Sticky Rice and Mung Bean Cakes (Banh Tet)

Sticky Rice and Mung Bean Cakes (Banh Tet) are must-have foods for Vietnamese New Year / Tet. There are many variations on the filling, some sweet and others savory. This recipe is the savory version with a mung bean and pork filling. Unlike their square-shaped siblings, Square Sticky Rice and Mung Bean Cakes (Banh Chung), these cakes are smaller, cylindrical and overall easier to make. If you live in an area with a large Asian community, you’ll find these cakes everywhere, especially around this time of the year. It may be tempting to just buy them. However, if you have the time, I encourage you to make these at home. They are just amazing when homemade! The glutinous rice is deliciously soft and sticky when freshly cooked and you can season the filling to your taste. Plus, making the cakes is a such a fun activity and a wonderful opportunity to get the whole family involved. No arguments, these Sticky Rice and Mung Bean Cakes are time-consuming to make, but, when you take that first bite of cake you’ll agree the effort was all worth it. Happy New Year!!

Sticky Rice and Mung Bean Cakes (Banh Tet) - Essential New Year Cakes | recipe from runawayrice.com

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Notes on the Sticky Rice and Mung Bean Cakes Recipe, Tips and Tricks

If the mashed mung bean becomes difficult to work with, microwave for 20-30 seconds to soften.

The glutinous rice called for in this recipe is generous and you may have some leftover. I adjusted the rice to consider several important variables: 1) brand of rice 2) soaking time 3) size of filling logs 4) amount of rice preferred in cakes. Each cake uses approximately 2 cups hydrated glutinous rice. You can add up to another 1/2 cup per cake and have enough rice for all 4 cakes. My cakes measure: Diameter: 2 3/4 inches, Circumference: 8 3/4 inches, Height: 7 inches

Please note I made a double recipe and that’s why there are 8 cakes in my stockpot.

When tying the cakes with string, use a moderate amount of tension.  The string should be tight enough to hold everything together put not so tight that it creases the banana leaves. You should be able to slide the string with your fingers if needed.

The technique for tying the string is what makes the cakes so unique and eye-catching. However, if working with string is not your forte, simply make a series of simple knots around the cake.

You need a pretty big pot to cook these cakes. The one I have is a 20 quart stockpot. The pot should be at least 3 inches taller than the cakes to allow room for water.  If you don’t have a pot that is tall enough, you can lay the cakes on their sides and cook them this way.

Be sure to use a heavy lid, bowl or plate to weigh down the cakes. The cakes need to be submerged in water during the entire cooking process or they will cook unevenly.

Check the water levels every hour and add more water as needed. When adding water to the pot, only use boiling water. Do not add lukewarm or cold water to the pot. This will stop the cakes from cooking and ruin them.

Some people hang their cakes after cooking to allow the water to drip out of the cakes. If you wrap the cakes in a generous amount of foil, water won’t seep into the cake and there’s no need to hang dry.

Instead of boiling on the stove top, you can cook the cakes using a pressure cooker. Pressure cook on High for 2 hours. After the pressure cook time is completed, let the cakes continue cooking in the “Keep Warm” mode for at least 1 hour. More is just fine. You may not be able to stand the cakes upright and laying them horizontally is just fine. Be sure to add water to the “Max” line or enough to cover the cakes. You can place something heavy to submerge the cakes but this isn’t necessary if you use plenty of water.

Store the Sticky Rice and Mung Bean Cakes at room temperature for up to 2 days. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Freeze the whole cakes for up to 6 months. To enjoy again, allow to come to room temperature and warm in the microwave using Low power.

Have lots of leftover cake? A scrumptious way to enjoy leftover Sticky Rice and Mung Bean Cakes is to pan-fry them until they are golden brown on both sides.

Sticky Rice and Mung Bean Cakes (Banh Tet) - Pan-fried to golden perfection | recipe from runawayrice.com

PART 1: Making the Filling and Preparing the Banana Leaves

Watch the video below for instructions.

PART 2: Making and Cooking the Sticky Rice and Mung Bean Cakes

Watch the video below for instructions.

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Sticky Rice and Mung Bean Cakes / Banh Tet

Sticky Rice and Mung Bean Cakes (Banh Tet) with Dried Carrot and Radish Pickles (Dua Mon) | recipe from runawayrice.com

Ingredients

Cakes
3/4 lb pork belly
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp salt, divided
2 Tbsp minced shallots
1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
3 cups mashed mung beans
16 oz frozen banana leaves
6 cups long-grain glutinous/sweet rice

Other Materials
ruler
2 (8 1/2 x 11 inch) sheets of paper
scotch tape
4 (16 inch) lengths of string, used as temporary ties
4 (9 feet) lengths of cooking string or twine
aluminum foil

Directions

Making the Filling Logs

Cut the pork belly into 4 (1 inch) wide strips and then trim so each strip to 5 inches long. Optionally, remove the pork skin and discard.

