Banh Giay Recipe (Vietnamese Round Glutinous Rice Cake)

Beside too popular Banh Chung (Vietnamese sticky rice cake) which is made of glutinous rice, mung bean and pork belly, Banh Giay, the other half, is made of glutinous rice flour and rice flour. Banh Giay is a simple steamed cake but a great treat as a snack or a side dish, not only in festivals but also in daily life. Let’s discover how to make it.

banh giay gio

The Legend of Banh Chung Banh Giay

The legend of “Banh Chung” and “Banh Giay,” also known as “Sự tích bánh chưng bánh giầy,” is a traditional Vietnamese myth that explains the origin of these two types of rice cakes, which are an essential part of the Tet (Lunar New Year) celebration in Vietnam.

According to the legend, long ago, during the reign of the Hung Kings, the King could not decide who among his 18 sons would succeed him as the new king. Therefore, he organized a cooking competition among his sons, asking them to prepare a dish that symbolized both heaven and earth.

While many of his brothers presented extravagant dishes, Lang Lieu, the King’s 18th son, was different. He decided to use the most basic ingredients available: sticky rice (glutinous rice) and mung beans. He shaped the sticky rice into a square cake called “Banh Chung” to symbolize the earth and a round cake called “Banh Giay” to symbolize the sky. Inside the Banh Chung, he placed mung beans as a symbol of life and the green color of plants. These simple yet meaningful creations won the competition, and Lang Lieu was chosen as the next king.

How does Banh Giay Taste?

banh gio recipe

The legend of Banh Chung and Banh Giay has been passed down through generations, and these rice cakes have become a traditional food for Tet celebrations in Vietnam. Moreover, Banh Giay nowadays becomes a daily dish that can be enjoyed every day. Among the variations, “banh giay gio” (bánh giầy giò) is the most popular, with two pieces of banh giay and one slice of Vietnamese ham (gio lua) in between.

How about its taste? This steamed cake is soft, aromatic, and chewy thanks to the glutinous rice flour. Vietnamese ham (gio lua) is quite crunchy and a little bit chewy, making each bite of Banh Giay an interesting combination to satisfy your taste buds.

Ingredients of Banh Giay

To make 6 pairs of Banh Giay Gio, you’ll need to prepare:

  • 360g (12.7 oz) glutinous rice flour
  • 40g (1.4 oz) rice flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 240g (8.5 oz) Vietnamese Ham

Certainly, you can keep it simple by enjoying Banh Giay by itself or with accompaniments like roasted white sesame seeds or mung bean paste. Because this is a steamed cake, do prepare a steamer as well.

How To Make Banh Giay

Making Banh Giay is quite simple, with just a few steps that can be completed in around 30 minutes. Please note that you’ll need to let the dough rest for an additional 30 minutes. Therefore, the total time from the beginning to completion is approximately 1 hour.

Step 1. Mixing the Dough

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the glutinous rice flour with 200ml (5/6 cup) of boiling water. It must be boiling water to ensure that a part of the flour is well-cooked, becoming the sticking factor for the dough. Stir the mixture thoroughly until you have a cohesive dough. It should come together easily and be slightly sticky.
  • Place the dough onto a clean, dry surface or a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough by folding it over and pressing it with the palms of your hands. Continue kneading for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes smooth and pliable. Once the dough is smooth, wrap it in plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out. Allow the dough to rest for about 30 minutes.

Step 2. Shaping the Cakes

  • After resting, unwrap the dough and divide it into 12 equal pieces. You can do this by forming the dough into a log and then cutting it into 12 even slices. Take each small piece of dough and roll it into a ball. Flatten each ball into a round cake with a thickness of about 2cm (approximately 3/4 inch) and a diameter of 4-5cm (about 1.5-2 inches).
banh giay recipe

Step 3. Steaming

  • Place the shaped cakes onto a steaming tray or steamer lined with parchment paper or banana leaves. Steam the cakes for approximately 15 minutes. Maintain medium heat level during this time.
banh giay recipe

Step 4. Cooling and Serving

  • Once the the cakes are steamed, remove them from the steamer and let them cool slightly. Cut Vietnamese Ham Roll into slices that are 1cm-1.5cm (0.4-0.6 inches) thick. Place the ham between two pieces of banh giay and wrap them with banana leaves or pandan leaves to prevent sticking. Enjoy!
banh giay gio

Banh Giay Recipe (Vietnamese Round Glutinous Rice Cake)

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Banh Giay is a simple steamed cake but a great treat as a snack or a side dish, not only in festivals but also in daily life.

Ingredients

Instructions

Making Banh Giay is quite simple, with just a few steps that can be completed in around 30 minutes. Please note that you'll need to let the dough rest for an additional 30 minutes. Therefore, the total time from the beginning to completion is approximately 1 hour.

Step 1. Mixing the Dough

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the glutinous rice flour with 200ml (5/6 cup) of boiling water. It must be boiling water to ensure that a part of the flour is well-cooked, becoming the sticking factor for the dough. Stir the mixture thoroughly until you have a cohesive dough. It should come together easily and be slightly sticky.banh giay recipe
  • Place the dough onto a clean, dry surface or a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough by folding it over and pressing it with the palms of your hands. Continue kneading for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes smooth and pliable. Once the dough is smooth, wrap it in plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out. Allow the dough to rest for about 30 minutes.banh giay recipe

Step 2. Shaping the Cakes

  • After resting, unwrap the dough and divide it into 12 equal pieces. You can do this by forming the dough into a log and then cutting it into 12 even slices. Take each small piece of dough and roll it into a ball. Flatten each ball into a round cake with a thickness of about 2cm (approximately 3/4 inch) and a diameter of 4-5cm (about 1.5-2 inches).banh giay recipe

Step 3. Steaming

  • Place the shaped cakes onto a steaming tray or steamer lined with parchment paper or banana leaves. Steam the cakes for approximately 15 minutes. Maintain medium heat level during this time.banh giay recipeBefore steaming banh giay recipeAfter steaming

Step 4. Cooling and Serving

  • Once the the cakes are steamed, remove them from the steamer and let them cool slightly. Cut Vietnamese Ham Roll into slices that are 1cm-1.5cm (0.4-0.6 inches) thick. Place the ham between two pieces of banh giay and wrap them with banana leaves or pandan leaves to prevent sticking. Enjoy!banh giay gio

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 110
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 295

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