that dish: crazy good bananas

Bananas may not seem like the choicest dessert, but the version put out on the streets of Vietnam will satisfy any sweet tooth and may create some of it’s own.

Small stands scattered around the country sell the uncomplicated bite to locals and those who know to try it.  I stumbled upon the dessert by happenstance, my love of trying street food leading me to order some without knowing what it was.

making banana magic

making banana magic

The unassuming chuoi nuong basks in simplicity. Sweet bananas are covered in coconut infused sticky rice, wrapped in a banana leaf and grilled until crusty and intoxicatingly fragrant. Once ready to be consumed, the small cake like preparation is cut into pieces and drizzled with rich and creamy condensed coconut milk and a sprinkle of peanut.

look at those beauties

look at those beauties

chuoi nuong before coconut milk and after. YUM.

chuoi nuong before coconut milk and after. YUM.

Whether you like dessert of not, this banana treat is a must try. Bananas Foster, you’ve got nothing on this.


Want to make your own chuoi nuong? Here you go:


  • 1 cup glutinous rice
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 bananas, pealed and cut into 6 pieces (try to get Vietnamese bananas if you can)
  •  banana leaves
  • 1 1/2 cup Che Bap (to make your own sweet coconut sauce: 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 tbsp water, 1 tsp cornstarch. Combine water and cornstarch. In a small saucepan, heat coconut milk and salt over medium heat. When it boils, stir in cornstarch mixture. Stir sauce vigorously until it thickens. Remove from the heat and set it cool)
  • roasted peanut


  • Wash and rinse the rice under cold running water. Then drain.
  • Put the rice, coconut milk, salt and water into small saucepan. Then bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the liquids has been absorbed. Stirring occasionally to loosen the grain.
  • Lower the heat, cover and continue to cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  • Transfer the rice to a bowl. Then add sugar and grated coconut. Use fork to fluff the rice. Set aside to cool.
  • Divide the rice mixture into 6 equal pieces. Roll the rice pieces into thin layer. Get a piece of banana and cover the banana in rice. Shape it into a small log or cylinder. Then this small log of Che Chuoi is wrapped in banana leaves. Repeat the same procedures with the remaining rice.
  • Prepare charcoal grill to medium-high. Grill the banana and sticky rice for 5 minutes or until charred. Then flip them over, grill for about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it cool for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer to dessert plates and drizzle about 2 -3 tablespoon of coconut sauce over each banana and sprinkle roasted peanuts on.

And done!

(thanks for the recipe)

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