Combine the pork with ground black pepper, sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, minced shallots and fish sauce. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Lay a piece of plastic wrap on the work surface. Take 3/4 cup mashed mung beans and divide in half. Spread out each mung bean half into 5 inch long sections.

Place a piece of marinated pork on top of one of the mung bean strips. Place the other mung bean strip on top. Using your hands, press the mashed mung bean around the pork. Roll and shape into a log.

Wrap the log in plastic wrap.

Repeat the above steps, making a total of 4 logs.

Measure the logs and make sure they’re approximately 5 inches long.

Freeze the filling logs overnight.

Preparing the Banana Leaves

Tape together the 2 sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper to form an 11 inch square paper template.

Thaw the banana leaves at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Gently unfold and separate the banana leaves. Using the paper template, cut out 12 sheets of banana leaves. (You’ll need 3 sheets of banana leaves per cake). Cut a few extra sheets just in case some tear while washing.

Clean the banana leaves by washing both sides in hot water. Wipe both sides of the leaves dry with paper towels.

Moisten 2 large sheets of paper towels and place the cleaned banana leaves between the towels. Place the cleaned banana leaves back into the original plastic bag and then seal with tape.

Refrigerate the banana leaves until they’re ready to use.

Preparing the Glutinous Rice

Wash the glutinous rice by rinsing with cool water until the water is mostly clear. Fill the basin with cold water and let the rice soak overnight.

Making the Cakes

Remove the filling logs from the freezer.

Rinse the glutinous rice with cold water one more time. Drain in a large colander. Toss the rice in the colander to remove any excess water. Add the remaining 2 tsp salt and combine with the rice.

Place a 16 inch string vertically on the work surface.

Place the first banana leaf on the work surface with the shiny side down and veins running horizontally. Place the second banana leaf on top of the first in the same way. Place the third banana leaf on top of the other 2 leaves with the shiny side up and veins running vertically.

Place 1/2 cup glutinous rice on the center of the banana leaves. Spread out the rice so it’s 1/4 inch high and just a bit bigger than the filling log. Place the filling log on top of the rice.

Bring the banana leaves up and hold together with one hand. Add another 1/2 cup glutinous rice on top of the filling log. Using a spoon, add more rice to the sides of the cake. Smooth out the top, encasing the filling with an even amount of rice.

While holding the top portion of banana leaves, wrap the bottom portion securely around the log. Bring the top portion of the leaves down and wrap firmly around the cake. Tie the string around the middle of the cake to secure in place.

Fold the leaves over on the one end and stand the cake up. Pat the cake with your palms to settle the rice. Add 4 heaping tablespoons rice to the end, cover the filling. Fold the banana leaves (like you would a present) covering the end completely.

Flip the cake over, standing it on the folded end now. Repeat the same process of adding rice and folding the banana leaves for the remaining end.

Tie the cakes securely with a 9 feet section of cooking string. (Please see video for this part.)

Continue with these same steps until all 4 cakes are made.

Wrap the cakes with a generous amount of aluminum foil.

Cooking the Cakes

Transfer the cakes into a 20 quart stockpot standing each cake on its end.

Fill the pot with water until it almost covers the cakes. Place a heavy lid or plate on top of the cakes. Add more water until the cakes are completely immersed in water.

Cover the pot and bring to a boil using High heat.

Reduce heat to Low and cook for 4 hours.

Check the water level every 1 hour and add boiling water as needed. (Do not add cold water. This will halt the cooking process and ruin the cakes.)

After boiling for 2 hours, flip the cakes.

After 4 hours, carefully remove the cakes from the pot using tongs.

Remove the foil and rinse each cake with cold water.

Dry the cakes with a kitchen towel.

Wrap each cake in plastic wrap and allow to cool for 4 hours.

Serving and Storing the Cakes

To Serve: Cut off the string. Unwrap the cake by removing the banana leaves and discarding. Cut the cake into thick slices using a sharp knife or with cooking twine. (See the video for a demonstration.)

Enjoy the Sticky Rice and Mung Bean Cakes with savory Dried Carrot and Radish Pickles.

Store the Sticky Rice and Mung Bean Cakes at room temperature for up to 2 days. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Freeze the whole cakes for up to 6 months.

