One of our regular food joints in Saigon is Thanh Bình. Located right behind Bến Thành market it serves excellent no-frills Vietnamese food at affordable prices, and is a local favourite. After an hectic morning running around on the bike we love to sit down for a well-deserved lunch break: trà da sen (lotus ice tea), Bún Bò Xào (noodle salad) and bánh flan (crème caramel). The Vietnamese love crème caramel – it was brought over by the French. At Kore Kamino we have a very sweet tooth, so we made sure to ask Thanh Bình ‘s recipe so we could share it with you!
THANH BINH’S CREME CARAMEL
For about 10 servings, you will need: 1 can condensed milk (250 ml) + 6 eggs + 220ml long life unsweetened semi-skimmed milk. For the caramel: 250g white caster sugar + 100ml water + a few drops of lemon. Material:10 ramekins + a layer steam cooker.
– Separate egg whites and egg yolks
– Mix the yolks together then sieve the mixture. Do the same with the whites
– Mix together the condensed milk + one equal serving of hot water. Add the milk to this mixture.
– Add the yolks then mix. Add the whites then mix.
– Make the caramel by pouring the caster sugar in a dry clean pan, then add the water over it. Stir the pan to make sure the mixture is even, but don’t mix it with a spoon. Just stir the pan smoothly. Put the fire over medium and let the caramel heat without touching it. Once big bubbles start appearing, watch over it as it will soon turn into an amber colour. When it has the perfect caramel colour stir gently and add a few drops of lemon to keep it from solidifying. It is ready to use.
-Pour the caramel at the base of the ramekins then top up with the creme mixture.
– Place the ramekins on the trays or your steamer and steam for 20 mins.
– The creme caramel are best served the next day, fresh from the fridge or with a spoonful of crushed ice on top Saigon style!