A few days ago, my friend Terrence Khuu came over for dinner with these beauties here. His mom, a cook at Le Colonial in San Francisco, makes these not for the restaurant, but for family and friends. I was luck to be among the "friends" category.
The skin is soft and supple like banh cuon steamed rice flour sheets. But they didn't harden in the fridge. She makes them in a nonstick skillet and fills the crepe with chopped shrimp, which she seasons lightly and includes the roe pulled from the shrimp head. Mang is bamboo shoot in Vietnamese but she opted for thin shreds of jicama, which is more delicately flavored.
Each one was about 4-inches wide and 1/2 inch thick. Accompanying sauces included lightly sweetened coconut milk and a light ginger, fish sauce, vinegar and sugar sauce. You can eat banh mang with one of the sauces or combine the two.
Terrence and his family are from the Can Tho area in the southern region of Vietnam. He says this kind of food is popular there. Though Terrence is a chef, his mom isn't willing to let him in on the secret. I'm not familiar with this little treat, which we only served half of to guests and saved the rest for ourselves!
Any of you heard of banh mang or know how to make it?