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May 20, 2018

Ke rice girdle cake – the rustic countryside gift

The seller has one hand rises the cake up, another hand holds the fan and moves on the hot charcoal. The rice girdle cake bulge out and hot, the fragrance emitted by the wind from the fan.

From a rustic and idyllic food, today, the rice girdle cake has become an indispensable food on the dining table of urban people. Telling of rice girdle cakes, the most delicious and famous one is Ke rice girdle cake in Bac Giang province. The dish seemed too dry become crispy and savory under the skillful hands of the people in Ke village – the ancient village of the Dinh Ke commune, Bac Giang city.

The rice girdle cake is dry in the sun
The rice girdle cake is dry in the sun

Most of the families in the village make rice girdle cake

On the sunny days when passing by Dinh Ke, everyone also enjoy the scene of hundreds of white, round, raw rice girdle cakes on bamboo sheet along the National Highway 1 A, in the village, by the lane, in front courtyards. The people of Ke village make rice girdle cakes year round, especially bustling at leisure time of farming.

In order to make rice girdle cakes getting strong flavor of the homeland, at first glance is simple, but actually it requires elaborate and ingenious. The main ingredient in making Ke rice girdle cake is good quality rice, soaked in water to bulge out and then milled to make a smooth and white powder. According to the experience of the people in Ke village, to get the best cake, the most important step is cooking on frying pan.

Sesame and peanut makes Ke rice girdle cakes more fragrant, savory and easier to eat
Sesame and peanut makes Ke rice girdle cakes more fragrant, savory and easier to eat

The process of making normal rice girdle cakes

The making of rice girdle cakes is as follows: after being husked, rice is mixed with coconut milk and coconut residue. Some sesame, pepper seeds, slice of purple onions, salt are then mixed together before being cooked on a hot griddle or frying pan.

The girdle cakes are fried in a big mould before they are dried under sunlight. Before enjoying coconut rice girdle cakes, we must grill them on a low-heat coal pot. They will inflate under fire. A rice girdle cake has a delicious smell of purple onions, greasy flavor of peanut and sesame, and salty taste of salt.

Differences between making normal rice girdle cake and making Ke rice girdle cake

Although, Ke rice girdle cake has many similarities with the rice paper, but it requires special skills of skilled craftsman. This type of cake is used to bake, so it must be thicker. The cakes are cooked on a hot griddle or frying pan twice, after the first layer well-done but still wet, the second layer is spread evenly over the first layer, although lightweight in spreading but flat and evenly.

Speaking is not as good as practices. Hundreds of rice paper comes out from the oven having the same size and thickness. They were cleverly removed from the boiler by wrapping around a large and long bamboo tube and spreading out over the bamboo sheet, but the cake is not torn or distorted.

Difference in ingredient

The most distinctive feature of Ke rice girdle cakes is the peanut layer on top. Therefore, before the cake are dried out in the sun, the people of Ke village often sprinkle the  black sesame and raw peanut powder on the surface of hot steamed rice paper. However, the way of sprinkle is very important. The sesame and peanut powder must be spread evenly on the cake surface, but concentrate on the middle part to get medium cooked sesame and peanut when baking. This is not only helps Ke rice girdle cakes more tasty but also make up nice looking.

Ke rice girdle cakes are packaged in plastic bags as a favorite gift of visitors when visiting Bac Giang
Ke rice girdle cakes are packaged in plastic bags as a favorite gift of visitors when visiting Bac Giang

Difference in drying

Drying cake also requires techniques to be learned over the years. Sunlight should be not too light but not too harsh. When enough time to dry cake surface but still flexible, the craftsman must remove the cake from bamboo sheet in time to avoid cracking, or breaking, then turn the cake to the other side and dry until the cake become crunchy.

Difference in baking

Before selling, Ke rice girdle cakes are baked on charcoal flame heated by a fan. Grilling is not only for cooked cake, but also make the shape of the cake. One hand holds the cake, another hand holds the fan, the baking man must fan rhythmically, continuously, and the cake is turned over and turned back until it has yellow color, aroma radiate out. Occasionally, they stop to bend the cakes from being warped, round evenly.

Difference in flavor

When eating, Ke rice girdle cakes will have sweet, crispy taste and fragrant. Enjoying the homeland gift is experiencing a part of the cultural in which, according to the people of Dinh Ke village, is enjoying a type of traditional cuisine. It reminds of the pictures of the countryside markets in the northern delta, where women still go shopping to buy Ke rice girdle cakes as gifts for their children.

Nothing is more interesting than eating coconut rice girdle cakes when watching TV with family members. It is more delicious if we enjoy them with ginger fish sauce.

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About the author

Hi, I'm Ho Lam! That's me, the boy who wants more experience each day. I'm slowly but surely working my way, travelling and sharing is my taste. The articles of this blog are not only from me, but also from my friends and the travellers mailed to me.

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