During Tet holiday, Banh Chung, Vietnamese rice cake, is the traditional and irreplaceable cake. Several days prior the first day of the new year, Vietnamese people make some cakes to serve to their ancestors to express their respect and gratitude, present their relatives, friends as the meaningful gifts. Traveling to Vietnam during Tet holiday, when you visit Vietnamese houses, the hosts will ask you to try some as greetings.
According to the legend about invention of Banh chung, Lang Lieu was the youngest son of 6th Emperor Hung Vuong. The Emperor decided to choose one of his children to be the next Emperor. Lang Lieu and his brothers were asked to prepare and bring to their father the most delicious food. Lang Lieu chose rice as main ingredient and made two types of cake: the square shaped cake called “Banh chung”m the round shaped cake called “Banh Giay”. Emperor Hung Vuong said that those cakes were not only purest but also the most meaningful. All of them were made of rice, the basic foodstuff which was very popular and was the main food of Vietnamese people.
Besides rice, Vietnamese people use green beans, pork and a few spicy to make the cake more delicious. The cakes is wrapped by green leaves that give the rice a green color. Banh Chung is boiled in about 12 hours. Boiling by wood is the best way. To make a delicious Banh Chung, there are many steps. All the family members take part in it. Making Banh Chung is the opportunity for family to be together. It is another reason why Banh Chung is the soul of Vietnamese New Year.