Yields: 4 cakes

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

Sticky Rice and Mung Bean Cakes (Banh Tet) - Artfully Wrapped and Deliciously Good | recipe from runawayrice.com

Sticky Rice and Mung Bean Cakes (Banh Tet) - Essential New Year Cakes | recipe from runawayrice.com
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Sticky Rice and Mung Bean Cakes / Banh Tet

Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: Asian, Vietnamese
Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 4 cakes
Calories: 1634 kcal
Author: Trang

Sticky Rice and Mung Bean Cakes (Banh Tet) are must-have foods for Vietnamese New Year / Tet. There are many variations on the filling, some sweet and others savory. This recipe is the savory version with a mung bean and pork filling. Unlike their square-shaped siblings, Square Sticky Rice and Mung Bean Cakes (Banh Chung), these cakes are smaller, cylindrical and overall easier to make. If you live in an area with a large Asian community, you'll find these cakes everywhere, especially around this time of the year. It may be tempting to just buy them. However, if you have the time, I encourage you to make these at home. They are just amazing when homemade!

Ingredients

Cakes

  • 3/4 lb pork belly
  • 1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt , divided
  • 2 Tbsp minced shallots
  • 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 cups mashed mung beans
  • 16 oz frozen banana leaves
  • 6 cups long-grain glutinous/sweet rice

Other Materials

  • ruler
  • 2 (8 1/2 x 11 inch) sheets of paper
  • scotch tape
  • 4 (16 inch) lengths of string , used as temporary ties
  • 4 (9 feet) lengths of cooking string or twine
  • aluminum foil

Instructions

Making the Filling Logs

  1. Cut the pork belly into 4 (1 inch) wide strips and then trim so each strip to 5 inches long. Optionally, remove the pork skin and discard.
  2. Combine the pork with ground black pepper, sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, minced shallots and fish sauce. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  3. Lay a piece of plastic wrap on the work surface. Take 3/4 cup mashed mung beans and divide in half. Spread out each mung bean half into 5 inch long sections.
  4. Place a piece of marinated pork on top of one of the mung bean strips. Place the other mung bean strip on top. Using your hands, press the mashed mung bean around the pork. Roll and shape into a log.
  5. Wrap the log in plastic wrap.
  6. Repeat the above steps, making a total of 4 logs.
  7. Measure the logs and make sure they're approximately 5 inches long.
  8. Freeze the filling logs overnight.

Preparing the Banana Leaves

  1. Tape together the 2 sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper to form an 11 inch square paper template.
  2. Thaw the banana leaves at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Gently unfold and separate the banana leaves. Using the paper template, cut out 12 sheets of banana leaves. (You'll need 3 sheets of banana leaves per cake). Cut a few extra sheets just in case some tear while washing.
  3. Clean the banana leaves by washing both sides in hot water. Wipe both sides of the leaves dry with paper towels.
  4. Moisten 2 large sheets of paper towels and place the cleaned banana leaves between the towels. Place the cleaned banana leaves back into the original plastic bag and then seal with tape.
  5. Refrigerate the banana leaves until they're ready to use.

Preparing the Glutinous Rice

  1. Wash the glutinous rice by rinsing with cool water until the water is mostly clear. Fill the basin with cold water and let the rice soak overnight.

Making the Cakes

  1. Remove the filling logs from the freezer.
  2. Rinse the glutinous rice with cold water one more time. Drain in a large colander. Toss the rice in the colander to remove any excess water. Add the remaining 2 tsp salt and combine with the rice.
  3. Place a 16 inch string vertically on the work surface.
  4. Place the first banana leaf on the work surface with the shiny side down and veins running horizontally. Place the second banana leaf on top of the first in the same way. Place the third banana leaf on top of the other 2 leaves with the shiny side up and veins running vertically.
  5. Place 1/2 cup glutinous rice on the center of the banana leaves. Spread out the rice so it's 1/4 inch high and just a bit bigger than the filling log. Place the filling log on top of the rice.
  6. Bring the banana leaves up and hold together with one hand. Add another 1/2 cup glutinous rice on top of the filling log. Using a spoon, add more rice to the sides of the cake. Smooth out the top, encasing the filling with an even amount of rice.
  7. While holding the top portion of banana leaves, wrap the bottom portion securely around the log. Bring the top portion of the leaves down and wrap firmly around the cake. Tie the string around the middle of the cake to secure in place.
  8. Fold the leaves over on the one end and stand the cake up. Pat the cake with your palms to settle the rice. Add 4 heaping tablespoons rice to the end, cover the filling. Fold the banana leaves (like you would a present) covering the end completely.
  9. Flip the cake over, standing it on the folded end now. Repeat the same process of adding rice and folding the banana leaves for the remaining end.
  10. Tie the cakes securely with a 9 feet section of cooking string. (Please see video for this part.)

