Soc Trang province which is famous for colorful festivals of 3 ethnic groups Chinese, Khmer and Kinh, especially Khmer’s Ok Om Bok festival, beautiful old pagodas and unique culture. This province also offers varieties of delicious dishes such as Pia Cake, Lap Xuong, Vinh Chau longan, Cong Cake, Dried Buffalo Meat… Pia Cake is always at ranked first in lists of Must foods to eat in Soc Trang, Top things to buy in Soc Trang… What makes this cake so special? Pia Cake is a sweet, tender and smelling hand-sized round cake with thin wheat flour crust and fillings made from mung bean, durian, salted egg yolk. There’s no better than tasting a piece of Pia cake while sipping ginger tea in Soc Trang.
It has been said that a Chinese brought a similar cake from China to Vung Thom, Soc Trang in 17th century. Soc Trang people has changed the recipe of the cake to meet local taste and it has become a specialty food of this region. There are about 50 Pia Cake making establishments, including many companies have invested in modern technology and production lines in Soc Trang province, especially Vung Thom town. The shelf life of Pia Cake depends on the filling, packaging, storage temperature and technology. The time can range from a few days to 2,5 months. When visitors arrive in Vung Thom, they can see lines of attractively decorated shops selling Pia Cake and Soc Trang specialty foods on two sides of streets. It’s a big chance to try this amazing cake and buy some to bring home and share the taste with family and friends.
Banh Pia filled with taro and salted duck egg yolk
To make delicious Pia Cakes, the cook must choose ingredients carefully, all must high-quality. Because the cake must have thin tender and a little sticky multi-layer crust, the cook must roll, fold “wet” dough and “dry” dough many times to make the wrapper which has many layers of alternative different types of dough. “Dry” dough is made from wheat flour, baking powder, sugar, oil, pork fat oil. “Wet” dough is made from tapioca starch, wheat flour, oil, pork fat oil. Mung bean is cooked until tender, mash until well-kneaded, stir-fried with sugar, a little pork fat and durian into a smooth and soft mix. Then the cook use the mix to wrap salted egg yolk to make the filling, wrap the filling with wrapper and mold into round shape. The cake is covered with a thin layer of egg and decorated by natural food color before grilling until well-done. Taro, black sesame, lotus seeds could be used to replace mung bean to make sweet Pia Cake with Taro, Pia Cake with black sesame… To make savory Pia Cake, they add pork fat, Lap Xuong, sesame into filling.
Banh Pia with black seasame
Pia Cake with mung bean and durian
Pia Cake with mung bean, durian and salted duck egg yolk
From simple natural ingredients, local people make flavorful cakes which win the hearts of all who have ever eaten them. At Full-moon festival, while people in other regions of the country offer mooncakes to God and ancestors, Soc Trang people use Banh Pia as an offering. The cake is not only a food, but also a part of local life, the soul of Soc Trang with special culture and indigenous people.
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