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Vietnamese family makes 15,000 ‘banh chung’ for Tet celebrations

Vietnamese family makes 15,000 ‘banh chung’ for Tet celebrations

Sunday, February 04, 2024, 12:15 GMT+7
Vietnamese family makes 15,000 ‘banh chung’ for Tet celebrations
Each of Nguyen Thi Lan’s family members is in charge of a certain task in making 'banh chung,' a staple for Tet in Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

A family in Dak Nong Province, located in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, planned to cook 15,000 banh chung (square sticky rice cakes) in 15 days to serve the local market during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday, or Tet.

Banh chung, consisting of glutinous rice and fillings made of mung beans as well as fatty pork, is a requisite dish for Tet, typically in northern Vietnam.

Seven of three generations under one root are busy cooking the traditional Tet dish to meet the demand of residents during the country's biggest national holiday.

Nguyen Thi Lan’s family in Nghia Trung Ward under Gia Nghia City is making some 1,000 banh chung each day.

These days, early in the morning, her family members have been keeping themselves occupied cooking the traditional Tet cake.

Lan, the owner of a secret family recipe, is in charge of preparing the fillings of banh chung.

Ngo Si Nam, Lan’s son, is responsible for washing sticky rice and tying banh chung with bamboo strings.

Meanwhile, Ngo Thi Phuong, Lan’s daughter, is tasked with preparing stachyphrynium placentarium leaves, known as la dong in Vietnamese, which are used for wrapping banh chung.

Other family members are involved in various tasks, fully immersing themselves in the lively atmosphere.

Pork and mung beans are put onto sticky rice to make banh chung. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Pork and mung beans are put onto sticky rice to make 'banh chung.' Photo: Tuoi Tre

Lan shared that her family left northern Bac Ninh Province to settle down in Gia Nghia City in 2004. She brought the secret recipe of making banh chung with her to the Central Highlands region.

She has cooked banh chung for national holidays, including Tet, since 2007.

The number of cakescreated by her family has steadily increased each year, driven by a growing number of customers seeking out their delectable creations.

Lan and her family were set to make 15,000 banh chung to suit the need during the 2024 Lunar New Year festival.

To fulfill these orders, her family prepared six metric tons of sticky rice, mung beans, and bamboo strings that were transported from her motherland.

She also bought 1.5 metric tons of pork and wrapping leaves to make it ready for the activity.

“We are wrapping the cakes in the morning, preparing the wrapping leaves in the afternoon, and processing materials for fillings in the evening,” Lan said.

Banh chung is arranged inside a pot for cooking. Photo: Tuoi Tre

'Banh chung' are arranged inside a pot for cooking. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Her family has done the job since the 15th day of the 12th lunar month.

When Tet draws near, her family could make 2,000-4,000 banh chung to finish the activity.

“Despite fatigue, my family members and I are so happy,” Lan shared excitedly.

Some of Lan’s clients in Gia Nghia City said that she could wrap banh chung without using a square mold.

Her banh chung can be consumed within two weeks.

After being cooked, banh chung is fished out of a pot. Photo: Tuoi Tre

After being cooked, 'banh chung' are fished out of a pot. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Lan’s banh chung has been shipped to Ho Chi Minh City, Da Lat, a popular tourist site in the Central Highlands region, and Da Nang City in central Vietnam.

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Tieu Bac - Duc Lap / Tuoi Tre News

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