Banh It (known as Little Cake in English) is said to be one of the central of Vietnam’s specialties, which is commonly used not only in regional death anniversaries but marriage rituals as well. However, it has currently become a snack that can be tasted anytime.
It is said that Banh It includes two types: (1) the sweet one (called “Banh it la gai”) and (2) the salty one (called “Banh it tom thit”). Both of which are unique, appetising and attractive to many visitors to the central of Vietnam.
What is the Sweet cake?
It is simply a mung bean paste ball which is covered by dough made from the mixture of grounded “gai” leaves, sugar and sticky rice flour.
Sometimes, mung been can be replaced by sweetened ground coconut. After banana leaves are folded into a cone shape, Makers will drop the ball into it and fold in four sides, creating a pyramid shaped cake. Last, the cake will be brought for steaming in order to make the cake a glossy deep black color stemming from “gai” leaves, a sweet taste of sugar, mung bean and glutinous rice, and a delicate aroma of banana leaves and “gai” leaves.
How about the Salty Cake?
For the salty cake, minced pork meat, prawn, mashed mung bean onion and seasonings are stirred fried until well-done and thick to make the filling. Additionally, the dough is only made of rice flour.
Traditionally, the cake could be either wrapped into banana leaves or not. Both types of Banh It are so mouthwatering and small that you could hardly imagine how fast you relish the whole cake. Of course, tasting them gradually is much better.
Hoi An is also famous for the Little Cake of “Banh Ít Lá Gai”. If you travel to Hoi An, remember to ask for a chance to taste this type of cake.