Mekong Delta cuisine is as simple but impressive as local people. Coming to Ca Mau province in Mekong Delta region of Vietnam, travelers should not miss tasting Silkworm cake with curried chicken (Banh tam ga cay) – a specialty food of the province. With lots of natural products, Ca Mau is not lack of authentic dishes. However, Banh tam ga cay is always listed of must-eat dishes in Ca Mau for its great taste, easy to find ingredients and a very nice looking. A trip to Ca Mau could not be considered as complete if you don’t taste a portion of Silkworm cake with curried chicken.
Banh tam ga cay has 2 main parts: Silkworm cake (Banh tam) and curried chicken. The cake is noodles which look like silkworms so that we call it silkworm cake. It takes many steps to make the cake. Choose high-quality rice, soak the rice in water overnight, grind with water into a mix of water and rice flour. Cook the rice flour water mix over low heat to receive a dough. The strongest person in the family covers a big flat tray with a thin layer of dry rice flour, uses his hand to form the dough into white noodles which are as big as silkworms. The noodles formed by hand are chewier than that are made by machine. After forming, the noodles are boiled in water until well-done. The noodles should be tender, a little chewy and milky white.
To cook curried chicken which is served with silkworm cake, it needs clove, star anise, turmeric powder, cinnamon, coriander seed, dry chili pepper. These spices are toasted, then ground and used to cook with chicken. The curried chicken to eat with Banh tam in Ca Mau should taste hot. The hotness makes the dish special and different from other kinds of Silkwork cake in other regions of Vietnam. To serve, top silkworm cake with curried chicken, pour some broth onto the cake. Vegetables (bean sprouts, salad), herbs, kumquat/lime, ground black pepper salt could not be missed.
Read more about other Specialty foods of Ca Mau.