Local flavor

Che kho, a Hanoi delicacy

Hanoi is home to a plethora of specialties and delicacies, including che kho (Vietnamese mung bean pudding).

The pudding is an essential snack during the Tet holiday in the capital which brings memories to many generations of Hanoians. The locals have offered the dish to Buddha and their ancestors as well as to guests in the new year.

The main ingredients to cook the dish include mung beans, sugar, sesame seeds and cardamom. The Mung beans are soaked for six hours, picked through for bad beans and shelled. The sesame seeds are roasted in a hot shallow pan. The Mung beans are steamed and finely pounded. 

The main ingredients to cook the dish include mung beans, sugar, sesame seeds and cardamom. 

It is a must-have dish on the Vietnamese food tray during Tet.

Sugar is added to boiled water and mixed with the mung bean paste. The mixture is stirred over a low heat. When cooking the pudding, the cook needs to keep stirring constantly until it becomes a thick paste, and then cardamom powder is added along with grapefruit extract and the roasted sesame seeds and put on plate.

A fine plate of che kho must be smooth but dry and not sticky. Depending on the taste of each family, che kho can be flavored with grapefruit, jasmine, vanilla or cardamom.

Enjoying a piece of che kho with hot tea in cold weather is an unforgettable taste and often reminds one of the Hanoi winter.


Story: Cong Dat Photos: Thanh Giang Translated by Nguyen Tuoi

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.