  11. Continue with these same steps until all 4 cakes are made.
  12. Wrap the cakes with a generous amount of aluminum foil.

Cooking the Cakes

  1. Transfer the cakes into a 20 quart stockpot standing each cake on its end.
  2. Fill the pot with water until it almost covers the cakes. Place a heavy lid or plate on top of the cakes. Add more water until the cakes are completely immersed in water.
  3. Cover the pot and bring to a boil using High heat.
  4. Reduce heat to Low and cook for 4 hours.
  5. Check the water level every 1 hour and add boiling water as needed. (Do not add cold water. This will halt the cooking process and ruin the cakes.)
  6. After boiling for 2 hours, flip the cakes.
  7. After 4 hours, carefully remove the cakes from the pot using tongs.
  8. Remove the foil and rinse each cake with cold water.
  9. Dry the cakes with a kitchen towel.
  10. Wrap each cake in plastic wrap and allow to cool for 4 hours.

Serving and Storing the Cakes

  1. To Serve: Cut off the string. Unwrap the cake by removing the banana leaves and discarding. Cut the cake into thick slices using a sharp knife or with cooking twine. (See the video for a demonstration.)

  2. Enjoy the Sticky Rice and Mung Bean Cakes with savory Dried Carrot and Radish Pickles.
  3. Store the Sticky Rice and Mung Bean Cakes at room temperature for up to 2 days. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Freeze the whole cakes for up to 6 months.

Notes, Tips & Tricks

  • If the mashed mung bean becomes difficult to work with, microwave for 20-30 seconds to soften.
  • The glutinous rice called for in this recipe is generous and you may have some leftover. I adjusted the rice to consider several important variables: 1) brand of rice 2) soaking time 3) size of filling logs 4) amount of rice preferred in cakes. Each cake uses approximately 2 cups hydrated glutinous rice. You can add up to another 1/2 cup per cake and have enough rice for all 4 cakes.
  • My cakes measure: Diameter: 2 3/4 inches, Circumference: 8 3/4 inches, Height: 7 inches
  • When tying the cakes with string, use a moderate amount of tension.  The string should be tight enough to hold everything together put not so tight that it creases the banana leaves. You should be able to slide the string with your fingers if needed.
  • The technique for tying the string is what makes the cakes so unique and eye-catching. However, if working with string is not your forte, simply make a series of simple knots around the cake.
  • You need a pretty big pot to cook these cakes. The one I have is a 20 quart stockpot. The pot should be at least 3 inches taller than the cakes to allow room for water.  If you don't have a pot that is tall enough, you can lay the cakes on their sides and cook them this way.
  • Be sure to use a heavy lid, bowl or plate to weigh down the cakes. The cakes need to be submerged in water during the entire cooking process or they will cook unevenly.
  • Check the water levels every hour and add more water as needed. When adding water to the pot, only use boiling water. Do not add lukewarm or cold water to the pot. This will stop the cakes from cooking and ruin them.
  • Some people hang their cakes after cooking to allow the water to drip out of the cakes. If you wrap the cakes in a generous amount of foil, water won't seep into the cake and there's no need to hang dry.
  • Instead of boiling on the stove top, you can cook the cakes using a pressure cooker. Pressure cook on High for 2 hours. After the pressure cook time is completed, let the cakes continue cooking in the "Keep Warm" mode for at least 1 hour. More is just fine. You may not be able to stand the cakes upright and laying them horizontally is just fine. Be sure to add water to the "Max" line or enough to cover the cakes. You can place something heavy to submerge the cakes but this isn't necessary if you use plenty of water.
  • Store the Sticky Rice and Mung Bean Cakes at room temperature for up to 2 days. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Freeze the whole cakes for up to 6 months. To enjoy again, allow to come to room temperature and warm in the microwave using Low power.

    Nutrition Facts
    Sticky Rice and Mung Bean Cakes / Banh Tet
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 1634 Calories from Fat 423
    % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 47g 72%
    Saturated Fat 16g 80%
    Cholesterol 61mg 20%
    Sodium 1680mg 70%
    Potassium 790mg 23%
    Total Carbohydrates 257g 86%
    Dietary Fiber 19g 76%
    Sugars 4g
    Protein 37g 74%
    Vitamin A 0.7%
    Vitamin C 2.6%
    Calcium 7.6%
    Iron 39.5%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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60 Responses to Sticky Rice and Mung Bean Cakes (Banh Tet)

  1. Van February 15, 2018 at 1:28 pm #

    Hi Trang, I just want to thank you for the recipe & your wonderful videos. I made banh tet for the first time, your explanations & how you organized the recipe really gave me the confidence to make them. They turned out great! I cooked them in the Instant Pot for 80 Minutes on High Pressure and did a 50 NPR. Happy New Year!

