Street Food: Steamed Rice Cakes in Chinatown


Yesterday, a petite woman sporting a smart blue cardigan and close-cropped salt-and-pepper hair sat on the south side of Grand Street between the Bowery and Elizabeth. A box propped up in front of her held bamboo-wrapped zongzi and Styrofoam dishes of these jiggly snacks.

The treats seem to be steamed glutinous rice cakes, similar to Vietnamese banh beo. Each bowl contains a handful of the sticky white discs, topped with dried shrimp and scallions, a bit like Jell-o salad for adults. They go for just $1 and make a satisfying lunch, especially squirted with a bit of Sriracha.