Cylindrical glutinous rice cake (Banh tet) is a traditional cake which plays an important part of Vietnamese cuisine and culture. It is not only eaten on normal days as snack, breakfast or supper but also cooked at important events (birthday party, death anniversary), festivals including Tet – the biggest festival in Vietnam. Banh tet is popular in South and Central Vietnam while Banh chung is popular in North Vietnam. Made from familiar ingredients (glutinous rice, coconut cream, mung bean, etc.) which are easy to find in the countryside of Central and South Vietnam, the cake reminds of the peaceful and beautiful countryside with the rich culture.
There are various Banh tet recipes from sweet to savory. In Can Tho, Cylindrical glutinous rice cake with magenta leaf recipe (Banh tet la cam) is considered the best. Huynh family in Binh Thuy district is well-known for the greatest Cylindrical glutinous rice cake they made from generation to generation. Ms. Huynh Thi Trong created Cylindrical glutinous rice cake with magenta leaf recipe which has become famous around the country. One of the highlights of Banh tet la cam is that its crust is purple thanks to magenta leaf juice, its filling is made from salted duck egg yolk. In the past, to eat this unique Banh tet, buyer must go to Xuan Khanh market, An Thoi market, Mit Nai market. In the recent, this kind of cake has been sold in many specialty food shops in Mekong Delta.
Main ingredients of the cake are glutinous rice, coconut cream, mung bean, pork belly, pork fat, salted duck egg yolk, magenta leaves, banana. To make the crust, soak glutinous rice in magenta leaf juice to make the rice purple, typically tasty and smelling. Then stir-fry the purple glutinous rice with coconut cream, use banana leaves to wrap glutinous rice, filling into a cylindrical roll, use dry banana bark to tight, steamed or cooked in water for about 5 hours. To serve, cut across the cake into circles which looks like round flowers with purple petals. There are four popular kinds of fillings of Banh tet la cam: pork and salted duck egg yolk, pork fat, banana, mung bean. Each has its own taste but all are delicious outstandingly. If you have a chance to travel to Mekong Delta, do not miss trying Cylindrical glutinous rice cake with magenta leaf.