    • Trang February 23, 2018 at 6:38 pm #

      Hi Van,
      I am so happy to hear you were successful making banh tet for the first time! Kudos! Thanks for stopping by to share your results. Happy New Year! 🙂

  2. Tina Uyen February 12, 2018 at 5:08 pm #

    Hello Chi Trang, this is my second year making them following your recipe and my family loves them so much I can’t make them fast enough. I am cooking on the stove and with the pressure cooker. It’s like a banh tet factory at my house this year…lol. I really appreciate all the details you provide in your recipes. They’re so helpful and easy to understand.

    • Trang February 12, 2018 at 5:38 pm #

      Hi Tina,
      I can just imagine what your kitchen must look like as a banh tet factory…LOL! I am really glad to hear you and your family are enjoying this recipe. Now you need to recruit some helpers to assist you with making them! 🙂

  3. Ann February 12, 2018 at 10:47 am #

    Chi Trang oi, is the short grain glutinous rice interchangeable?

    • Trang February 12, 2018 at 3:29 pm #

      Hi Ann, the long-grain is traditionally used but the short grain is just fine. Good Luck!

      • Ann February 12, 2018 at 8:16 pm #

        Thank you very much for your prompt reply! This is the second year that I make banh tet. I promise my mom and my mom in law the vegetarian ones for ‘cung’. I prefer to make my own because I don’t put coconut milk in the grain. As always, I know I speak for most of us when I say thank you for all the effort you put into sharing the recipes and directions with all of us. Happy New Year to you and your family!

        • Trang February 12, 2018 at 8:51 pm #

          Hi Ann,
          That’s wonderful you make vegetarian banh tet for your family. I’ll bet they just love them. I truly appreciate your interest and support for my blog. Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!

          • Ann February 14, 2018 at 3:02 pm #

            After boiling Banh tet for 1 hour, 8 of them to be exact, I realize that I forgot to wrap them in foil!!!! I could just kick myself! Please tell me that it’s ok? This is what I get for waiting until the last minute !

          • Trang February 15, 2018 at 10:32 am #

            Hi Ann,
            The foil is an extra measure in case the banana leaves split or tear during wrapping. Some varieties of banana leaves seem to be sturdier than others while others split badly when making the cakes. I hope your leaves were strong in which case the foil is optional. Good Luck! I hope they turn out perfectly for you!

          • Ann February 15, 2018 at 8:13 pm #

            Thank you chi Trang for your unlimited wisdom! I fished them out after 2 hours and wrapped them in foil. Would you believe only one split a tiny bit! I was able to deliver the vegetarian Banh tet to my mom and my mom in law today. It’s may sound a bit corny but I do feel a sense of accomplishment! By the way, for the vegetarian ones, I did not add any spices to the mung beans so I hope that’s ok. Thank you for bringing a lot of smiles to our faces!

          • Trang February 23, 2018 at 6:42 pm #

            Hi Ann,
            You did a great job wrapping them! I hope your mom and mom-in-law enjoyed their vegetarian Banh Tet. It’s a wonderful accomplishment to be able to make these cakes and the credit goes to you. In honoring our traditions, I personally believe it’s a recipe every Viet gal should learn to make. 🙂

          • Ann February 27, 2018 at 9:41 pm #

            I hear you on that one chi Trang!

  4. Dee January 23, 2018 at 4:53 pm #

    Trang lam banh te’t sao thay de qua. Minh se thu de kip lam cho te^’t.
    Cam on Tranh nhieu lam. Dee

    • Trang January 28, 2018 at 4:07 pm #

      Thank you Dee! I hope you try my banh tet recipe and share your results with me. Good Luck! 🙂

  5. Thanh January 5, 2018 at 6:47 pm #

    Chào chị Trang,
    Em muốn luộc bánh tét trong pressure cooker but I don’t think I can put it in vertically. Em có thễ nào để nó sideways được không chị? Will it affect the cake in any way?

    • Trang January 13, 2018 at 3:08 pm #

      Hi Thanh,
      Placing the banh tet sideways in the pressure cooker is just fine. It won’t affect the cake. Just be sure to cover the cakes with water when in the pressure cooker. Good Luck!

      • Thanh February 9, 2018 at 6:50 am #

        Thank you for your reply. I made bánh tét a few days ago and they were awesome! I want to make it again this weekend and I wanted to xào nếp. Do you have a recipe for how much nước cốt dừa and nước lá dứa to add?

