Vietnamese Square Sticky Rice Cake (Banh Chung or Chung cake) is a must-have in the Lunar New Year celebration of Vietnam. Despite being made from simple ingredients, this traditional cake tastes wonderful and holds beautiful cultural meaning in it.
The Story of Vietnamese Square Sticky Rice Cake (Banh Chung)
All people in Vietnam, including little kids, know this story by heart. Once upon a time, a Viet king held a competition in which each of his sons would need to bring a delicious dish to honor the ancestors on the occasion of Lunar New Year. Whoever brought the most delicious dish would be the next king.
The poorest son of the king created Banh Chung from very simple and familiar agricultural produce. With a square shape and green outer layer, the cake symbolizes the Earth. The main ingredient is sticky rice which was one of the most important foods to ancient Viet people. Hidden inside the sticky rice layer is the delicious filling made from mung bean and fatty pork. This cake is a beautiful representation of respects for ancestors and Mother Nature.
The King was so impressed with Banh Chung that he decided to pass the throne to its creator. Ever since then, Square Sticky Rice Cake has become an important component in Vietnamese Lunar New Year Feast. The cake is delicious with fragrant rice, creamy mung bean filling, tender pork and some heat from plenty of black pepper.