Back in the kiddo days, Bạc Xỉu was my only coffee go-to—sweet, light, not too caffeinated; basically, I loved it at first sip.
Funny thing, though—at this time, I had zero clue about the meaning behind “Bạc Xỉu” until my uni days in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City).
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Meanwhile, Saigon is the bustling trading and economic center in Southern Vietnam with a large population of both Vietnamese and Chinese ethnicities. This cultural diversity is reflected in many Chinese-Vietnamese dishes such as:
Bạc Xỉu is even more special; it was born right in the midst of the cultural fusion among the French, Vietnamese, and Chinese.
Bạc Xỉu is a shortened term derived from “Bạc Tẩy Xỉu Phé,” originating from the Cantonese community in Saigon. It literally means “a cup of white with a dash of coffee”. No wonder Bạc Xỉu is also called White coffee.
Locals say that Bạc Xỉu was firsly made for women and kids who love the aroma and flavors of coffee but couldn’t handle the strength of the coffee drinks like Cà Phê Sữa Đá (Vietnamese Iced Coffee) . That’s why, back in my little-kid days, Bạc Xỉu was my only favorite coffee drink.
Some Vietnamese dishes with French influence:
To make Bạc Xỉu, you will need:
- Vietnamese coffee with a high ratio of Robusta. You could use ground coffee or instant coffee. If you have the chance to visit Vietnam, coffee makes for a fantastic souvenir. I even have a collection of Vietnamese coffee brands that I highly recommend checking out.
- Condensed milk.
- Fresh milk.
- Ice cubes or crushed ice.
Other Vietnamese coffee recipes if you are a coffee lover:
- Brew your coffee using a phin filter. You can find all the tips you need for brewing traditional Vietnamese coffee in my recipe for Cà Phê Sữa Đá.
- Mix condensed milk with fresh milk. Then, add some ice cubes or crushed ice.
- Pour the brewed coffee over the milk mixture.
- Give it a good stir, and voila! Enjoy your delicious Bạc Xỉu.
🌟 How to enjoy Bạc Xỉu
- In Vietnam, we often enjoy Bạc Xỉu in the morning alongside breakfast. My go-to combination is Bạc Xỉu paired with Pâté Chaud (Vietnamese Meat Pies) or Coconut Pandan Waffles (Bánh Kẹp Lá Dứa).
- For the vegan version, you could use plant-based milk and plant-based condensed milk.
Other Saigon food recipes:
🌟 What to do with leftover condensed milk
Condensed milk is a must-have ingredient in Vietnamese coffee. It also goes great with many desserts as well as marinades for BBQ dishes. Here are some recipes you could try:
Bạc Xỉu (The Iconic Saigon’s White Coffee)
- 2 tbsp Vietnamese coffee (30ml)
- 2 tbsp condensed milk (30ml)
- ½ cup fresh milk (125ml)
- Ice cubes (or crushed ice) (to your taste)
- Use a phin filter to brew your coffee. For all the tips on making traditional Vietnamese coffee, check out my recipe for Cà Phê Sữa Đá.
- Combine condensed milk with fresh milk, then add some ice cubes or crushed ice.
- Pour the freshly brewed coffee over the milk mixture.
- Stir it well, and there you have it! Enjoy your delicious cup of Bạc Xỉu.