Ha Tinh’s unique steamed rice rolls with spring roll stuffing

Banh muot ram, steamed rice rolls with spring rolls wrapped inside, is a Ha Tinh specialty that one should not miss when visiting the central province.

Delicious 'banh muot ram" food (Photo: vnexpress)
Delicious 'banh muot ram" food (Photo: vnexpress)

In Ha Tinh, it is easy to see small eateries with signs saying Ram – Banh muot. Ram is a Ha Tinh dish which is similar to fried spring rolls made across the country while banh muot is the local term for banh cuon and banh uot (steamed rice rolls) in other localities.

The ram is uniformly made to a width of about two fingers. The tighter it is rolled, the more the filling stays inside without spilling. The filling typically consists of finely minced pork, vermicelli, scallions, cilantro, culantro, and assorted spices. The strong herbal aroma and subtle bitterness of the culantro create a one-of-a-kind flavor for Ha Tinh’s ram.

The rice paper used to make ram is thicker than that for spring rolls in other localities and has a yellow tint from molasses. After being wrapped, the ram is deep fried for three to four minutes.

The dough for the banh muot is made from glutinous rice flour. The rice is ground fine, water is added and left to rest overnight. When making the dough mixture, the chef has to use just the right amount of flour so that the final product has a thin, chewy, fragrant and smooth texture.