Many of the sweet items I’ve purchased and consumed from street hawkers have been provided to me by conical hatted ladies. These hard working women walk around the old city carrying a bamboo yolk across their shoulder, the suspended baskets that sway gently as they walk carry an array of quite varied goodies.
Sweet balls of dough
I should probably select the fruit more often than I do, but I’m continually captivated by the crispy fried pastries.
Rightly or wrongly I view them as traditional Vietnam style doughnuts, many of them made with cooked non-glutinous rice flour pastry, some encrusted with sugar, others rolled in it, crunchy and crisp.
Sesame enrobed, some with textures like fried choux pastry, others are made with a more traditional bread like texture. The fillings vary too, white bean and coconut, peanut goo, sweet egg, red bean amongst the ones I recognise, I say recognise because there are quite a few I don’t comprehend the contents of, not that it matters.
I love glutinous rice balls!
These syrupy, gloopy, chewy, gooey things rock my world.
Made with a cooked glutinous rice flour batter, stuffed, formed into shapes and re-steamed they are relatively easy to eat. The most convenient are already tubbed up, quick to buy and easy to eat with a single bamboo skewer.
My favourite so far have been the ones with the raw palm sugar stuffing, slightly melted, slightly crystalized, sprinkled with sesame, and drizzled with some light ginger syrup.
With a few tiny plastic seats and obviously a more permanent pitch the fritter seller’s offer is a bit more dangerous than those carried about.
The light golden batter is crisp, not greasy, with a satisfying deep crunch, the gooey banana centre is sweet made with smaller more flavoursome local bananas. These same bananas sandwiched between thin slices of sweet potato and formed into rounds create fritter with a slightly savoury taste and interesting textural difference, this difference makes these fritters, sprinkled with sesame, my favourite.