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    Banh Chung - delicious traditional Vietnamese food in during Tet

    Square cake (Banh Chung/ Chung cake) is the most popular and delicious traditional Vietnamese food and irreplaceable cake of Vietnamese people in the Tet Holidays and King Hung’s anniversary (10th March Lunar). For the Vietnamese, making this cake is the ideal way to express gratitude to their ancestors and homeland.

     Banh Chung - delicious traditional Vietnamese food in during Tet

    Chung cake was invented by the 18th Prince of Hung Emperor in the contest of looking for new Emperor. According to the legend, 3,000-4,000 years ago, Prince Lang Lieu, made round and square cakes, the round Day cake symbolizing the sky and the square Chung cake symbolizing the Earth (under the ancient Vietnamese perception), to be offered on the occasion of Spring.

    In the ancient conception, the Earth is square, hence Chung cake's shape is square, too, to reflect the Earth shape. Since the cakes he offered were of special meaning and delicious taste, Lang Lieu was selected to be the next Emperor. Since then, in honor of this 18th Prince, Vietnamese people always make and have Chung cake in the Lunar New Year. Up to now, Chung cake has become the most famous and irreplaceable traditional Vietnamese food in Tet Holiday. This legend aims to remind the next generations of the ancient tradition as well as the primary of Chung cake. Besides, it emphasizes the important role of rice and nature in water rice culture.

     Banh Chung - delicious traditional Vietnamese food in during Tet

    Main ingredients are glutinous rice, pork meat, and green beans wrapped in a square of bamboo leaves that will give the rice a green color after boiling. The sticky rice must be very good and was soaked in water in the previous day. Rice cake is wrapped in square shape, and the wrapping power must be neither tight nor loose. Then the cake will be boiled in about 12 hours by wood. The green has nutrition with an original tasty flavor and may be kept for a long time. If you come to Vietnam during the Tet holiday, do not miss this traditional Vietnamese food.

    You also make this cake at home. Please follow our instructions carefully. With this cake, we need to concentrate on more than other dishes.

    Ingredients:

    4kg sticky rice
    1,5kg mung bean (no cover)
    1,5kg half lean half fat pork meat
    Spices: 10gr Purple onion, pepper, fish sauce, salt, sugar, vegetable oil
    Square moulds (16*16)
    Phrynium leaves (Lá Dong)

    The steps taken

    Step 1: Place the mung beans in a pot filled with just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until mashable, about 20-30 minutes. Mash into a paste with a potato masher or spoon. Season with 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, fried shallot and vegetable oil.

     Banh Chung - delicious traditional Vietnamese food in during Tet


    Step 2: Season the soaked sticky rice with 1 tsp salt.

    Step 3: Season the pork with 1/2 tsp salt, fish sauce, 1.5 tsp pepper, and shallots.

    Step 4: Take about a cup of the mashed mung beans, spread out on a saran wrap, add a few pieces of pork lean and fat and wrap it up shaping into a round or square piece.

    Step 5: To assemble, lay out two sheets of partially overlapping banana leaves, Place about a cup of rice in the center of the leaves. Place the filling on top of the rice. Then cover it up with another cup rice. Fold the leaves and wrap it tightly like a present. 

    Step 6: It is very important that the contents don't shift or spill during cooking. If the boiling water penetrates into the cake, it will make the cake soggy. So it is a great help to wrap it one more time. For the first layer, make sure the darker side of banana leaf faces the rice so that it can tint the cake with a nice subtle green color later. However, for last layer, the darker side of banana leaf should face outside to give it a beautiful green package. 

    Step 7: Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil. Add the cakes and place a heavy object on top to make sure they stay submerged. Simmer until the cakes feel plump and the rice is congealed, about 6-8 hours. Keep an eye on the pot and add more hot water as necessary to keeps the cakes covered. 

     Banh Chung - delicious traditional Vietnamese food in during Tet

    Step 8: To serve, unwrap the cake and cut into wedges or slices using thread or dental floss. Bánh chưng are often eaten with pickled onions (dua hanh), pickled vegetables in fish sauce (dua mon), or dipped in sugar for a sweet treat. They can also be sliced, pan fried until golden, and served with sugar or sweet chili sauce.


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    Item Reviewed: Banh Chung - delicious traditional Vietnamese food in during Tet Rating: 5 Reviewed By: ThuyHang
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