Banh gai, the other specialty of Thanh Hoa
VietReader 16-08-2020, 14:04
Banh gai, the other specialty of Thanh Hoa
The cake is made from leaves of thorns.

The banh gay was a specialty traditionally served on special occasions, at village festivals and New Year's celebrations, as an offering to the king and later to the founders of villages and national heroes. It is a popular delicacy today. Le Huu Lam became famous for its production of thorn leaf cakes.
He explains the preparation: " The cake is made of leaves of thorns. The leaves of blackthorns are dried, then boiled in water. The hard fibers are removed and the leaves of thorns are pressed together. times to reduce their pungent odor. Then, they are placed in a mortar and mixed well with glutinous rice flour ".
Lam's family makes Banh gay for several generations. Lam's mother, Nguyen Thi Tam, testifies: " Nobody knows when the + banh gai + was made for the first time. I started making this kind of cake when I was just a little girl in the village of Mia. It's a laborious process, especially before where we did everything by hand. It's much easier now with the help of the machines ".

The dough is rolled out in the palm, the filling is placed, and the dough is rolled into small balls.

Prepare your banh gay
If the recipe is still not so easy, for Nguyen Thi Hang - the beautiful daughter of M me Tam - choosing the right ingredients is the most important step. Glutinous rice flour should be made from the best glutinous rice.
You will then need to mix the ground sticky rice and thorn leaves with the molasses to create a black paste. Let it sit overnight so that it is neither too dry nor too wet. This step is a demanding step that requires absolute delicacy.
Grind the dough again in a mortar until it becomes sticky, velvety, and shiny. The production of the filling also requires many steps.
" The mung beans are steamed and ground. The coconut meat is grated into thin strips. The grated coconut is then mixed with sugar, mung beans, pork fat, and a little banana oil ", note M me Hang

The scent of dried banana leaves, thorn leaves, and mung bean garnish tempt everyone's taste buds.

Spread the dough on your palm, place the filling on it and roll the dough into small balls. Coat the cake with a little liquid fat to keep it tender, and finally sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds. Finally, the cake is wrapped in dried banana leaves.
Le Huu Lam said that the banana leaves should also be chosen carefully, adding that: " Banana leaves are left to dry naturally. The drier the leaves, the better, as they can then absorb the lint. moisture in cakes and cakes keep longer ".
After wrapping, the thorn leaf cakes are steamed for about an hour. The scent of dried banana leaves, thorn leaves, and mung bean garnish tempt everyone's taste buds. Many Mia villagers still make gay banh to preserve their specialty and promote it to other areas.
Text and photos: Thuy Ha-DL /CVN