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[Video] How To Make Bánh Chưng

Though particularly popular during Tet, bánh chưng is available all year long from street vendors who sell them off the back of their bicycles. If you ever wanted to try your hand at the dish or you’re simply a stickler for food safety, this video from Helen’s Recipes gives you all the tools to make the Vietnamese staple on your own.


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According to the book Lĩnh Nam chích quái (Extraordinary stories of Lĩnh Nam) published in 1695, the dense, pork-filled rice cakes were invented nearly 3,000 years ago by Lang Liêu, a prince of the last Hùng kings of the sixth dynasty.

In her book, Kinship and food in South East Asia, Monica Janowski writes that Liêu came up with the dish when the monarch at the time “brought a delicacy representing the sincerity for the ancestors on the occasion of thetết, whoever could introduce the most delicious dish for the altar would become the next ruler of the country.”

While other, more wealthy princes presented exotic items from land and sea, the poorer Liêu had to make do with what he had, namely rice and pork.

After tasting all the dishes, the Hùng king found Liêu’s offering not only delicious but that it showed respect for ancestors.

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