Vietnam is one of Southeast Asia's popular tourist destinations with numerous beautiful and fascinating attractions spread all around the country. It is also best known as a foodie's paradise. Exploring the different flavors and textures of Vietnamese cuisine is an experience you would not want to miss when traveling anywhere in the country. And you will likely get to enjoy a wide array of delicious food for cheap. Just make sure to leave some room for a delectable dessert or snack. Here we rounded up some of the best vegan sweets and treats to try on your visit.
This ubiquitous dessert or snack comes in different types. The base ingredients are usually rice or gelatinous rice, tapioca pearls, fruits, and coconut milk. It is a sweet and soupy concoction that is flavorful and filling. Some of the must-try variations of this sweet treats:
Che` Ba´p - a type of pudding or sweet soup made with glutinous rice, sweet corn, and coconut milk usually topped with sesame seeds
Che` Ba` Ba – made with cassava, sweet potato, tapioca pearls, and coconut milk often topped with crushed peanuts or sesame seeds
Che` trôi nuo´c - made with glutinous rice with mung bean paste fillings and comes with a sweet syrup consisting of ginger, sugar, and water
2. Bánh đậu xanh
Made with mung beans, sugar, and oil, this delectable melt-in-your-mouth pastry is commonly eaten as dessert or snack in Vietnam. It is best paired with Vietnamese coffee or tea which you can enjoy with coconut milk.
3. Xi ma
If you see a street food vendor with a big pot of what looks like a black soup, take the time to stop and have some of the fascinating concoction. Xi ma or black sesame soup is made with toasted black sesame seeds, coconut milk, pandan leaves, sugar, and pennyworth herb. This thick soup is best enjoyed hot and is widely believed to have some health benefits because of the iron, calcium, protein, and vitamins B1 and E it contains among others. Sesame is also used in traditional Chinese medicine to warm the body and replenish blood.
4. Chuối bọc nếp nướng
Chuối bọc nếp nướng is grilled banana wrapped in sticky rice. It is then wrapped in banana leaf and grilled. The delicious aroma wafting from the burnt banana leaf wrapping mixed with the different textures and flavors make for a simple but tasty treat. It is often served peeled and topped with creamy coconut sauce and crushed peanuts or roasted sesame seeds.
5. Bánh da lợn
If you are looking for something that is not too sweet, the bánh da lợn or steamed layer cake would be a good choice. This chewy and gooey dessert is made with mashed mung beans, rice flour, tapioca starch, taro, coconut milk, and sugar. Another variation of this treat uses durian instead of taro.
Vietnam has plenty of veg-friendly and easy-to-veganize food options. And their desserts and sweets are no exception. You can easily find naturally vegan sweets and treats in cafes, restaurants, hole in the wall eateries, and street food stalls. Not to mention the wide array of fresh fruits and smoothies you can savor and enjoy.