When it comes to banh tet, many of you will probably remember the “boring to the neck” cake with sticky rice, bananas or green beans, and fatty meat. But if you have come to Tra Vinh and tried Tra Cuon Tet cake, you will no longer have an “aversion” to banh tet (sticky rice cake or Tet cake). With its very own delicious and rich flavor, this cake, known as Tra Vinh’s specialty, has made many guests fall in love.
1. Better to Know as a Food Lover
Find them: Tra Vinh city.
Best time: Dusk-Dawn
Don’t miss: Tra Cuon’s Sticky Rice Cake
Local’s pick: Tra Cuon’s Sticky Rice Cake shop
Tourist’s pick: Market in Tra Vinh
Facts: Ever since then, eating banh tet has always been boring, but not as delicious as this. Eating a piece of Tra Cuon tet cake in Tra Vinh, the tip of the tongue still lingers with the taste of cake but just wants to eat more.
2. Better to Know Tra Cuon’s Sticky Rice Cake
Banh Tet is a cake of Kinh people and some ethnic minorities in the South and Central of our country, considered a cake similar to banh chung of the North in terms of ingredients and cooking method.
If chung cake has a square shape filled with dong leaves, banh tet is a round cylinder like a pole wrapped with banana leaves (so there are places where it is called banh tet). Banh tet is a special type of cake most commonly used during the Lunar New Year and the ancestral anniversaries of many families, most commonly in the South.
However, today, banh tet has been “produced” in markets and users can easily enjoy it all year round. The main ingredient is glutinous rice (can add a few cooked black beans) as the outer shell, the inside can be green beans, mung beans – fat or banana.
If the cake is expensive, its filling can be added with pork, dried shrimp, etc. to increase the attractiveness. After carefully wrapping the cake with banana leaves, people take a wire (the rope used to weave mats is taken from a tree that grows in the field, the body is taller than rice, green like grass) and fix it tightly so that the cake is wrapped tightly and beautifully. However, now, many people have used nylon rope to pack for convenience and faster.
Banh tet is now a specialty of many localities in the South with its own flavors: Binh Duong, Tay Ninh are famous for banh tet made with sticky rice mixed with peanuts, Dong Nai has cashew nut cake and Can Tho is tet leaf cake… In particular, the long-standing and “favorite” of gourmets is probably Tra Vinh’s banh tet Tra Cuon.
3. Tra Cuon’s Sticky Rice Cake in Tra Vinh
What’s special about Tra Cuon Tet cake?
First of all, in terms of appearance, Tra Cuon Tet cake when holding it in your hand will have a “firm” feeling, fuller than normal Tet cakes. The outer layer of leaves is slightly discolored because it is cooked thoroughly, surrounded by a string tied with a label to promote the brand “Tea Cuon Cake”.
When peeling off the leaf layer (you can use thread to slice the cake so it won’t be crushed like when using a knife), you will see inside is a layer of dark green sticky rice that covers the filling with yellow green beans and fatty meat, dried shrimp and salted eggs are extremely eye-catching. Almost every slice of cake has a large amount of eggs. Instead of other mixed banh tet, people only add eggs to “taste” with a very small amount.
Then you will be even more fascinated when you try a piece of cake, the first thing you will feel is the fragrant sticky layer with moderate softness, not too hard and not too sticky.
Next is the medium fat taste of soft cooked green beans mixed with a bit of salty but fleshy taste of fatty meat, salted eggs, and dried shrimp. All like a healthy attack on the taste buds giving you a feeling of “ecstasy” and extreme.
4. How to Make Tra Cuon’s Sticky Rice Cake
Ingredients for making Tra Cuon Tet cake
Fresh banana leaves (large size, good leaves, not much torn)
Lanyard (tie) 1 bunch
Salted duck egg
Sticky rice 2kg
Bacon is only 800g
Green beans 700g
Spinach leaves 1 bunch
How to make Tra Cuon Tet cake
Step 1: Prepare ingredients
Banana leaves: bring to dry in the sun until slightly dark, then wipe clean and fold them neatly.
Spinach leaves: wash, put in a blender to get the juice, you can add a little water but should not add too much to avoid thinning, the color will be eye-catching.
Glutinous rice: wash with 5 water to clean and then drain, then mix with hot water. In this step, you should choose evenly so that the sticky rice is evenly soaked in color. This will help the finished cake to be more eye-catching and attractive.
Green beans: washed, soaked in warm water for about 4 hours to soften the beans. Then, take out the beans and sauté them with a little oil, add a little salt, main noodles, sugar, and pepper to fry, then turn off the heat, wait for the green beans to cool.
Bacon: wash, cut into pieces about 3-4cm long and then marinate with spices and minced onion for about 30 minutes for the meat to infuse.
Strawberries: soak in warm water to soften them, making it easier to pack.
Step 2: Wrap Tet cake with banana leaves
You cut the banana leaf into pieces of 40 x 40cm, depending on the size of the leaf you can adjust it reasonably.
Next, arrange 2 horizontal leaves, 2 vertical leaves interlaced. Note, should layer large leaves in the middle.
Then, put glutinous rice in the middle of the leaves, spread evenly along the length, then put green beans, meat, and salted eggs in the middle.
You hold one edge of the leaf lengthwise, hold it up, and then add sticky rice on top.
Next, grasp the 2 edges of the folded leaves and roll them up. In this step, you need to roll the cake a bit tight and then use a small string to tie the cake in the middle.
Then, break one end of the leaf and fold it, raise the cake bar, straighten the cake until the sticky rice is gathered, then fold the leaf down, break the leaf to seal the meat.
