Can Tho in Mekong Delta is famous for beautiful sights, unique culture, a network of rivers and channels, immense fruits orchards, Ninh Kieu Pier, Cai Rang floating market, exotic foods, etc. The scenery of Can Tho women who wear conical hats, hang street food shoulder poles with Duc cake (or Banh duc) has become familiar with many local people. On your trip to Can Tho city, do not miss trying Duc cake – a delicious traditional Vietnamese food which has won the hearts of not only Vietnamese people but also foreigners. This food has become popular thanks to low price, comfort, and good taste.
Vietnam has more than 20 Duc cake recipes including sweet and savory. Duc cake originated in North Vietnam. People in North, Central, and South Vietnam have changed the recipe of Duc cake to meet local tastes and preferences as well as local products. All of the Duc cakes are made from rice. Most Duc cake is soft, fresh and smelling. In the North, the most popular is Duc cake with peanut which is eaten with crab soup or Tuong ban – a favorite sauce in North Vietnam. In the Central, Duc cake eaten with Mam nem – a sauce made from fermented fish and Duc cake with baby clam. In South Vietnam, savory Duc cake (or Banh duc man) and Duc cake with pandan leaf (or Banh duc la dua) are specialty foods of the region. These two types of Duc cakes are must-eat foods in Can Tho city. Although each has its own taste, both are made from easy-to-find ingredients and reflect typical characteristics of the region.
Can Tho Savory Duc cake is white, tender and smooth. A shoulder pole serving Savory Đúc cake looks simple with a tray of white, tender, and smooth Duc cake, some jars of fish sauce dip, sauce from coconut cream, onion oil, a basket of vegetables and herbs. However, Duc cake is a difficult recipe. High-quality rice is chosen, soaked in water for a few hours, ground into rice flour, mixed with coconut cream, seasoned with salt, sugar. The rice flour mixture should not be too runny not too thicken. If it is too runny, the cake will be tender. Otherwise, the cake will be hard.
Topping of the cake is made from shrimp, lean pork, jicama, shallots an garlic. Fresh shrimp are washed, peeled off, minced, seasoned. Shrimp roes which add color and smell to the cake are separated from the shrimps and stirred with sugar. The other of ingredients are minced, seasoned. All of the above are stir-fried until pleasant.
The step of steaming Duc cake is very important. The cook must cover the mold with a thin layer of oil so that the cake will not stick to the mold. Ladle a medium-thick layer of rice flour mixture into the mold, cover the lid. After a while, the cook adds one more layer of the mixture. The cook keeps doing this until the mold is full. A good cook knows when to add the next layer. At last, the topping is put onto the last layer. The cake is steamed until all are well-done. When the cake is cooled, it is cut into diamond or rectangular pieces. Can Tho Savory Duc cake is served with sweet and sour dipping fish sauce, cucumber, poached bean sprouts, herbs, and a greasy sweet-salty sauce from coconut cream (optional).
Duc cake with pandan leaf is green, tender, lightly sweet, and smelling. Pandan juice adds color and a distinctively impressive fragrant. Pandan leaves are ground with water, filtered to get pandan juice. High-quality rice is soaked in water for a few hours, ground into rice flour, mixed with pandan juice, seasoned, cooked in a pot. The cook must stir the mixture continuously. Ash water could be added to the mixture to make the cake chewy. Sweet Đúc cake with pandan leaf is cut into medium pieces and served with caramel, sauce from coconut cream, crushed peanuts.
Coming to Can Tho city and tasting 2 types of famous Duc cakes, you will learn more about the unique cuisine as well as the culture of the city.
You might like this: