Before ringing in the new year with a healthy vegan recipe, telling you about my recent snowboard trip to Whistler, and filling you in on our Christmas plans, I was narrating my last travel to Vietnam where I finally found the best bowl of pho in Saigon.

During this vacation, my family and I also took a road trip to nearby Vung Tau, a quaint beach town about a two-hour drive from HCMC. In the town of Ba Ria on the way, we stopped for a quick bite at Banh Canh Long Huong per my parents’ suggestion.

Banh bcanh, translated as “cake soup” in English, is a noodle soup containing wide, short noodles typically made of tapioca starch and/or rice flour. They’re like the fatter cousin of wheat-based Japanese udon. I admit I’m not a fan of banh canh—with so many other noodle soups in the Vietnamese cuisine, I’d much rather have pho or bun bo Hue any day—but my parents insisted, and I’m never one to turn down a chance to try a new place, so for fat noodles in broth we stopped.

It turned out to be the best banh bcanh I’d ever had. The broth was succulent with porky goodness, and the noodles were an interesting reddish-pink hue that stained the hands of the women making them. I’m still not sure what caused the red coloring, nor do I know why they colored the noodles—my only guess is to add a touch of brightness to the bowl and make their dish unique. If anyone can tell me why these noodles were dyed pink, do educate me in the comments section.

The banh canh I had at Long Huong was so good, it inspired me to try my hand at making the dish in my own kitchen. The hubs used to like banh canh more than me, but this roadside shop has changed my mind.

Banh Canh Long Huong
11 Each Mang Trang Tam
Ba Ria, Vietnam
Phone: +84 64 3827 453

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