Banh Gio – Rice cake with herbal ash
Vietnam is the country of cakes made from sticky rice. One of those is banh gio (or banh tro), a cake made from glutinous rice soaked in ash water.
The ingredients to make banh gio are very simple: glutinous rice, ash liquor of clean straw, a little lime, banana leaves and molasses.
To get the fragrant ash liquid, people must burn clean straw and pour the ash into a basin, add a little lime to make the water deposit, and filter the water.
Meanwhile, the glutinous rice is washed, soaked in the ash water for about 3-4 hours and strained. The banana leaves are washed and steamed to make it soft and clean.
The cook must be very careful and skillful while putting the rice in the leave tidily, rolling up the leave, folding the leave’s edge tightly, then boiling the cake.
The cake needs to be cooled down so as to make it taste fresh.
The cake is then split into small pieces and used with molasses which is soft and dark red sugar and flavors the aroma for banh gio.
The cake, which is unwrapped, looks attractive, soft in amber color, smelling like the ash of straw making people reminisce about their warm and lovely village.