Banh Tet – Rice Cake

Banh Tet is traditional rice cake in Mekong Delta and south Vietnam. “Banh Chung”  is popular in North Vietnam.   People make “Banh Chung”  and “Banh Tet” to celebrate Lunar New Year.

banh tet tra cuon (16)

Rice cake: sweet rice, la bu ngot (vegetable provides natural green color and aroma), pork belly, pork fat (optional) , mung bean, salty eggs (optional), coconut milk, salt, sugar.

Wrapper: banana leaves.

Recipes

There are many Banh Tet and Banh Chung recipes.  I recommend the RunAwayRice’s recipes and instruction videos that’s suitable for people live in Europe and America.  If you live in South East Asia, it’s best to go with traditional cooking method.

  • Banh Tet – from RunAwayRice.  Good instructions, easy to follow and many good tips.  Must watch the her video to learn how to wrap Banh Tet.  In Mekong Delta, we mix salt, sugar and coconut milk in the sweet rice to enhance the  flavor of the outer part.
  • Banh Chung – from RunAwayRice.  Again, she provides good instructions, tips and video.

Cooking Tips

  • To enhance the flavor of rice cake, mix salt, sugar and coconut milk with the sweet rice.
  • For natural  green color, mix the juice of spinach or pandan leaves with sweet rice.

 

Banh-tet-Tra-Cuon-2
Making Banh Tet in Tra Cuon, Tra Vinh, Vietnam (Source: Google Images)

 

Note

Banh Chung, and Banh Tet  are have similar ingredients, but different shape. However, for Banh Tet, it would take time to learn how to make the right shape and  core (mung bean and pork) has to be in the center of the cake.

Banh Tet Tra Cuon, is rice cake from Tra Vinh, and famous in south Vietnam.

References

  1. Videos  of making Banh Tet – by RunAwayRice.  The video shows how to prepare,  wrap and cook Banh Tet.  This is a good video in English and suitable for modern kitchen.   Note that, this method is not the traditional method of making Banh Tet in the Mekong Delta.
  2. Banh Tet Tra Cuon –  link to original pictures
  3. Banh Tet Tra Cuon – Youtube video, documentary in Vietnamese
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