Rice cake or Bánh chung as it is called in Vietnam is made basically from: Asian rice, beans and beef. This traditional dish is popularly served during the celebrations of lunar New Year in Vietnam.
- A slight different dish to this rice cake is well known in Malaysia and Indonesia.
- There is a myth behind Bánh Chung name; an old legend which symbolized the Earth and the Sky.
- The making and eating bánh chung during lunar new year is a well-preserved tradition of Vietnamese people, it means getting together with family, wrapping sticky rice cakes the same way for thousands of years.
- The same preparation of this rice cake could be used to make a sweet dish, pan fried until golden, and served with sugar.
- 3 Cups AbuKas rice
- 2 Coconut milk
- 5 Cups water or broth
- 2 Cups yellow mung beans
- 5 Banana leaves
- 5 Tbsp. sesame oil
- Vegetable oil for stirring
- Salt & Pepper as desired
- If you are using Asian glutamic rice: soak overnight. Otherwise cook rice as usual.
- Rinse Mung beans and let soak overnight.
- Start with boiling Mung beans in a pot until they become soft. Mash into a paste with a potato masher.
- In a skillet, heat oil and cook the onions until caramelized. Pour onions and salt to the mung beans and combine. Put aside to cool.
- Wash and wipe banana leaves (If they are particularly long, you can trim them).
How to assemble:
- Lay out two sheets in (+) shape, then place two leaves on top of the first two in (X) shape.
- Place a cup of rice in the center of the leaves, using your hand pat a cup of mung beans on top of the rice. Then take top with another cup of rice.
- Starting with the innermost banana leaf, fold the leaves in one at a time, forming a square. Wrap it tightly like a present with twine so the rice doesn’t spill during cooking.
- In a large pot boil water then add rice cakes, make sure they stay submerged under water. Simmer until the cakes feel soft, this should take hours.
- Remove cakes from water and let it cool completely.
Remove the wrappings and cut cake into wedges or slices using thread or dental floss.
Serve with pickled onions or green onions