An elderly from my church made gave bánh tét for my family, and my mom pan fried ’em for breakfast!

[Edit] These were actually made by the elderly’s daughter in South Carolina, and shipped to her in East Bay!

banh tet - 1banh tet - 2banh tet - 3

Glutinous rice rolled with mung bean, pork, and red beans, wrapped with banana leaves. My mom pan fried the banh tet with scrambled egg. I topped each slice I ate with granulated sugar.

Bánh tét is a Vietnamese savoury but sometimes sweetened cake made primarily from glutinous rice, which is rolled in a banana leaf into a thick, log-like cylindrical shape, with a mung bean or mung bean and pork fillings, then boiled. After cooking, the banana leaf is removed and the cake is sliced into wheel-shaped servings. Although bánh tét are made and consumed during Tết (the Vietnamese new year), the “tét” in the food’s name literally means “sliced” or “split”, possibly referring to the fact that it is served in slices. “Bánh” is used to refer to various baked and grilled food including small packages or “cakes”, sandwiches, crepes, and spring rolls. (Wikipedia)

Banh tet, a representative cake in the South Vietnam, can be easily found at any house during Tet. Banh tet is another modified version of banh chung from the North. The ingredients, such as the glutinous rice, mung bean, cooked pork are almost the same as banh chung’s. The shape of banh tet, however, is cylindrical not square or round shaped. Banh tet is often made in advance, about a week prior to Tet. Glutinous rice must be the best one – fragrant and fresh to create the highest quality banh tet. Mung bean should be rinsed many times before being cooked. Pork and pork’s fat seasoned with salt, sugar and other spices is cooked in advance before mixing all together. Some people also put dried shrimps together with pork at the core to make it more delicious. Banana leaf is used to cover all the ingredients. Once all ingredients prepared in advance have been put on the banana leaf and tightened with some plastic ribbons, banh tet, then, will be steamed in a large pot. (Vietnam Online)

Square banh chung are cut into wedges (use unflavored dental floss) so each portion has a fair share of rice, mung bean and pork. Round banh tet are cut into thick slices. It’s often the case that the cake is eaten with some sugar, which sounds weird but is a great combination of flavors. Banh chung and banh tet may also be fried to a delicious chewy crispness too. Viet people typically serve the cakes with tangy, sweet pungent pickled shallots, garlicky pickled daikon, and various kinds of Vietnamese charcuterie — silky sausages and head cheese. Pigs were often slaughtered for Tet so people use some of the meat and offal for charcuterie, which keeps around. There’s often a long-simmered dish too in which pork or beef is cooked in caramel sauce. (Viet World Kitchen)