        • Trang February 9, 2018 at 7:48 am #

          Hi Thanh, I am very happy to hear you were successful with making Banh Tet. Perhaps you’d like to try my Banh Tet Chuoi recipe where I cook the glutinous rice with coconut milk. You can add Pandan juice to the rice for aroma and color. For every 4 cups soaked glutinous rice: Add 1/4 cup Pandan juice (1/4 cup water + 3-4 Pandan leaves, puréed and strained). Add 1/3 cup coconut milk (up to 1/2 cup for richer flavor). Good Luck and I’d love it if you’d share your banh tet pics to Instagram or Facebook with #runawayrice

          • Thanh February 10, 2018 at 11:32 am #

            Thanks again for your recommendation. When you say 4 cups soaked glutinous rice, does that mean we measure 4 cups of rice and soak it or soak it and measure 4 cups of rice? Thanks so much for your time and recipe, they always come out great!

          • Trang February 10, 2018 at 4:02 pm #

            Hi Thanh,
            “Soaked” means hydrated. Soak the rice and then measure 4 cups. Good Luck!

  6. Duc February 5, 2017 at 10:39 am #

    Help please! I cooked 2 Banh tet in my 6 quart pressure cooker for 2 hours and let them sit untouched for 90 minutes. When I unwrapped one of them, one side has a bit of hard sweet rice. Do you think I should have refill water or turned the cake after the first hour? I would love to try making this again but only after I find out what went wrong first. Thank you for your time.

    • Trang February 10, 2017 at 8:25 am #

      Hi Duc,
      There’s no need to rotate the cakes when using the pressure cooker. The high pressure heat should evenly circulate the cooker without you having to turn the cakes. Can you think of anything different about this one side of under-cooked cake? Was it covered completely with water? Was there more rice in this cake than the other? Did you use an electric or stovetop pressure cooker?

      • Duc February 10, 2017 at 2:07 pm #

        Thank you for your reply chi Trang! I used a stove top pressure cooker. I followed the manual direction as to only fill the water up to half of the pan only but that’s direction for American food only isn’t it? I’m so new at cooking that any help or suggestions you can give me is very much appreciated! Maybe I should have put a plate or something heavy over the 2 Banh tet so that everything is covered completely? Thank you very much for your time. Have a great weekend!

        • Trang February 11, 2017 at 12:05 pm #

          Hi Duc,
          When cooking banh tet or banh chung in a pressure cooker, I usually fill the cooker to the maximum level with water. For added measure, you can certainly place something heavy on top to weigh down the cakes. It takes a bit of fine-tuning with the size of your cakes and your specific pressure cooker to get it just right but I think you’re really close. Have a great weekend! 🙂

          • Duc February 13, 2017 at 7:31 am #

            Thank you chi Trang! Your help gives me confidence to try making Banh tet again! I’ll try again when i can get my hands on more banana leaves.

          • Trang March 1, 2017 at 10:32 am #

            Awesome Duc! I know you can do it. I am looking forward to hearing about the next round. 🙂

  7. Anniebananie January 31, 2017 at 6:56 am #

    Hello Trang,

    Thank you for sharing your recipe! Do you happent to know if the red/pink string is toxic?

    • Trang February 4, 2017 at 6:22 pm #

      Hi Annie,
      I don’t think it’s toxic but if you’re concerned, substitute with cooking twine. Good Luck!

  8. Kim January 31, 2017 at 12:17 am #

    So I love the tips and the video! Thank you so much!!! Wondering for freezing. How do you reheat them? Steam them again frozen or bring it from freezer to refrigerator and then warm it? Sorry. Silly questions but has to figure out how you do it. Thank you!

    • Trang February 4, 2017 at 6:21 pm #

      Hi Kim,
      Not a silly question at all. 🙂 For the frozen cakes, thaw in the refrigerator. Warm slightly in the microwave or by steaming. You can also thaw quickly using the microwave’s defrost function. Hope that helps!

  9. Maliya truong January 29, 2017 at 4:45 pm #

    Hi. My aunt made some for me but the rice seems like it was still not as tender in the middle of the banh. Is there anything it can do? Can I boil it more or can I steam them in individual slices in a steamer?

    • Trang February 4, 2017 at 6:12 pm #

      Hi Maliya,
      If the cakes haven’t been refrigerated, you can wrap them up and boil them again. If they’ve been refrigerated, cut them into small pieces and steam on High heat with lots of water. Alternatively, you can pan-fry the cakes. Hope that helps.

