Dubbed the first place of the country, Ha Giang attracts tourists by its beautiful natural scenery, fresh and cool climate all year round. However, this place is also famous for famous dishes from far and near: Thang Co, Au Tau porridge, sour pho… and most especially, Thang Dan cake.
At first glance, people may think this is a cake of the people of Lang Son or a dish of the Hanoi capital. But no, Banh Beam is a specialty of the Northwest highlands. Although it is not a delicacy, this dish has a very special taste, making visitors who enjoy it once will remember it forever.
The way to make amaranth cake is not too picky and complicated but requires the worker to be very skillful and delicate. First, one has to choose Yen Minh sticky rice or fragrant upland sticky rice. Every seed must be large, round and even. If you want the cake to have many different colors, people can add sticky rice leaves and camo leaves to the rice soaking stage. Next, the rice is soaked overnight and then ground into a powder and placed in a high hanging cloth bag. After draining the water and becoming a smooth, non-sticky mass, it was then started to mold it into a cake.
Depending on your preference, the cake will be filled with green beans, red beans, sesame, coconut or vegetarian (without filling). Each cake is molded into pieces with the thumb, each seed is round and round. Finally, just bring the wonton to boil until the cake floats and it is cooked.
In order for the cake to be delicious, the most important factor is the broth. Each highland woman has a different way of preparing the broth. However, the main ingredients still include: sugar water, coconut water, fresh ginger, peanuts, roasted sesame. According to long-time bakers, to ensure moderate sweetness, the broth must be seasoned harmoniously, warm enough to enjoy and have a sweet aftertaste.
The cake is sold at a price of only 5,000 VND to 10,000 VND/bowl. Although the price is quite cheap, the taste of this dish is not ordinary at all. In the cold space of the top of the country, Banh Mien cake is an ideal night gift for tourists to sip at their stopover. Perhaps that’s why, although Ha Giang has many attractive dishes, Thang am cake is still the favorite dish of many tourists.
It is still said that the cake is a winter dish, so it must be eaten when the wind is good. But for those who have deeply loved and missed this peaceful rocky plateau land, enjoying Banh Dan in any season still feels as delicious and warm as the hearts of the people here.