Banh Chung (Chung Cake)

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Banh Chung (Chung Cake)
Banh Chung (Chung Cake)

Banh Chung is a traditional food in Vietnam which is indispensable in the relics to offering Vietnam’s ancestor in the Lunar New Year Festival (Tet). Therefore, you could find a couple of Banh Chung in every family in Vietnam in the Tet.

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Banh Chung is square shaped (and cylinder in the South of Vietnam – called Banh Tet). It has the green from the outer leaves to symbol the Earth. According to the legend of Banh Chung Banh Day in the Hung King period, when a son of him – prince Lang Lieu offered the two kinds of cake, the King was satisfied and ceded the throne.

Banh Chung is square shaped (and cylinder in the South of Vietnam – called Banh Tet).
Banh Chung is square shaped (and cylinder in the South of Vietnam – called Banh Tet).

It is quite meticulous to make the Banh Chung. The rice of making the cake is chosen from the best type and prepare with care. The stuffing of rice dumpling is pork (with skin, lean and fat), and the careful flayed green bean. The Dong green leaf to wrap is big and fresh. When wrapping the cake, it is very important to make it not to tight and not to loose. Then boiling the cake with sawdust, firewood and rice husk to make a medium heat, the cake will be boiled in about 10 hours.

Nowadays, people can have Banh Chung all year round, but only in the Tet, the cake will be the most delicious and meaningful. At this time, apart from Banh Chung, there are other kinds of food such as: lean pork paste, sour spring onion bulb, etc. Furthermore, the atmosphere of Tet with the spring rain and flowers inside the house make the cake to be the real taste.

According to the tradition, before the Lunar New Year Eve two or three days, all the family sitting by a cooking fire and the Banh Chung pot to retell the old stories as well as to welcome the new year in the hope of new good things to come.