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Banh Re (Re Cake)

Banh Re is a sweet cake that is made from fresh and ripened sweet potatoes or cassavas and melted sugar which covers one surface of the cake. The cake looks like a bamboo basket, so it is call “banh re”. This is one of the famous foods in Phan Thiet.

 At around 3 or 4 pm, whenever noticing about the announcement at the beginning of the street “Banh re day! Banh re day!..”, we all stop playing and can’t wait to buy “Banh Re” from aunt Nam (Thim Nam). People said that aunt Nam was born and grew up in Phan Thiet. Once uncle Năm, a fisherman in the Central coast of Vietnam, dropped by Phan Thiet to get rid of the storm, he fell in love and got married with Aunt Nam. Then they went to settle down in Da Nang and lived on the tradition career of her family- Making “Banh re”. 

banh re phan thiet

Only by visiting aunt Nam’ house many times, can you realize the talents of the cake maker. The so-call “Banh re” originated from the shape of a bamboo basket used as a hot pot holder. “Banh re” is made of simple ingredients, including sweet potatoes,  cassavas and granulated sugar.

banh re phan thiet

First of all, peel the sweet potatoes and soak them into the water with a couple of hours. Then slice and cut them into tiny stems (7cm in length). Prepare to melt the sugar into syrup. A small tube of vanilla can bring “Banh re” fragrance.

banh re phan thiet

Next, use a hollow pan and a small coal fired stove, and pours a little of coconut oil into the pan. When the oil starts to boil, pick a handful of potatoes or cassava tiny stems; then take a ladle with long handle and pair of chopsticks to fry the materials until they are cooked and sticked together. Get the cake out of the pan and continuing with other cakes.

banh re phan thiet

After having a lot of pieces of crispy cakes, use a pair of chopsticks to dip the cake into the thick mixture of syrup.

banh re phan thiet

Notice that you should carefully turn the cake and dip it into syrup to make sure that the whole cake is covered by sugar. Then pick the cake out and let it be cool. You can even spray a little of sesame

banh re phan thiet

It is so wonderful to enjoy the cryspy “Banh re” in cool weather. Not only the children, but also adults are so interested in this special food that they buy the cakes as a gift whenever dropping by Phan Thiet, the land of wind and sunshine.

banh re phan thiet

banh re phan thiet

banh re phan thiet

banh re phan thiet

 

banh re phan thiet

Besides fresh sea food, fish sauce, half-dried squid, Phan Thiet are well-known "Banh re", the delicious one for those who like sweet. Banh re will be more tasty when served with tea.

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