CHUNG CAKE DURING TET HOLIDAY

The custom of making Chung cake during Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday has been several thousand years in Vietnam. By the legend of Lang Lieu, a prince of the sixth Hung Dynasty, he created Chung cake and Day cake , which symbolize the Earth and the Sky. Chung cake shapes square but Day cake has a round one because the old thinking is that the earth is square and the sky is round.

Chung cake (Banh Chung) is made from glutinous rice, green been, fatty pork, fish sauce, pepper. Chung cake are one of offerings for our ancestor during the lunar new year in Vietnam. The cake is wrapped by green Dong leaves taken from forest, and boiled for over ten hours. First step is to choose the best glutinous rice and green bean. Then soak them in water overnight. Fatty pork slices are cut in small square shape. We place green beans and pork in the mid of 2 layers of rice then wrap them by Dong leaves and bamboo laces in square shape.

Lang Lieu prince and his brothers traveled near and far, to the mountain and the sea, in order to find the best food for the New year. His father, the sixth Hung King, arranged the competition that he would choose one among many his sons to become the next King if they can cook the best delicious dish for lunar new year holiday. Lang Lieu became the successor. The green leaf, green bean represent plants on earth. The pork meat represent animals, and the rice is symbol of man hard working. In the past we only have opportunity of eating Chung cake during Tet but nowadays you can taste it at any time from buying in local food market. It is the best and cozy if the families make Chung cake by them self during Tet holiday.
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