When mentioning Banh Chao, many teenagers probably find this name strange even this is the first time they have heard about it. However, Banh Chao is not strange to people born in the 80s or older. Banh Chao used to stick with people’s childhood and memorable stories in Mid-Autumn Festival. It is often said that Banh Chao season follows Moon Cake one.
Banh Chao is old Moon Cakes which are “recycled” after the Mid-Autumn Festival. At that time, bakeries pick up leftovers, which are old or broken, then they roll it out, mold it into flat balls, fry, and sell for grocery stores. Banh Chao has a greasy smell, the aroma of sesame, sweet and salty taste of filling, but the price is much cheaper than Mooncakes.
In the past, a pack of Banh Chao contains 10 to 20 cakes, it is enough for all family members to enjoy. People are more skillful and do not want to eat old cakes, they can make Banh Chao from leftovers. Basically, people just need to flatten the dough out and mix it with sugar, eggs, five-flavor spices and some red tofu, then they fry it until it is crispy. On contrary to Banh Chao’s old ingredients and origins, it cannot be denied that Banh Chao is really delicious although its shape is not eye-catching.
With the same ingredients and recipes, in the North, especially in Hanoi, there is a similar type of Banh Chao which differs from shapes. It is called Banh Cha. Many people believe that Banh Cha is the way Northern people call Banh Chao. And Banh Chao is called by Northern people. However, Hanoi Banh Cha has more specific characteristics than Banh Chao, because it has lemon leaves.
Today, due to high living standard, few people still make and sell Banh Chao. If you want to enjoy old Banh Chao, you can refer to the recipe below.
I. Ingredients for making Banh Chao
- Mooncakes with mixed filling: 2 pcs
- 4 red tofu pieces, 1 teaspoon of tofu water
- 2 stalks of green onion
- 5 cups of flour
- 1 chicken egg
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 5 tsp of baking soda
- Cooking oil, sesame oil, red food color
II. Steps for making Banh Chao
– Stir baking soda with 2 teaspoons of hot water
– Chop green onions, put into a small cup + 2 tablespoons of cooking oil, heat in microwave for 20 seconds
– Chop red tofu
– Smash Moon cakes
-In a large bowl, whisk the chicken eggs then scoop 2 tablespoons of eggs into a small bowl to spread on the surface of cakes.
Add sugar + onion oil + tofu into egg bowl, mix well, then add flour + baking soda + moon cakes, knead for a few minutes until the dough mixture becomes a smooth and soft paste.
– Add 1 teaspoon of sesame oil + 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce + a few drops of red food color into the 2 tbsp of eggs above, mix well
– Turn on an oven to 325 degrees F.
– Spread cooking oil on grill, use a spoon to scoop each dough which is the same size as a palm, press the dough, pieces’ distance is 1cm. Use brush to spread eggs on the dough’s surface. Put the grill into the oven, bake for about 15-20 minutes.
– Take cakes out of the oven immediately after baking.
-Rest for 5 minutes to cool cakes, before taking cakes out of the baking grill.
-Both cool and hot cakes are delicious.
(If you want the cake to be harder, you can spread a thicker layer of egg on cakes’ surface, don’t add directly into the dough.