Tien Hai District’s, Nam Trung Village is considered the birthplace of ‘banh nghe’. Many local villagers make a living preparing and selling these cakes to people of all ages.
To make the tastiest cakes the right ingredients are very important. Thai Binh rice must be used to make a dough that is not too wet and not too dry.
Many cooks have taken to using dried turmeric powder; however, the cake is more delicious and fragrant when the turmeric is fresh.
To make the cake, the rice is soaked in water for 4-5 hours and then ground into a half wet and half dry dough. Turmeric is ground down and its essence is filtered into a turmeric juice. The turmeric is added to the dough and the mix is steamed.
The filling includes diced onions, minced pork scraps, a touch of cinnamon powder and fish sauce, then fried up in a skillet.
Then it’s a matter of bringing the dough and the filling together.
The dough should be divided into small balls about the size of a chicken egg. The filling is pushed into the centre of the ball. They are then steamed on fresh banana leaves for 30 minutes.
This rural popular cake is enjoyed not only by adults but also children because of its soft, fragrant rice and turmeric. It is also very nutritious.