Whenever you want to eat local food, which eatery in your mind can satisfy your craving? When it comes to Banh my, the eatery in my mind is Banh My Thien Su – Banh My Sot Vang Dinh Ngang. The article was published on Word Vietnam Magazine Issue October 2013. Photos by Francis Roux.
As the street corners in Hanoi start feeling the onset of autumn, things start to get a little romantic. Streets are filled with yellow leaves, trees quiver in the light breeze and the air is perfumed with that special aroma of milky flower.
Then there are the yellow-painted buildings left over from the French colonial era. But autumn isn’t just in this faded yellow atmosphere — it’s also in the French-originated dishes which have become part of the Hanoi street food tradition.
Among these dishes, there’s one that is ideal for enjoying in the cool breeze of an early October morning, or at night, when the weather brings lovers closer. It is banh my sot vang — beef stew in red wine sauce, served with bread.
This dish is typical of French cuisine adapted to Vietnamese tastes. It’s based on beef au vin or beef bourguignon, a traditional French stew prepared with beef braised in red Burgundy wine. Sot vang also has a red wine base. However, it differs from the original in spice and seasoning. Instead of herbs like parsley, rosemary and thyme, warm spices like cinnamon, star anise and cardamom are used.