the green color.

Phu Yen’s ‘Bánh Bèo’ is best hot. When eating, add pork sung and pour some fried onions on top. Serve with sweet and sour fish sauce.