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Rice cakes evoke Hue’s culinary sophistication in faraway city

December 23, 2008          1188 views

Hue, the former imperial capital, is not only noted for its stunning landscapes and ancient citadels, but also for its magnificent traditional cuisines that combine simplicity and sophistication.

An elegant and savory feast with Hue cakesAn elegant and savory feast with Hue cakes

While the royal cuisine boasts many fancy dishes, the highlight of the commoners’ cuisine is the range of savory steamed rice cakes.

These cakes, like banh beo (steamed flour cupcake), banh loc (tapioca shrimp pies), banh nam (wrapped shrimp pie), and banh it tran (sticky rice pie ball), are great favorites with both locals and foreigners alike.

The cakes are all made of rice flour with meat or shrimp filling though each has a distinctive recipe and taste.

One of the most famous is banh bot loc.

The batter is made from tapioca flour and the filling from shrimp and pork.

After being steamed, the pie turns transparent, revealing the shrimp and sliced pork inside, making for a unique appearance.

Preparing sauces has become an artin Hue.

Each dish goes with a specific sauce and the use of a wrong sauce could affect the taste of the dish.

The simplest sauce is made by seasoning a bowl of fish sauce with chilly, garlic, lemon, pepper, and sugar.

There is some controversy over the origin of Hue’s steamed rice cakes.

Many believe the steamed rice cakes are simple meals for normal people.

Others are convinced these delicacies once graced the dining tables of royalty.

But whatever their origin, Hue’s savory steamed rice cakes are considered a delicacy in every corner of the country, and stir passion among gourmets.

Home away from home

Hue people have taken along their recipes and cooking methods to intro-duce their royal capital’s specialties in Ho Chi Minh City.

Hue flavors are now available everywhere in the city, from high class restaurants to street stalls.

There is much currency in taking street dishes and dressing them up in air-conditioning and modern settings.

Hue’s savory steamed rice cakes have enriched HCMC’s culinary scene with their inimitable taste and beautiful decoration.

They reflect the aesthetic and sophisticated nature of Hue in the heart of this dynamic industrial hub.

Source: Thanhnien

 

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