  10. Nhi January 25, 2017 at 7:59 pm #

    Hi chi Trang,

    Thank you sooooo much for the awesome instruction! I already wrapped the cakes but it’s too late to boil them now (11pm here). Do you think it would be okay to wait till 6pm tomorrow to boil them? Also, our pot is not tall enough, is it okay if I place the cakes down instead of standing them up in the pot?

    Thanks again!
    Nhi

    • Trang January 26, 2017 at 8:38 pm #

      Hi Nhi,
      The cakes will be just fine at room temperature until the morning. Placing them down works as well. I look forward to hearing how your cakes turn out. Good Luck!

  11. Ann January 18, 2017 at 7:59 pm #

    Chi Trang oi, due to time constraint, I made banh tet this week instead of banh chung and let me tell you, for a first attempt, they came out almost as good looking as the ones that are sold at the stores! Thank you very much for such concise direction! I wish I could cut into them right now but they are still too hot. By the way, if I was to cook these in a pressure cooker, how long do you think I should cook them? Thank you!

    • Trang January 19, 2017 at 9:53 am #

      Hi Ann,
      Great Job! I am so happy to hear your banh tet came out well. 🙂 I am looking forward to seeing some pictures. High Pressure cook these cakes for 2 hours and then allow to continue cooking using the residual heat for another 1 1/2 hours. Enjoy!

      • Ann January 19, 2017 at 8:19 pm #

        Hi chi Trang, I will try to share a pic of the banh tet with you. We polished off 2 and I gave one each to my mom and my mom in law. My mom in law was so surprised that my first attempt at making banh tet was so successful! Needless to say, my mom was very impressed too. I’m so psyched up that I’m going to make more next week. Regarding the pressure cooker, I’m a bit of a newbie so please help me. When you say residual heat, do you mean we shut off the heat and leave the lid on for the duration? As always, I appreciate you taking the time to teach us these yummy recipes.

        • Trang January 22, 2017 at 2:17 pm #

          Hi Ann,
          I just knew you would be successful! Great job em! Regarding the pressure cooker, you are correct–just turn off the heat and leave the pressure cooker as is and let the cakes continue to cook using the residual/remaining heat. Let me know if you have any questions. Good Luck and looking forward to hearing how the pressure cooker method turns out for you.

          • Ann January 24, 2017 at 5:58 am #

            Chi Trang oi, I have one word ‘PHENOMINAL’! I made another batch yesterday using the pressure cooker and I’m very pleased with the finished products. From now on, I don’t have to wait for Tet to get my fill of banh tet. What’s more, I can have it cooked in less than 3 hours. Talk about saving money on the gas bill! Thank you for your help! Mung nam moi to you and your family! See you next year

  12. V. Kieu January 17, 2017 at 1:01 pm #

    Hi Chi, can we freeze what we make before we cook so that we can have like 20 and then cook them all at onc. THank you

    • Trang January 17, 2017 at 3:58 pm #

      Hi V,
      I have not tried freezing the uncooked cakes for later cooking. However, my experience with glutinous rice is once it is soaked and refrigerated or frozen, the rice doesn’t cook properly and no matter how long you cook it, it seems raw and crunchy. (in Vietnamese the word is sượng) If you want to experiment, try it with one cake and see if the cooked cakes are acceptable. Good Luck!

  13. Christine January 17, 2017 at 8:21 am #

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! I’m curious, have you tried making banh tet/Chung in your instant pot?

    • Trang January 17, 2017 at 3:52 pm #

      Hi Christine,
      Yes, I’ve made banh tet and banh chung in the Instant Pot. (My latest blog is making Banh Chung in an Instant Pot. 🙂 ) If you have the 8 qt Instant Pot, 4 banh tet will fit just fine. If you have the 6 qt, you should make the banh tet a bit smaller. Good Luck!

      • Tracy January 18, 2017 at 6:51 am #

        How long do you cook it in the instant pot?

        • Trang January 19, 2017 at 9:49 am #

          Hi Tracy,
          For 4 banh tet fitting into the 6 qt Instant Pot, High Pressure cook for 90 minutes and then let continue cooking on the Keep Warm function for another 60 minutes. If using the 8-quart Instant Pot for 4 full-sized banh tet, High pressure cook for 2 hours and then Keep Warm for 60 minutes. Hope that helps.

          • Tracy January 21, 2017 at 2:41 pm #

            Thank you! I will try it out!!

      • Christine January 22, 2017 at 11:13 pm #

        Awesome, thank you! I knew I should’ve purchased the 8 quart one instead! 🙂

  14. Kelly February 6, 2016 at 7:41 am #

    Hello Chi Trang – I just attempted this recipe and when I unwrapped it from the foil, I found the cake sitting in a lot of yellow oil. I’m assuming this is from the pork belly. Can you confirm that this is normal? Thank you for sharing your recipe!

