Pancakes in a pagoda: Finding more than just inner peace in southern Vietnam

Pancakes in a pagoda

Meet the volunteers who know how to make your taste buds happy with vegan banh xeo ( Pancakes)

For the past 18 years, Dong Lai Pagoda in Tinh Bien District, An Giang Province has been famous for its crispy pancakes.

“Monks in this pagoda started making banh xeo for visitors in 1999.

Pancakes

At first, they just made the pancakes on special occasions but demand got so high that they decided to make them every day for visitors,” Bui Van Tam, a cook who has been making banh xeo for more than 10 years at the pagoda, explains.

Pancakes

There are currently more than 10 volunteers making pancakes in the pagoda.

“There’re always at least two-three people in the kitchen at the same time,” Tam says.

Pancakes

The pancakes are made from rice flour and coconut milk..- JUSTPLAY18

Pancakes

It takes five to 10 minutes to cook one pancake. For the vegan version, they’re filled with tofu, mung beans, beansprouts and sesbania sesban flowers.

Pancakes

A close look at a pancake on the stove. The pagoda makes around 300 pancakes each weekday, but up to 450-600 at the weekend.

Pancakes

If you want a pancake, just wait in line for your turn.

Pancakes

“The vegan banh xeo here is delicious. Every time I’m in An Giang, I have to visit this pagoda for these pancakes,” Nhu from Can Tho says.

Pancakes

There’s a dining room in the pagoda for visitors to enjoy their pancakes.

Pancakes

A Buddha statue in the pagoda.

Pancakes

Lying on National Highway 91, Dong Lai Pagoda often draws big crowds at the weekends.

More infor:

An Giang Province (Tỉnh An Giang) is located to the west of the Mekong Delta between the Tien and Hau rivers and shares a 100km border with Cambodia in the north- west. It also shares border with Dong Thap Province in the east, Cantho City in the south-east, and Kien Giang Province in the south-west.

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