The traditional Goi cake is considered as the essence of Vietnamese cuisine. Goi cake looks like a beautiful small pillow so that it is called Goi cake or Pillow-shaped cake (“Goi” means pillow in Vietnamese). The cake originated in Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam. It is eaten as a snack and sold at many Hanoi specialty food shops. Some Hanoi old streets such as Ly Quoc Su, Hoe Nhai, Luong Van Can, etc. are famous for the best Goi cake shops. They have been the stops of many foodies from locals to visitors.
Hanoi Goi cake is a perfect blend of the crispy crust, the rich filling, fresh herbs, and flavorful dipping fish sauce. Each Goi cake cook has its own recipe to make crust, filling and dipping sauce. The crust is made from wheat flour. It needs many steps to make the dough for the Goi cake’s crust: mixing, rolling, forming, etc. The crust must have many layers and must be thin. The filling is made from pork belly, wood ears, cellophane noodles, carrots, kohlrabi, green onion, ground black pepper. All of the ingredients to make the filling are ground/minced/chopped finely, then mixed with spices. The cook forms a thin round dough sheet, put the filling in the middle of the sheet, fold the sheet into a half-circle and skillfully stick the edge so that the cake has a shape of a beautiful pillow. The cake is deep-fried in oil until yellow, crispy, buttery and fragrant.
Hanoi Goi cake is better to eat hot with vegetables and a sweet and sour fish sauce dip made from fish sauce, sugar, lemon juice (vinegar), garlic, chili pepper, shredded green papaya, pickled carrot. The cake has become a familiar gift for children for many years. It has won the hearts of all ages not only in Hanoi but other regions in Vietnam.
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