Visitors to Cam Mountain can see many eateries selling banh xeo (rice pancake filled with steamed shrimp, sliced pork and bean sprouts) on either side of a path from the foot to the top of the famous mountain in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang.

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As part of the imposing That Son Mountain Range, Cam (forbidden) Mountain is a popular destination for pilgrims. The mountain attracts a large number of visitors near and far, so many eateries have come to life to serve a wide selection of dishes including banh xeo.

Banh xeo, which literally means sizzling cake, has a crispy yellow crust made from Vietnamese rice flour and coconut milk. A common banh xeo is filled with steamed shrimp, sliced pork, bean sprouts, and green beans while a vegetarian banh xeo only has bean sprouts and green beans inside.

What makes banh xeo at Cam Mountain special is that the dish is served with over 50 kinds of vegetables including medicinal plants. Cam Mountain is home to many types of medicinal plants and herbs which can help prevent and cure some diseases, so they are often served with dishes. The bitter and sweet flavors of these plants are said to whet visitors’ appetite for the dish, which is named for the sizzling sound it makes when the rice batter is poured into a hot pan.

A diner can have one to three banh xeo whose price ranges from VND10,000 to VND15,000 at the eateries at Cam Mountain.

On festive occasions, many customers crowd eateries selling banh xeo. A restaurant owner advises that people should pick one eatery from many and just order one banh xeo to try before asking for more.

SGT