Banh Khuc - beat winter blues in Hanoi

Nga Do
Hà Nội’s winter is said to be incomplete without savouring bánh khúc or xôi khúc.

The dish is a ball of glutinous rice mixed with cudweed and filled with mung bean paste and seasoned greasy pork. It is best tasted when served steaming hot, which is why it is a must-have dish during the cold winter months.

Banh Khuc - beat winter blues in Hanoi
Photo by Thu Trag9x
Another reason why the dish is popular during winter is because the most important ingredient - cudweed - grows abundantly during late winter. In the first two months of the year, when an early spring drizzle envelops the villages and farms, cudweed is also harvested.

The plant grows naturally along river banks and on the edges of fields.

There are two kinds of cudweed - te (non-sticky) and nêp (sticky). Of these, te is preferred to make banh khuc as it is more flexible and fragrant.

On cold winter nights in Hanoi, street vendors are often heard shouting, “Ai banh khuc day?” (Who wants banh khuc?) on nearly every street. This is a familiar call for anyone who has lived in the capital for a long time. However, there are only two popular places serving the most authentic and delicious banh khuc in the city: Banh Khuc Quan and Banh Khuc Co Lan.

Bánh Khúc Quân branches are located in the following addresses:

- 35 Cầu Gỗ Street, Hoàn Kiếm District.

- 102, C6, Lương Định Của Street, Đống Đa District.

- Lane 46B, Phạm Ngọc Thạch Street, Đống Đa District.

Bánh Khúc Cô Lan branches are as follows:

- 69B Nguyễn Công Trứ Street, Hai Bà Trưng District.

- 20 Lê Duẩn Street, Hoàn Kiếm District.

- 29 Nguyễn Thái Học Street, Ba Đình District.

- 255 Thụy Khuê Street, Tây Hồ District.

- 443 Minh Khai Street, Hai Bà Trưng Dist.

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