Hanoi has many specialties on offer but one of the most renowned snacks which most visitors to the capital want to bring home as a gift for family and friends is “Bánh cốm” (sweet, soft and fragrant green rice cake).
“Bánh cốm” originates in Vong Village, Dich Vong Hau Ward, Cau Giay District, around eight kilometers from central Hanoi.
“Bánh cốm” is well-known as it is found at every engagement ceremony. The cakes are wrapped with bananas leaves into squares, tied with a red string and stamped on the outside with a Chinese character meaning “double happiness”. With these characteristics, “Bánh cốm” is believed to be a symbol of steadfast and eternal love.
The cake is made from young rice. How to make it is secret and in most families there, the cake making technique is passed down to sons only because people are afraid that daughters might leak the secret recipe to their husbands’ families.
It is complicated to make the cake. Whether it is glutinous and fragrant depends on the skills and experience of makers. How to choose rice, monitor heat levels from the stove, and roast and grind rice is very important.
The most famous label in Hanoi selling green sticky rice cakes is located on Hang Than Street – Nguyen Ninh.
Where you can buy “Bánh Cốm”:
Address: No11, Hang Than, Nguyen Trung Truc Ward, Ba Dinh Dist, Hanoi
Tel: 024 3828 3573
Address: No18, Alley 99 Xuan Thuy road, Cau Giay Dist, Hanoi
Tel: 1900 6645