Sticky rice cakes are a Vietnamese traditional dish that must be part of Tet meals. As a matter of fact, every Vietnamese family must have sticky rice cakes among the offerings placed on the altar to their ancestors.
Bang chung is made of glutinous rice, pork meat, and green beans paste wrapped in a square of bamboo leaves, giving the rice a green colour after boiling.
According to the legend, under the reign of the Hung Kings, Prince Lang Lieu created sticky rice cakes and presented them to his father. Bang chung won high acclaims from the King who awarded the prince his throne.
Making sticky rice cakes is a very meticulous job. To obtain the best cakes, rice has to soak in water for an entire day. The pork meat must include skin and fat, the green beans must be of the same size, and the bamboo leaves must be fresh. Squaring off and tying cakes with bamboo strings requires skilful hands.
Sticky rice cakes are available at any time of the year, although one is sure to enjoy them with relatives and friends during Tet. During Tet, rice cakes are served with gio lua and hanh muoi– lean meat pie and salted sour onions.