Banh Tet: Traditional cake in southern Vietnam
Banh Tet is a traditional cake enjoyed by southern Vietnamese people (Photo: VNA)
Banh Tet (round glutinous rice cake) is a traditional cake enjoyed by
southern Vietnamese people on the occasion of the lunar New Year. It is
considered a variant of Banh Chung (square glutinous rice cake), which
is more popular in the northern region.
The Tet cake is cylindrical, made with sticky rice and filled with
pork fat and beans seasoned with black pepper and shallots. The cake is
wrapped in banana leaves and as a result, the sticky rice takes on a
pale green color and a slightly leafy taste. Even though the cake is
available all year, it is still considered a New Year treat.
Tet cake is served with pickled scallions, vegetable pickles and
fish sauce. After cooking, the banana leaves are removed and the cake is
sliced into wheel-shaped servings. The cake may also be sliced and
fried to a delicious chewy crispness.
prevent the banana leaf from coming apart during cooking, Tet cake is
usually wrapped again several times with a length of plastic ribbon
Local people of
different regions can create ingredients to make perfect Tet cakes for
themselves. Can Tho is famous for its unique Banh Tet La Cam- - violet
glutinous rice cake.
This version of Tet
cake has a lovely purple colour because the sticky rice is soaked in
purple water extracted from the leaves of a magenta plant. Inside of the
cake there are tasty ingredients such as beans, pork fat, dried shrimps
and salted egg yolks. All are tightly wrapped in banana leaves and
cooked for hours.
The process of making
Tet cake is time consuming, thus providing an opportunity for family
members to bond and come together to celebrate the holiday spirit.
Presently, Tet cakes have become popular with
people in other regions as they are sold on the market shelves in many
localities across the country.-VNA