Bánh Ít

Bánh ít is a popular Vietnamese cake made from glutinous rice flour and mung bean using a steaming method.

Lastest Updated January 6, 2024
Verified by A-Z Cuisines Team
  • Street Food
  • Traditional
Home » Dishes A-Z » Bánh Ít

Fact: In Vietnam, legend has it that during the Hung’s king period, one of the king’s youngest daughters created bánh ít by wrapping the dough of bánh giày around the filling of bánh chưng.

Flag of Vietnam#68 in Vietnam

Basic Information

Bánh Ít: Basic Information

Pronunciation

/bahn eet/

Alternative Name(s)

Bánh ích

Dish Type

Glutinous rice dishes, dumplings

Course

Dessert

Mealtime

Anytime
Origin and Region

Bánh Ít: Origin and Region

Origin

Vietnam

Continent’s Region

Southeast Asia

Country’s Region

Nationwide Origin

Associated Region

Unspecified
Vietnam Map
A Deep Dive

Popular Bánh Ít Variations

Ingredients and Preparation

Bánh Ít: Ingredients and Preparation

Main Ingredients

Glutinous rice flour, filling (sweet or savory), banana leaves

Main Cooking Method

Steaming

Preparation Process

The dough is made from glutinous rice that encases around the filling for steaming
A Deep Dive

Bánh Ít: A Deep Dive

Cultural Significance

Commonly used as gifts in Vietnam

Taste

Sweet or savory

Texture

Chewy and soft

Aroma

Fragrant

Color

White, pale green, or varies depending on the ingredients

Serving Style

In banana leaves, served individually

Serving Temperature

Warm or at room temperature

Accompaniment

Fish sauce (savory bánh ít)

Occasions

New Year, festivals

Seasons

Year-round, Spring

Special Diets

Non diet-specific

Calories

257 calories, according to data of MyFitnessPal for 1 Bánh ít

Popularity

Vietnam

Popular Similar Dishes

  1. Bánh Xu Xê
  2. Bánh Ú

Popular Dining Area

Street vendors, markets, and households in Vietnam

Bánh ít, or bánh ích, is a type of Vietnamese steamed glutinous rice cake with a traditionally sweet mung bean filling. Alternatively, there’s also a savory filling that is often cooked before being encased in raw dough.

Banh It Overview

Aside from the glutinous rice, bánh ít also requires lá gai (ramie leaves), with various filling options like mung beans, black beans, and coconut meat. The savory version of bánh ít often calls for shrimp stir-fried with meat.

Interestingly, different regions also use various banana leaves, with the North often preferring dry leaves while the Central area utilizes fresh ones.

Ideally, these street-side cakes have an average size with a transparent profile. For serving, savory bánh ít is often enjoyed with scallion oil or nước mắm tỏi ớt.

Make sure to stick around to find out about the many versions of bánh ít along with the way of making bánh ít đậu xanh and the good and bad features of eating this treat.

Later on, explore some of the inquiries that many often have about bánh ít and know more about specialties that are like it.

Key Points

  • Bánh ít is a Vietnamese steamed glutinous rice cake with a sweet or savory filling.
  • It has different fillings, such as mung beans, black beans, coconut meat, shrimp, and meat.

Bánh Ít Images

What Are the Variants of Bánh Ít?

Bánh ít in Vietnam often comes in a savory or sweet version that utilizes different fillings. To add to that, bánh ít trần is also a favorite version of this steamed glutinous rice cake:

Banh It La Gai

A signature black color

Banh It Man

Savory filling, typically served with scallion oil and fish sauce

Banh It Ngot

Sweet filling, often wrapped in banana leaves, can contain coconut or sesame seeds

Banh It Tran

Glutinous rice dumplings filled with shrimp, pork, and mushrooms or mung beans

Remember, aside from these specialties, you can even discover the method of creating bánh ít with mung bean as the main filling.

How to Make Bánh Ít Đậu Xanh?

Bánh ít đậu xanh is simply bánh ít filled with a sweet mung bean filling for a soft texture. To make bánh ít đậu xanh, here are what the locals often do:

Step 1: Preparing the Dough

Mix glutinous rice flour (and sometimes a bit of rice flour) with water to form a pliable dough.

Step 2: Preparing the Filling

Mix beans or coconut with sugar until it forms a paste or thick consistency. As for the savory filling, saute the meat of pork or shrimp with wood ear mushroom and seasonings.

Step 3: Forming the Cake

Use a small amount of filling that is wrapped using the formed dough.

Step 4: Wrapping

Wrapping the dough using banana leaves and tying them using strings.

Step 5: Cooking

Steam the cake until they’re translucent.

When your bánh ít đậu xanh is cooking, spend your free time learning about the pros and cons of eating this glutinous rice cake.

Pros and Cons of Eating Bánh Ít

Here are some features that people need to weigh up before eating bánh ít:

Pros

  • Variety: It comes in both sweet and savory versions, providing options for different palates and preferences.
  • Portion control: These are typically small, which can help with portion control and prevent overeating.
  • Convenience: They are often individually wrapped, making them convenient for on-the-go snacking or for serving at events.

Cons

  • Sugar content: The sweet versions contain sugar, which can be a concern for those monitoring their sugar intake.
  • Choking hazard: The sticky and chewy texture of bánh ít, particularly when not chewed properly.

Let’s dive into some frequent concerns to help clarify any lingering curiosities or concerns you may have.

Bánh Ít FAQs

It is often served as a dessert or a snack and can be found in both street food stalls and formal celebrations in Vietnam.

Many bánh ít varieties are vegetarian, especially the ones with mung bean or coconut fillings. However, some savory versions may contain meat or shrimp.

Since the main ingredient is glutinous rice flour, which does not contain gluten, Bánh ít is naturally gluten-free.

People with diabetes should be mindful of the high carbohydrate content, and those with dietary restrictions should check the fillings for potential allergens.

Similar Dishes of Bánh Ít

Banh Xu Xe

Bánh xu xê, also known as Bánh Phu Thê, is a traditional Vietnamese dessert made from tapioca flour, mung bean paste, and coconut milk, symbolizing marital fidelity.

Banh U

Bánh ú is a Vietnamese glutinous rice dumpling, savored in sweet or savory varieties and significant in Tết Đoan Ngọ.

Truc Tran (Kris)

Truc Tran (Kris)

Senior Food Editor

Expertise

Home Cooking, Meal Planning, Recipe Development, Baking and Pastry, Food Editor, Cooking-video Maker, Vietnamese Food Evaluation Expert

Education

  • Hospitality (Commercial Cookery) at TasTAFE
  • Culinary Arts at Kendall College (Australia Branch in Sydney)
  • Vietnamese Cuisine Head Chef at HNAAu School (Vietnam, International Joint Training Program)

Truc Tran (Kris), an experienced food writer and editor, is great at exploring and describing global cuisines, from simple street food to fancy dining. In her writing, she skillfully mixes different flavors, cooking methods, and culinary traditions, showing the unique character of various cultures through their food and drinks. On azcuisines.com, Kris highlights her knowledge, especially in Asian cuisine and worldwide traditional dishes.

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