Banh te in Son Tay

Banh te in Son Tay

Banh te (rice cake with minced pork, onions, wood ears fillings) is known as a specialty in Son Tay town on the outskirts of Hanoi. The cake is a common offering at religious ceremonies and festivals and is also a quick and easy breakfast or snack of Hanoians.

Making Banh te in Phu Nhi village, Phu Thinh ward in Son Tay, Hanoi. 

It is believed that the cake originated from Phu Nhi village, Phu Thinh ward in Son Tay. The ingredients to make the cake consists of non-sticky rice flour, pork shoulder, wood ear, mushrooms, dried onion, cooking oil, pepper, salt, banana or dong leaves and bamboo string.

To make the fillings, mince the pork and onions; cut the wood ears and mushrooms into pieces; fry the onion in cooking oil then put the minced pork and salt into the pan and stir-fry for five minutes before adding the wood ears and mushrooms to the pan and cooking for a further 5-7 minutes.

For rice flour, put it in a big bowl; mix with water, a little of cooking oil and salt and stir well then let it sit in a cool place for two hours before putting the flour into a pot. Cook it over a light flame while regularly stirring so it does not stick. When the flour is dense, continue to stir for two more minutes to ensure it is well cooked. To wrap the cake, cut the banana leaves to 20cm by 30cm each and quickly dip them in boiling water before allowing to dry.

Put two pieces of banana leaves on top of each other and wrap the cake by scooping the cooked dough onto the leaves then putting the mixed filling over it before wrapping. Tie it with a bamboo string and steam the cake for 15-20 minutes. The cake is tastier when eaten with chili sauce or sweet and sour fish sauce. 

Visitors try Banh te in the "Tet lang Viet" (Tet in Vietnamese countryside) program.

By Viet Cuong/VNP Translated by Nguyen Tuoi