Tourists coming to Bat Trang Pottery Village should not miss the chance to enjoy rang bua cake, an indigenous specialty of Phung Cong Commune, Van Giang District, Hung Yen Province.
About Rang bua cake
Bat Trang Village is about 15 kilometers from the Red River and next to Phung Cong Commune. Famous for tea flower trees, Phung Cong has been considered the cradle for the trend of growing bonsai trees in Northern Vietnam.
Today, the commune is also well-known for rang bua cake which is popular for its distinguished flavor and taste in Bat Trang’ cuisine.
Rang bua cake got its name as its shape looks like a rake used for farming. The cake is made of rice soaked in water and grinded in lime water. Then the rice flour will be boiled until half-done and husked one more time so that the flour can become viscous, sticky and leathery. The process of making the dough is very important as it decides the cake’s quality.
The kernel of the cake includes meat, dried onion and wood-ear mushroom. The dried onion will be fried until it pervades fragrance and then will continue to be fried with small sliced pork together with wood-ear mushroom, pepper and fish sauce.
How to make it
The cake will be wrapped by dong (phrynium) leaves to be steamed or boiled in lime water.
Wrapping cakes also requires carefulness and dexterity. After spreading the dough on the leaf, makers will put the kernel into the center of the flour and then wrap it up in the shape of a rake that swells out in the middle and becomes smaller at the two ends.
Makers often take dong leaves that grow in alluvium plains along the Red River. Dong leaves are soft, leathery and green.
Rang bua cake is served with chili sauce, fish sauce or soya sauce, depending on eaters’ taste. The fragrance of rice and onion, the sweetness of pork meat and the crispiness of mushrooms would make the cake unforgettable.