Bánh chưng is a traditional Vietnamese rice cake which is made from glutinous rice, mung bean, pork and other ingredients. Its origin is told by the legend of Lang Liêu, a prince of the sixth Hùng Vương, who became Hùng Vương’s successor thank to his creation of bánh chưng and bánh dày, which symbolized respectively the Earth and the Sky. Bánh Chưng is a traditional food which is indispensable in the relics to offering Vietnam’s ancestor in the Lunar New Year Festival (Tết). Therefore, you could find a couple of Bánh Chưng in every family in Vietnam in the Tết. Beside the Tết holiday, bánh chưng is also tasted all year round as a delicacy of Vietnamese cuisine and one of the national dishes of Vietnam besides Nem Rán and Giò Lụa.
Bánh Chưng is square shaped (and cylinder in the South of Vietnam – called Banh Tét). It has the green from the outer leaves to symbol the Earth. According to the legend of Bánh Chưng Banh Day in the Hung King period, when a son of him – prince Lang Lieu offered the two kinds of cake, the King was satisfied and ceded the throne.
It is quite meticulous to make the Bánh Chưng. The rice of making the cake is chosen from the best type and prepare with care. The stuffing of rice dumpling is pork (with skin, lean and fat), and the careful flayed green bean. The Dong green leaf to wrap is big and fresh. When wrapping the cake, it is very important to make it not to tight and not to loose. Then boiling the cake with sawdust, firewood and rice husk to make a medium heat, the cake will be boiled in about 10 hours.
Bánh Chưng (Square cake)
Nowadays, people can have Bánh Chưng all year round, but only in the Tết, the cake will be the most delicious and meaningful. At this time, apart from Bánh Chưng, there are other kinds of food such as: lean pork paste, sour spring onion bulb, etc. Furthermore, the atmosphere of Tết with the spring rain and flowers inside the house make the cake to be the real taste.
According to the tradition, before the Lunar New Year Eve two or three days, all the family sitting by a cooking fire and the Bánh Chưng pot to retell the old stories as well as to welcome the new year in the hope of new good things to come.