So you can imagine my surprise as I came face to face with this dark green parcel in the fridge when I returned home from the recent trip to China.
After steaming it for 2 hours...and unwrapping the numerous (about 5 layers!) of dong or banana leaves.
Must not throw away the bamboo strings used to tie the chung, she reminded. These are essential to cut through the thick and sticky goodness. A knife would ruin the chung as it would be glued by the stickiness.
Placed the bamboo strings on top of the chung.
Turn the chung onto a plate with the bamboo strings now on the underside.
Lift the strings and cut across the chung.
This was suppose to be served with some pickles but I just wanted to taste the original. The texture was unbelievably smooth (Vietnam's glutinous rice is so different from ours). A very delicate taste with the mung beans and pork blending harmoniously. The seasoning done very lightly with salt and a hint of pepper.
This banh chung was prepared by Starr's grandmother who lives in Hanoi. She prepares this delicacy every year for the Vietnamese new year, Tet, which falls around the same time as our Chinese new year. The whole family would rallied around to help with this activity. It is served in every household during the festive season.