In the recipe for making banh tet Tra Cuon, you tear 2 small pieces of banana leaf, cover the top of the cake in the shape of a cross and tie it with string. Then, you return to the top of the wheel, making the same leaf fold as the other end.
Finally, put down the wheel, roll the cake with your hands, pat the cake firmly, then tie the rope tightly, so the rope should be evenly spaced.
Step 3: Boil Tra Cuon Tet cake
You put the excess banana leaves on the bottom of the pot, arrange the wrapped banh tet in the pot neatly. Pour water to cover the cake and boil for about 8 hours on high heat. Note, when the water dries up, add boiling water to cover the cake.
When the cake is cooked, you take it out to dry to hang it in a dry place. This will help preserve the cake for a longer time.
5. Pro tips:
Here are our tips for easing your mind (and stomach) around food-handling environments that you may not be used to.
Make sure the food is freshly cooked. If you’re eating hot street food, it’s always safest (not to mention more delicious) to eat food you can see being cooked to order.
Look for lines and busy stalls. Busy street food stalls are an indicator of popularity, and their high turnover rate means the food is never sitting out for hours and developing dreaded bacteria. Yes, long lines can be discouraging when you’re hungry after a full day of exploring, but it’s not worth the risk of grabbing precooked food from the empty spot next door.
Eat when the locals are eating. The last and most important element here is when to eat. You’re likely already on a weird eating schedule while you’re traveling, but it’s important to try and adjust to the eating times of where you are. A bowl of pho might be lunch for Americans, but it’s breakfast for the Vietnamese. This ensures that you’re eating freshly cooked food and that you can find the best and most popular places to eat.
If you can’t drink the water, then you can’t eat the salad. Most people get so hung up on not drinking the water or skipping ice in drinks that they don’t think about all of the other ways in which water is used in food service. Fruits and vegetables tend to be washed with tap water in most places, rather than the filtered water that locals drink—or sometimes it’s not washed at all. If you’re really craving some produce, try fruits you can peel or cooked veggies.
Trust your gut. If you’re unsure about the food or the way that it’s being prepared, then keep moving. Eating street food all over the world doesn’t make you an expert. Every stall and every country are different, and sometimes the rules can be harder to follow. When something doesn’t look, smell, or feel right, don’t eat it! Trust your judgment. Chances are that there’s another spot close by that’s making something more delicious.
Must-Eat Foods & Restaurants in Can Tho: Co Ut’s Cong cake, Ut Dzach Fine Rice Vermicelli, Thanh Van Grilled Pork Sausage, Crab Noodle Soup At Floating Market, Scorched Rice with Caramelized Fish Sauce, 7-Toi’s Duck Meat Pancake, Banh Mi Thuy, Banana Blossom Salad, Fried Spring Rolls, Fresh Spring Rolls, Fetal duck egg (balut), Honeycomb Cake, Mini Sticky Rice Cake, Cassava Silkworm Cake, Grilled Banana Wrapped in Sticky Rice, Khmer-style Bun Goi Da Soup, Egg Coffee, Con Son Grilled Snakehead Fish, Bun Mam – Fermented Fish Noodle Soup, Lau Mam – Fermented Fish Hotpot, Grilled Snails with Pepper, Magenta Sticky Rice Cake, Duck cooked with Fermented Tofu, Rice Noodle Pizza, Vegetarian Noodle Soup, Snails Stuffed With Pork…
Must-Eat Foods & Restaurants in Chau Doc: Chau Doc Fish Noodle Soup, Sugar Palm Fruit, Basa Fish Hot Pot, Mam (Fermented fish), Phu Huong Beef Noodle Soup, Broken Rice with Pork Chop, Long Xuyen Broken Rice, Nui Cam Pancake, O Thum’s Chicken Grilled with Lime Leaves, Stir-fried Shrimp with Sesbania Flower, Sweet & Sour Soup with Siamese Mud Carp Soup & Sesbania Flower, Caramelized & Braised Catfish, Grilled Rice-field Rat with Salt and Chili…
Must-Eat Foods & Restaurants in Soc Trang: Pia Cake, Cong Cake (Banh Cong), Bun Nuoc Leo Soc Trang’s Noodle Soup, Soc Trang’s Bun Goi Da Soup, Duck Noodle Soup with black Pepper, Curry Noodle Soup, Grilled Beef on Tile, Khmer-style Tube Cake, Khmer-style Mung Bean Cake (Banh In), Dried Radish (Xa Bau), Stir-Fried Noodles with Seafood (Mi Sua), Soc Trang’s Green Rice Flakes…
Must-Eat Foods & Restaurants in Ben Tre: Phu Le Rice Wine, Ben Tre’s Coconut Candy, Flat Banana, Coconut Rice, Snail Pancake, Sea Snail with Coconut Milk, Coconut Worm, Young Coconut Salad with Shrimp & Pork, Son Doc Puff Rice Paper…
Must-Eat Foods & Restaurants in Cai Be: Puffed Rice Cake…
Must-Eat Foods & Restaurants in Vinh Long: Elephant Ear Fish (fried giant gourami)…
Must-Eat Foods & Restaurants in Ca Mau: Banh tam ga cay (Silkworm rice cake with curried chicken), Grilled Vop clams with salt and pepper, Grilled Mudskipper Fish, Stone Crab Roast With Salt, Young Bee Salad, Nam Can’s Crab, U Minh Forest’s Honey, U Minh’s Fermented Fish Hotpot…
Hopefully, the above tips will help you to come up with a great plan for your adventure in Mekong River Delta, Vietnam. Have a safe trip!
“Sleep less, travel more, respect more” – Thomas Vietnam – Local travel expert.