Today we will introduce you to one of the best street food in Saigon: grilled banana wrapped in sticky rice which is a simple but popular dish familiar to the people of the South many years ago. Let follow us to know what makes this street food of Saigon more popular.

Grilled banana wrapped in sticky rice consists of simple ingredients such as banana, white sticky rice, coconut milk, peanuts or sesame seed, grated coconuts and banana leaves used to wrap outside. This food is so simple and easy to make, but its taste is extremely delicious. You can find them in every street or alley in Ho Chi Minh City.


The white sticky rice with banana inside covered by green banana leaves

Though its recipe is quite simple, it still requires the cook to be careful in all stages, from the selection of sticky rice, banana, coconut milk processing to make a delicious cake. Sticky rice must be soaked in water with salt for a few hours, then “washed” thoroughly many times and stirred with coconut milk and grated coconut on fire until it is sticky and has a distinctive fragrance. The eaters say that they love the sweetness of sticky rice and the charming aroma of coconut absorbed in sticky rice at the first try, and especially the fatty taste of the coconut milk it is served with.


Fatty coconut milk served with grill banana wrapped in sticky rice

The coconut milk will be cooked with pandan leaves for about at least 8 minutes on a medium-low heat to create a mild but attractive smell. Some also may add tapioca pearls. The cook will soak these pearls in water and pour them in this mixture of coconut milk when it boiled, do not forget to add sugar, and a little salt. The important thing is this mixture must be stirred regularly to avoid the tapioca pearls glue to each other or be burned. This surely requires much skillfulness of the cook.

Bananas also have to be chosen carefully, they must be ripe enough to keep the best sweetness. These bananas after being peeled will be tossed with some sugar in about 30 minutes. Then it will be wrapped with a layer of sticky rice in a beautiful shape and finally, some bananas leave outside. The sticky rice wrapped around the banana should have a suitable thickness, not too thick but also not too thin.


Bananas have to be ripe enough


And sticky rice wrapped outside must be thick enough

Then they are grilled by charcoal on a grill. When the leaves are burned and you can see the sticky rice turns golden, take it out and enjoy it – one of the best dishes in Saigon.


Bananas wrapped in sticky rice are grilled on charcoal

In some places, they will be cut into small pieces and placed in a plate. On the top, they add coconut milk and roasted sesame seeds or peanut or both, depending on the eating habit of each eater.


A contemplating plate of the grilled banana wrapped in sticky rice

You cannot help watering your mouth when looking at this plate, right? So do not miss this food in your Saigon culinary tour.

Here we will show you some food stalls where you can find the best-grilled banana wrapped in sticky rice in Saigon:

  • Nam Bo Ut Lua at 226 Ly Chinh Thang, Ward 9, District 3, opens from 09:00 am to 10:00 pm. With only 15,000 dongs you can have a grilled banana wrapped in sticky rice for sure. You can also enjoy other cake made from banana at an affordable price.
  • Chuoi nep nuong Vo Van Tan at alley 378, Vo Van Tan, Ward 5, District 3, opens from 7 am to 9:30 pm. This stall has been opened more than 20 years and serves a large number of food lovers every day. Most people give it much compliment when stop by there, you can enjoy a grilled banana wrapped in sticky rice with only 15,000 dongs.
  • Another food stall at 106 To Hien Thanh, Ward 15, District 10 opens from 2:00 pm till 6:00 pm, the price for each grilled banana wrapped in sticky rice is 12,000 dongs.

Besides these ones, you can also find this simple rustic but delicious food in many other streets, hope that you will have a great Saigon food tour someday.