Driving through the streets of the coastal town of Nha Trang, Bo’s hometown, lunch was a stop on the side of the street for banh uot (literal translation: wet cakes). Our uncle knew the owner-cook, I think. (Hard to tell because in VN culture banter is common among friends and strangers!)
The “restaurant” was essentially a lean-to that had a roof shading the cooking area and one serving table. Staff consisted of the owner-cook and her assistant. It was awesome.
The only thing on the menu were banh uot, a crepe-like dish made from a thin, wide sheet of rice-flour batter. The batter was poured super thin onto a piece of cloth over a steamer (note the cool ladle in the photo). Once cooked (~10 seconds), the cook cut the sheet into four pieces using a large wooden dowel, which was also how she got the pieces to the serving plates.
The banh uot were then topped with scallions and dried shrimp, and eaten with a fish-sauce dipping sauce and Vietnamese pork sausage.
SO good. And the table was literally next to the cooking area, so “made to order” took on a whole new meaning.
Here’s a video I took of the final process: