The moon cake of Trieu Minh Hiep shop is Trieu Chau style cake, so there are many differences. Over the past 70 years, every August moon season, the shop is crowded with people to buy.
When it comes to pia cake, people will immediately think of pia cake – a specialty of Soc Trang, but in fact there is another type of pia cake, which must be eaten while it is still hot when it’s fresh out of the oven. It is a traditional pia cake of the Chaozhou people (China) that is most often bought and enjoyed during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
A Chinese-style confectionery shop is modestly located in alley 123 Binh Tay, Ward 1, District 6, Ho Chi Minh City. Ho Chi Minh has been more than 7 decades. No bright signs, no advertising, but the cake comes out of the oven wherever it is. That is the bakery named Trieu Minh Hiep.
After 3 generations, Trieu Minh Hiep bakery still operates every day to bring Chinese-style confectionery to the overseas Chinese in Saigon. But perhaps the traditional pia cake is what makes people remind and remember the bakery the most.
Chaozhou people’s moon cake
Catching the customer’s eyes as soon as they come to the shop is the information about cakes, prices … printed on A4 paper pasted on the wall. Everyone will be impressed and feel: “Oh, true family business that can’t go wrong!”. “All year round and month, there are always cakes for sale” – this announcement must be what makes everyone curious. Unlike Soc Trang pia cake, Tieu’s pia cake has a larger size, thinner and softer shell, flexible filling and especially must be used while still hot.
In addition, the pia cake of the Tieu people is often a gift that appears on holidays, weddings and is a traditional cake in the Mid-Autumn Festival of the Tieu people. The bakery is not only a place of sales but also a factory inside.
Trieu Minh Hiep’s Trieu Minh Hiep’s Pia Cake is a fresh cake, produced on the same day. In the morning, the shop will make about 80 cakes divided equally among 20 boxes. Sell until about noon, if it runs out, then make another batch. If it’s late afternoon and there are still a few boxes left, it will stop. Cakes are always sold during the day to ensure freshness because the essence of the cake must be eaten when it is hot to be the best. The cake does not contain preservatives, so it can only be kept for up to 10 days in a cool place.
This Chaozhou mooncake at first glance is attractive and impressive because the cake is quite large, made simply without using elaborately carved molds, only hand-shaped. Each cake weighs about 200 to more than 200g depending on whether the cake has salted eggs or not. The crust is made of flour, rolled into several layers, so when eaten, the crust will peel off according to each layer of rolled dough. Inside is a green bean or taro that is very flexible and in the middle is a salted egg.
The outside of the cake crust will be sprinkled with some roasted sesame. Taro cake is dotted with white sesame, green bean cake is dotted with black sesame. When the cake is almost cooked, take it out, spread it on a layer of beaten egg, and then bake it again to make sure the crust is golden.
On average, a batch of cakes will take about 3 hours to make, and the filling will take up to 2 hours. Because the cake has no preservatives, the slug filling needs to be done carefully to ensure that the cake is not perishable. Taro or green beans will be steamed, then rolled finely and then brought to the slug over low heat with sugar. After filling the slugs, it must also be completely cooled before rolling out the dough to wrap the cake.
After baking, the cake will be placed in a paper box, each box has 4 pieces. The outside of the paper box is printed with a dragon and phoenix pattern with very clear Chinese colors. Paper box is a way to keep the cake still hot without worrying about mold if using a plastic box.
Each box of cakes will cost from 179 thousand to 239 thousand depending on whether the cake has 1 egg, 2 salted eggs or no salted egg.
Close-up of the inside of the cake
When giving the cake to the customer, the seller will suggest to eat it while it is still hot. And the fact that the cake has just come out of the oven, so you have to be really careful when moving far away, otherwise it is very easy to break and crush. Using the cake while it is still hot is the most delicious because at this time the crust is soft, each thin layer melts in the mouth, the fragrant plastic layer blends with the salty salty egg. The salted eggs here are cooked to the right degree, so they are not as dry as many mass moon cakes on the market. If you eat the cake when it is cold, it will be sweeter.
Although the business is in the form of a hereditary family, this 3-generation bakery has affirmed its quality value so that now not only Chinese people but also many people from all over the world flock to look forward to enjoying this dish. delicious mooncakes and feel an attractive culinary culture in the heart of the city.