    • Trang February 7, 2016 at 9:04 pm #

      Hi Kelly,
      I haven’t experienced this pool of yellow oil you’re describing but I usually choose leaner pieces of meat. Was the pork considerably shrunken as compared to its original shape?

  15. Ngoc February 6, 2015 at 7:50 pm #

    I just want to let you know I’ve been lurking around your website and YouTube channel for awhile and I love it! I don’t live close enough to my mom to ask her to cook for me anymore and your website is a miracle when I’m craving Vietnamese food. I think I’m going to attempt to make both banh tet and banh chung this year using your recipe and I was wondering how would I test for doneness? I’m a bit skeptical about my stove and I don’t think it’ll cook in 4 hours. Again, thanks for all your hard work on this page! I hope you have a wonderful and prosperous new years!

    • Trang February 8, 2015 at 7:43 pm #

      Hi Ngoc,
      I love lurkers on my website…lol, and I happy to hear you found a recipe you’d like to try. If this is your first time making banh tet, I would suggest that you cook for longer than my suggested time of 4 hours. Banh Tet and Banh Chung can be over-boiled and they won’t be ruined. It’s really tough to tell whether the cakes are cooked unless you cut them in half. After 4 hours, you’ll have to sacrifice a cake by cutting it in half to check for doneness. If it’s not done, just wrap a layer of banana leaves around the entire cake covering the part you cut, wrap the cake with a double layer of foil and then continue boiling. If you don’t want to cut one open, you can continue boiling for another 1-2 hours. If your cakes are approximately the same size as mine, 6 hours of cooking should be more than adequate. Good Luck and I would love to hear how your cakes turn out. Wishing you a happy and prosperous New Year as well!

  16. Hong January 16, 2015 at 9:08 am #

    Hi Chi Trang,

    I love your technique of wrapping the Banh tet. It looks so easy. I think I will try to goi banh tet with your technique for Tet 2015.:) Are you going to show us how to wrap banh chung too? Hope you will make another video on goi banh chung before Tet 2015 so I can try out both kinds of wrapping for Tet 2015.:) Thank you so much for the good tips and techniques on cooking vietnamese foods, chi Trang.:) Wish you good health and lots of happiness always, chi Trang!

    Hong

    • Trang January 17, 2015 at 10:58 am #

      Hello Hong,

      Thank you for your kind words. I hope you give the Banh Tet recipe a try and let me know how it turns out for you. I was planning on sharing my Banh Chung recipe this year but it looks like I won’t have time to get it all done by this year’s Tet. I will share other well-loved Tet recipes so please stay tuned. Wishing you much health, happiness and prosperity in the new year as well!

      • Hong February 24, 2015 at 8:38 am #

        Hi Chi Trang,

        Chuc mung nam moi. Chuc chi va gia dinh an khang thinh vuong va tran day hanh phuc nha!:) Em lam banh tet theo recipe cua chi day roi. An ngon lam chi. Ca nha dieu khen do! Cam on chi nhieu lam! My first try is not bad. It takes me about half an hour to wrap one roll. lol. But it was worth it. I m looking forward chi day tui em wrap banh chung next do. Hope chi will make a video on that soon. Next Tet I will wrap both. hee hee. Chuc chi mot ngay an lanh nhe.:) Thanks for everything you have done for us on this website!

        • Trang February 27, 2015 at 5:56 pm #

          Hi Hong,
          Chuc Mung Nam Moi! I am very happy to hear you were successful with making the Banh Tet and your family enjoyed these wonderful cakes. Great Job! They are time-consuming to make but really worth the effort. I always feel good about giving my family homemade Banh Tet versus the store-bought ones. I am definitely planning on sharing a Banh Chung video and will probably film it this summer just to be prepared for next Tet 🙂 Thank you for your kind New Year’s wishes and your support of my channel and website. Best wishes to you and your family!

  17. KT Nguyen September 10, 2014 at 11:01 pm #

    chi Trang, em ko hieu 4-9 feet lengths of string la bao nhieu vay chi

    • Trang September 11, 2014 at 8:20 am #

      Hi KT,
      Cong thuc lam duoc 4 cai banh. Em cat 4 so string dai 9 feet/2.75 meter. Chuc em thanh cong!

  18. Linh Tran August 1, 2014 at 10:08 pm #

    Hi Trang,

    Linh da thu recipe nay roi. Rat ngon!!! Thank you Trang da chia se.

    Linh.

    • Trang August 5, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

      Hi Chị Linh,
      Em rat vui khi biet chi da thanh cong voi banh nay. Cam on chi ghe website!

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