Bánh Nậm

Bánh nậm is a Vietnamese dumpling from Central Vietnam, wrapped in banana leaves and made with rice flour, shrimp, and pork.

Lastest Updated May 27, 2024
Verified by A-Z Cuisines Team
  • Street Food
  • Traditional
Home » Dishes A-Z » Bánh Nậm

Fact: Bánh nậm is one of the most famous street foods in Thua Thien Hue Province.

Flag of Vietnam#117 in Vietnam

Basic Information

Bánh Nậm: Basic Information


/bahn num/

Alternative Name(s)


Dish Type

Dumplings, Steamed dishes


Non-course dish



Popular Variations

Origin and Region

Bánh Nậm: Origin and Region



Continent’s Region

Southeast Asia

Country’s Region

Central Vietnam

Associated Region

Thua Thien Hue
Vietnam Map
Ingredients and Preparation

Bánh Nậm: Ingredients and Preparation

Main Ingredients

Rice flour, tapioca flour, pork, shrimp

Main Cooking Method


Preparation Process

Preparing the toppings, preparing the dough, wrapping the dumpling in banana leaves, steaming the dumpling, making the dipping sauce.
A Deep Dive

Bánh Nậm: A Deep Dive

Cultural Significance

Popular snack and street food in Thua Thien Hue




Soft, moist, chewy




Milky-white dough, with other colors from the toppings

Serving Style

Unwrapped and served in a bowl with a spoon and chopsticks

Serving Temperature

Hot or warm


Vietnamese dipping sauce, fresh herbs


On any occasions



Special Diets

Non diet-specific


58 calories, according to data of MyFitnessPal for one piece of bánh nậm.



Popular Similar Dishes

  1. Bánh Bột Lọc
  2. Bánh Bèo
  3. Bánh Ít
  4. Bánh Ít Trần
  5. Zongzi

Popular Dining Area

Local street vendors, restaurants

Bánh nậm is a famous Vietnamese dumpling originating in Thua Thien Hue Province, Central Vietnam. Its birthplace is Nam Pho, which lies 3 kilometers away from the city of Hue.

Banh Nam Infographic

Bánh nậm is wrapped in banana leaves and made with rice flour, tapioca flour (optional), minced pork, and shrimp.

Bánh nậm has a flat and square or rectangular shape. Appearance-wise, this dumpling is highly similar to bánh bột lọc, another traditional dumpling dish in Thua Thien Hue.

But bánh bột lọc has a clear-looking dough encasing the filling, while bánh nậm sports a milk-white hue and is topped with savory ingredients. Bánh nậm can be served on or off the banana leaf wrappings.

Locals typically enjoy this dumpling with a dipping sauce made from Vietnamese fish sauce, sugar, garlic, chili peppers, and lime juice. Fragrant herbs are an optional accompaniment.

Stay tuned for more engaging facts about bánh nậm, such as its benefits, shortcomings, and commonly asked questions. I will also recommend similar dishes at the end.

Key Points

  • Bánh nậm is a Vietnamese dumpling from the central region.
  • Bánh nậm is a specialty of Thua Thien Hue Province.
  • The main ingredients of bánh nậm are rice flour, minced pork, and shrimp.
  • Bánh nậm is wrapped in banana leaves and dipped in a sauce made from fish sauce, garlic, chili peppers, and sugar.
  • Bánh nậm is different from bánh bột lọc.

Bánh Nậm Images

Pros and Cons of Eating Bánh Nậm

Bánh nậm comes with the following strengths and weaknesses.


  • Tasty Flavor Profile: The combination of rice flour dough, shrimp, pork, and dipping sauce in bánh nậm offers a symphony of richness and savoriness, not to mention the faint aroma from banana leaf wrappings.
  • Texture: The steaming process and the use of banana leaves in cooking give bánh nậm an appealingly soft, sticky texture.
  • Digestibility: Bánh nậm is a light dish that people of all ages and individuals recovering from illness can freely consume. The large amount of protein in the dish is an added advantage.
  • Cultural Authenticity: Bánh nậm is deeply rooted in the culinary culture of Thua Thien Hue and is a must-try dish for tourists visiting this province.


  • Dietary Restrictions: Bánh nậm isn’t suitable for individuals with allergies to shellfish or dietary restrictions regarding pork.
  • Preparation Time: The preparation of bánh nậm is quite labor-intensive and time-consuming, so making it from scratch at home is a major challenge.
  • Availability: Outside of Vietnam, it might be difficult to find authentic bánh nậm wrapped in fresh banana leaves.

With these pros and cons in mind, let’s move to other notable aspects of bánh nậm in the FAQs section.

Bánh Nậm FAQs

Yes, you can make bánh nậm without banana leaves. Instead of wrapping the dough in banana leaves, you can pour it into a small cake mold, place the mold in the steamer, and cook as usual.

Yes, there is a vegetarian version of bánh nậm made with wood ear mushrooms or a mixture of mung beans and pandan extract. People in Thua Thien Hue usually serve this version on the first and fifteenth days of the lunar month.

Yes, bánh nậm can be found beyond the boundaries of Thua Thien Hue province, especially in other Central Vietnamese provinces, such as Quang Nam and Danang, or big cities, like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

For the best experience, bánh nậm can be stored for 1 – 2 days in the fridge and 2 – 3 weeks in the freezer.

Similar Dishes of Bánh Nậm

Banh Bot Loc

Bánh bột lọc is a traditional Vietnamese dumpling made from tapioca flour, typically stuffed with shrimp and pork and wrapped in a translucent dough.

Banh Beo

Bánh bèo is a type of small, steamed rice cake from Central Vietnam, often topped with savory ingredients and served with a sweet and spicy fish sauce for dipping.

Banh It

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

Banh It Tran

Bánh ít trần is a Vietnamese steamed glutinous rice cake hailing from the central and southern regions, usually filled with savory ingredients.

Truc Tran (Kris)

Truc Tran (Kris)

Senior Food Editor


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


  • 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *