‘Banh chung gu’: A specialty of Red Dao ethnic group in Ha Giang

Sunday, 2020-11-22 09:35:46
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‘Banh chung gu’: A specialty of Red Dao ethnic group in Ha Giang
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Different from ‘banh chung’ (square glutinous rice cake) of the ethnic majority Kinh, the Red Dao ethnic group in Hà Giang has their own cake known as ‘banh chung gu’ (hunchback glutinous rice cake).

The name of the cake reflects an image of a woman carrying a basket on her back, bending to hard work in her field.

In the past, the cake was only cooked for Tet (lunar New Year) festival but now locals make the cake for sale year-round.

Unlike the square glutinous rice of the Kinh, which often includes a frame made of six wild dong leaves cut in the forest to wrap the cake, the Red Dao uses only one leaf because each cake is the size of a fist weighing from 100 to 150 gram only.

The glutinous rice should be soaked in water overnight while bacon should be soaked with fish sauce, salt and pepper for several hours to ensure the cake is sticky and delicious. To make the cake green, dong (phrynium placentarium) leaves should be fresh and washed clean.

To create a hunchback form for the cake is a bit difficult and requires skill to avoid a deformed shape. The cake should be cooked over a wood fire for at least eight hours.

VNS