Vietnam: Bánh Da Lợn

Market: D & K Market
City: Oakland, CA

I came home to a small package of banh da lon on the kitchen table… My mom found this dessert while shopping at Oakland Chinatown, and got one for me! We can usually find this at a local Vietnamese sandwich shop, but the one near home stopped carrying it. Banh da lon is usually found on packaged square styrofoam plates with plastic wrap. But without a flower like in the photo below; my mom just wanted to make the dish look pretty! Also, the ridges on the cake is most likely from the knife used to cut it into strips; it was already cut in the package.

banh da lon

Bánh da lợn (literally “pig skin cake”) is a Vietnamese steamed layer cake made from pandan leaves, tapioca starch, rice flour, mashed mung beans, coconut milk and/or water, and sugar. Durian or taro may also be used. The green color is obtained from the pandan leaves, usually by using a motar. The pandan extract is then mixed with the rice flour. The cake is sweet and gelatinously soft in texture, with thin colored layers alternating with layers of mung bean, durian, and/or taro, and pandan. (Wikipedia)

As for the name of the dessert (“pig skin cake”), don’t you think it kinda looks like pork belly? That’s probably where the name came from.

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