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Banh khuc (cudweed) - a traditional cake of Vietnam

It’s a rice ball made up of glutinous rice, green bean, pork, spices and most significantly, cudweed (khuc).

Cudweed grows throughout lunar January and February, when the drizzling rain lasts all day, and it are often found along the sides of rice fields. There are
2 kinds: sticky rice and ordinary rice. The latter is more versatile and fragrant and most popular for creating the cake.
Firstly, the cudweed is washed, ground and then mingled with husked glutinous rice. Green beans that are flayed and changed into paste when being cooked, are then added to the mixture. Finally, the cakes are sprinkled with grains of glutinous steamed rice.

As time goes by, it's increasingly tough to seek out cudweed as fields are eaten up by development. However, for currently you'll realize banh khuc in Hanoi. However some bakers might not be using cudweed and should substitute it with cabbage or water morning glory.

“Maybe i will not be able to have the possibility to satisfy my hunger for banh khuc,” says 60-year-old Nguyen Thi Khanh on Yen Ninh street. Khanh isn't
alone. Many other people believe “real” banh khuc isn't any longer created in Hanoi.

One woman who would oppose that's 47-year-old Nguyen Thi Lan, whose cake stall at 69 Nguyen Cong Tru street has been churning out banh khuc for years. Lan has to rent locals in rural areas in Hanoi or in neighbouring provinces to hunt out the elusive cudweed. In the winter, it grows in abundance therefore it is enough to be collected to last the summer. The excess will be dried and stored.

So next time, you’re within the previous quarter of Hanoi, you may listen to somebody to call "who needs hot banh khuc?".

You can pause them and ask if banh khuc is from Ngoai Hoang village in old Ha Tay Province, an area that's famous for having the most delicious and engaging banh khuc.

The cake prices VND5,000 for one and may be served hot and dipped into a combination of roasted and crushed sesame seeds and salt.

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