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Traditional cake "Banh Chung"
Traditional cake "Banh Chung"

Historical of "Chung" cake

The legend of “chung” cake is closely associated with the legend of Hung Kings, who were the ancestors of the Vietnamese people. This special kind of cake is indispensable to every family. It expresses Vietnamese people’s gratitude towards their ancestors. When Tet festival is coming, Vietnamese people of many generations are touched by the feeling they get when gathering around the “chung” cake pot and waiting until the cake is done to a turn. “We live on rice. From sticky rice we make round and square-shaped cakes which represent Heaven and Earth. Wrapped in green leaves, stuffed with pork and green beans, “chung” cake shows the way in which humans are formed in their mothers’ wombs”.

So, from then to nowaday, “chung” cake is the important thing in any meals of holiday, especially Lunar New Year Eve.

Be ready to pack the cake
Be ready to pack the cake

Sticky rice and green bean
Sticky rice and green bean

fresh phrynium leaves to cover the cake
fresh phrynium leaves to cover the cake

How to make "Chung" cake by yourself?

Surely one of us has also tasted the delicious Banh Chung, both flavor of the cake and the softness of the folds around the outside. If you want to cook "Chung" once, what will you do? Viet Ventures would like to share the secret of cooking "Chung" as well as others can do. Please watch our instruction.

1. Ingridients

The cake is wrapped in fresh phrynium leaves which are neither young nor old, have the same size and beautiful green color. Sticky rice, the main ingredient, is chose carefully. High quality newly-harvested sticky rice brings fragrance to the cake and increase its deliciousness. For bacon, you should only choose lean, fat, even and thick and thin pigskin, not too lean, if not you will be fed up with it. And some spices: salt, pepper…

2. Preliminary Steps

Step 1: Green beans are soaked in 2 hours. Wash and scoop out the bad grains, shake with a tablespoon of salt, then into a steamer, steamed. When it is ripe, using the spoon to make it smooth, mix it with a little pepper. Then, grate the ripe beans into equal rounds.

Step 2: Rice are soaked in 2 hours to soften the rice (do not soak it long time, it will be sour and damaged). After soaking softly, treat the rice several times to clean and pick up the bad seeds. Then mix the rice with a tablespoon of salt and seasoning.

Step 3: Wash the dong leaves, if the leaves are not clean, the cake will quickly break. Wipe dry with a clean towel. Then cut the leaf (keep it for lining up when boiled). Note, when cutting leaves, you do not cut too deep to tear the leaves.

Step 4: Cut sliced meat, about 2cm thick, 5cm - 6cm long and then marinate with salt, pepper.

3. Method

Pack "Chung" cake without mold

Step 1: When wrapping, fold 4 leaves perpendicular, 2 leaves below face down (when wrapped back, the right side will be outside to make the cake more beautiful), 2 leaves on the right side of the face (when remove the cake, not stick).

Step 2: Put about 1 bowl of rice into the center of the leaf.

Step 3: Take a half of the green beans, lightly press down, then place a piece of meat in the middle of the beans, then use half the green part (also lightly pressed down) on the meat. Pour the green beans cover the meat.

Step 4: Add a layer of rice above the kernel and spread the rice so that cover it.

Step 5: Use your hands to turn the dong leaf on the right and left sides, but pay close attention. The left folded (folded inside to hide the leaves). Then fold the top of the bottom leaf up. Squeeze the sides of the top of the cake, folding the left side of the leaves for a square.

Step 6: To make a rectangular cake, you need 4 wrappers. Forcing the first two strips parallel to each other to keep the gear tight, the leaf does not come out. The two strings perpendicular to the first two strings. The next step is to make the cake on the table so that the cake is more firmly. Try to shake the cake, if you still hear the rice inside, the cake is not packaged.

Pack “Chung” cake by mold

Placing leaves: Same as folding hand wrapping! Lay the left side of the two leaves to overlap each other, then you put the green side of another leaf on the two leaves folded.

Add a green face leaf to fold, the leaves overlap and inverse the mold in the front.

The next step in packing the “chung” cake (glutinious rice cake), you need to package the rice cake.

First you pour a bowl of glutinous rice in front, spread evenly throughout the mold, flat. Then you give a bunch of green beans, you pour a bowl of glutinous rice on the top and then pack the left leaves neatly, evenly baked.

After neatly folding the leaves, you press the excess leaves, the other hand gently lift the cake out and you tie thin.

You can tie 2, 3 or 4 strips but tight, do not make the pie crinkle that needs to be symmetrical to the cake added square.

4. Boiled

Put the left leaves at the bottom of the pot, then fold the cake up. If the cake is not compressed, it will be hatched and the podium. Add water to flood the entire cake and then boil the fire until boiling, reduce the fire. Then, every 1 hour to check the water level. If it is reduced, additional boiling water. If using cold water, it will cause the cake to be half-cooked.

- Boiled in 6 hours, pick up the “chung” cakes washed with cold water for the cake is not viscous and ripe. Replace the new water and boil the rice cake will be better.

- Cook for 10-12 hours, cake is ripe, remove the cake to clean it in boiling water to cool, then drain. Find a cool place in the house, fold the cake and put a board up. Then, add water or heavy objects on the board to make sure the cake is firm and square for a few hours.

When the cake is completely cool, cut the cake and display on meal of New Year party. Wish you success!

Product Requirments:

- Appearance: Wrappers must be soft, firm, not burst, the cake does not spill out. When cake is riped, the leave become green moss look beautiful.

- Quality: Cooked to medium maturity, not too wet or too dry. The kernel must taste good to eat.

- Obtained 2 requirements above, the product is really perfect.

DO IT YOURSELF WAS SO GREAT, RIGHT?
Nowadays, some people do not have time to cook “chung” cake, so they usually go to the supermarket like Mega market, coopmart.. to buy it for worship the land. In any case, “chung” cake is indispensable dish for Tet, which is the soul of the Vietnamese people. When eating “chung” cake, people those who are far from home, always think about the reunion party with family, remind them about their homeland.

Post: Ngoc Tuyet | Photo: Minh Bui | Vietnam travel agency

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