To make the best cakes, the cook uses special sticky rice called Yen Minh, grown right in Ha Giang Province. Different from lowland sticky rice, this rice seed is larger and firmer.
It has a rich buttery taste, very soft and fragrant, that no other sticky rice can compare to.
The rice should be soaked in water for 5-6 hours and ground to a wet powder, as the dough becomes elastic it is rolled into balls the size of a big toe tip and then mixed with green beans, sesame and coconut threads.
The last step is to boil the balls until they float, then serve them in a bowl with molasses-sweetened ginger water.
They are best when topped with roasted peanuts and eaten hot. It is more enjoyable to try ‘thang den’ cake on a cold day.