Traditional Tet cake gets fishy

By Ngoc Thanh   January 12, 2020 | 08:19 am GMT+7

A Hanoi food business has given a twist to the traditional banh chung (square sticky rice cake) made for Tet by adding salmon and matcha.

Trinh Xuan Giap, owner of the facility, said he started to search for a way to create a Vietnamese square sticky rice cake that is a culinary fusion 3 years ago. He finally succeeded with one that replaces the pork fillings with salmon.The product is still made of familiar ingredients like sticky rice, green beans, black pepper and is wrapped with la dong (leaves of the Stachyphrynium placentarium plant), which guarantees the traditional look and taste. The only difference is that the pork fillings are replaced with salmon, he said.

Trinh Xuan Giap, owner of the business, said he started to search for a way to create a "culinary fusion" using the square sticky rice cake three years ago. He finally succeeded by replacing the pork filling with salmon.

"It retains familiar ingredients like sticky rice, mung beans and black pepper, and is wrapped with dong leaves, which guarantees the traditional look and taste. The only difference is that the pork fillings are replaced with salmon."

Grains of sticky rice are soaked in water overnight, while green beans are soaked in warm water.

Grains of sticky rice are soaked in water overnight, while mung beans are soaked in warm water.

Matcha powder is added into the sticky rice to counteract the metallic taste of the fish and create new flavors.

Matcha powder is added to the sticky rice to counteract the metallic taste of the fish and create new flavors.

Salmons that weigh 10 kg and above are used to make the cake as their meat portions fit the molds.

Salmon weighing 10 kg or more is used to make the cake since their meat fits the mold.

The salmons are cut into hand-sized pieces and sprinkled with spices and black pepper. The cakes, each weighing 800 gr, are boiled in 12 hours.

The salmon are cut into hand-sized pieces and sprinkled with spices and pepper. The cakes, each weighing 800 grams, are made by boiling for 12 hours.

The cakes are then pressed, left to cool down before being vacuum packaged and stored in boxes. The facility plans to sell around 1,000 salmon-filled cakes this Lunar New Year Festival.

The cakes are then pressed and left to cool before being vacuum packaged in boxes. Giap hopes to sell around 1,000 salmon-filled cakes this Lunar New Year, which peaks on January 25.

Each cake would last for about 15 days after being sent out to the market. A pair would cost VND580,000 ($25) each.

The cake has a shelf life of 15 days. Each costs VND290,000 ($12.50).

 
 
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