Me lao – a specialty food of Soc Trang

Soc Trang – a land of beautiful and romantic sights; indigenous and kind people, rich culture and cuisine. Soc Trang province in Mekong Delta is famous for many delicious dishes from main dishes to desserts. Delicious cakes such as In cake, Pia cake, Ginger cake, Me lao have attracted lots of local people and travelers from the country and the world. Me lao with its strange name and wonderful taste has won the heart of all ages for many years. It is a favorite food on normal days, a great gift to bring home from Soc Trang as well as Mekong Delta, a must food at traditional festivals in Soc Trang.

The cake was brought into Soc Trang by Chinese people. “Me” mean sesame, “lao” means lie in Vietnamese. Locals have called it with an ugly and strange name – Me lao because it is made from sesame and it lies to dinner. The cake looks round and plumpy so that the dinner thinks it is big and it can fill his stomach. However, when eating he realizes that it is airy inside. It means “the cake lies to dinner”.

Me lao is made from taro, glutinous rice flour, sesame and maltose. Taro is cut into pieces, dried under the sun for 2-3 days, crushed until well-kneaded like rice flour. Then make a dough from taro, form into balls which is as small as a longan, cover the balls with a thin layer of glutinous rice flour, fry in oil until yellow and crispy. Quickly get the balls out of the oil, dip in maltose to create a sweet cover, then cover it with toasted sesame.

The inside part of Me lao is the entire opposite of the crust. The crust is crispy, hard, firm and melting in your mouth right away while the inside part is airy, soft and tender. The cake can make you eat more and more. Eating Me lao, sipping some tea and talking to each other is an elegant form of entertaining in Soc Trang province. Me lao has been popular around Mekong Delta and Vietnam. If you have a chance to come to Vietnam, do not miss trying and buying this amazing cake.

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Specialty foods in Soc Trang – Part 1
Specialty foods in Soc Trang – Part 2
Specialty foods in Soc Trang – Part 3

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