‘Banh tam’ noodles are different across different Mekong Delta provinces, depending on the type of rice available in the area and the noodle-making process. No one knows exactly the origin of the dish but many people in the Mekong Delta believed that it originated from Bac Lieu Province.
The main ingredients of this dish are thick noodles made of rice flour and tapioca flour, shredded pork skin, herbs, coconut cream and sweet fish sauce.
In the Mekong Delta, the dish is also served with pork meatballs that are cooked in the style of ethnic Chinese people in An Giang. Small pork meatballs are kept in a charcoal pot to keep it warm.
The soul of the dish lies in a pot of coconut cream cooked on a small charcoal pot and the vendor adds a little salt, sugar, tapioca flour (or cornstarch) into the pot to ensure a sweet, and fatty taste.
A bowl typically features fresh herbs and bean sprouts placed at the bottom of the bowl, thick noodles, shredded pork skin, pork meatballs, spring rolls, a little pickled daikon and carrots, along with sweet fish sauce. Finally, coconut cream is added on top.
A bowl of ‘banh tam bi’ is normally priced from 15,000-25,000 VND (0.65-1.09 USD) depending on toppings.