It could be no weird for the Northern people when hearing the cry of seller about one Traditional Vietnamese Food in the city. It is Vietnamese Mung Bean Dumplings (Bánh Khúc), one amazing cake of Vietnam. The cake is a rice ball made of sticky rice mixed with cudweed which is most important ingredient and filled with mung bean paste, pork, and spices.
Cudweed grows during Lunar January and February, when the drizzling rain lasts all day, and it can be found along the edges of rice fields. There are two kinds: “Nếp” and “Tẻ”. The latter is more flexible and fragrant and is preferred for making the cake.
To make this Traditional Vietnamese Food, the cudweed firstly is washed, ground and then mixed with husked sticky rice. Mung beans, that are flayed and turned into paste after being cooked, are then added to the mixture. Finally, the cakes are sprinkled with grains of steamed sticky rice.
As time goes by it is increasingly difficult to find cudweed as fields are eaten up by development. For now, you still can find Mung Bean Dumplings in Hanoi. However, some bakers may not be using cudweed and may substitute it with cabbage or water morning glory.
Wishing to have the chance to satisfy your hunger for cudweed cake you can visit cake stall at 69 Nguyen Cong Tru Street that has been churning out Mung Bean Dumplings for years. Ms. Nguyen Thi Lan, the seller, has to hire locals in rural areas in Hanoi or in neighboring provinces to seek out the elusive cudweed. In winter, it grows in abundance so enough has to be collected to last the summer. The surplus will be dried and stored.
If you are in the old quarter of Hanoi, you might hear someone cry “who wants hot Mung Bean Dumplings”. You can stop them and ask if this cake is from Ngoai Hoang village in Ha Noi, a place that is famous for having the most delicious and tasty this cake. Then, you can buy one for tasting. This Traditional Vietnamese Food should be served hot and dipped into a mixture of roasted and crushed sesame seeds and salt.
When hearing the cry of seller about this Traditional Vietnamese Food, you should go out and buy one hot cake quickly. Make sure you took note this amazing cake on your diary travel book before visit our beautiful country. Good Luck to your Trip.
From EZ Vietnamese Cuisine Team.