The sharp cake of the Red Dao people in in Sapa

Spicy cake is a delicious and unique dish of the Dao people in Ban Khoang in Sapa Vietnam made in all four seasons of the year to offer to ancestors and use on holidays or to receive guests. We went to Mr. Dang Phuc Chieu’s family in Ban Khoang commune on a late autumn afternoon, just as he had just finished boiling the pot of spiked cakes to offer to his ancestors. For the first time we saw spiked cake wrapped in chit leaves. Seeing our curious eyes, Mr. Chieu slowly said: Banh pointed is actually banh chung made from upland sticky rice or field sticky rice and uses chit leaves, dong leaves, banana leaves to pack depending on the family line, for example. like the Dang family wrapped with chit leaves, the Chao family wrapped it with dong leaves… If the cake is made to offer to the ancestors, they don’t mix black ash, don’t put the filling, but also make cakes to eat, the Red Dao people often put the filling of hanging meat marinated with spices. to create aroma or mix rice with glutinous rice ash to make black cakes. The ripe cake is delicious, rich in the flavor of cardamom seeds, black in color, and fragrant with rice.

To make cakes, the Red Dao people soak glutinous rice overnight until morning, wash 1-2 times with clean water, then put it in a rack to dry the water, then pack the cake. Chit leaves are taken from the forest, people choose ordinary banh mi leaves, don’t take leaves that are too old or too young because the old leaves are brittle and the young leaves are difficult to wrap. If making black pointed cake, you must use sticky rice straw to burn it into ash, use a sieve to get ash powder and mix it with glutinous rice to get an even black color. When wrapping, the leaves are washed with source water. If you pack a cake to make offerings to your ancestors, the Red Dao people in Sapa Vietnam have to pack it for their son, and if it’s packed for food and reception, the women pack it. The person wraps the leaves and rolls them into a funnel shape, using their hands to pick up about two handfuls of rice and put in the meat, continue to cover with a handful of rice, then fold the two ends, seal the rice to prevent it from falling out, and then use a string. Tie the cake, forming a cake like a sharp snail. After that, the maker ties into bundles of cakes, each bunch of about 5-6 cakes so that when cooked, take them out easily and quickly. After wrapping the cake, it is put in a pot to boil, about 3 hours, then take it out to cool and then eat. If you pack an offering cake, take 5 pieces for the Chao family, 7 for the Tan (Dang) family…

After being boiled, the color of the outer leaf shell turns yellow, when eaten, the cake can be sliced into pieces or left whole. The black pointed cake when ripe is black, the amaranth rice grains are all lined up together, eating with the aroma of glutinous rice, the aroma of meat and the aroma of hot cardamom to warm the stomach. As for the ancestral offerings, when the offerings are finished, they are often dipped with molasses or eaten unevenly, and can especially feel the taste of chit leaves. Mr. Chieu took off the cake to invite us to eat and added: This pointed cake can be kept for a few days, making sure to eat it still soft and flexible. This is a specialty of the Red Dao people in Sapa Vietnam

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