The Chinese cake that's stood the test of time in Vietnam for Lunar New Year

By Thien Chuong   February 9, 2018 | 05:05 pm PT
Chinese people are not forgetting their roots when they join their Vietnamese neighbors to celebrate Tet.

The Chinese community is a part of Saigon, and no one can deny it.

Surrounded by the Vietnamese world, Chinese people here have a unique way of keeping their long-standing traditions alive. 

This fried cake (jian dui), which is said to be an indispensible part of the Lunar New Year for Chinese people, is evidence of that.

According to the more senior Chinese community in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 5, the recipe for this cake has remained unchanged for more than a century since the first Chinese arrived in Saigon to start a new life.

The cake is made using a combination of rice flour and wheat flour, which is then stuffed with a mixture of roasted peanuts, rice flakes and malt.

The dough envelops the stuffing and the entire cake is covered with sesame seeds before being deep fried.  

Bakers then sculpt petals from the dough to adorn the cake before frying it again. The last step is to decorate the cake using edible red dye to make it more eye-catching and give it a real Tet look.

Chinese people believe that this cake will bring them luck and prosperity in the year to come.

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