For those who love traditional Vietnamese cakes, bánh da lợn (literal translation “pig-skin cake”) should be at the top of your list during the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday which welcomes in the Year of the Pig.

Pig skin cake is a Vietnamese steamed layer cake made from tapioca starch, rice flour, mashed mung beans, taro, or durian, coconut milk  or water; sugar, and most notably pandan leaf juice. It is sweet and gelatinously soft in texture, with thin (around 1 cm thick) colourful layers alternating with layers of mung bean, durian, or taro filling.

The mixture will then be brought to steam right away. One who is experienced will not need to measure the ingredients but count on his feeling to know how sweet and chewy the cake is. Each layer will be steamed in five minutes.

It takes about one hour to steam a cake. The cake is steamed in a large mould then cut into small pieces, or in hand size.

The cake can easily be found in many places in the south in local markets or on the streets. It is also served as a dessert in some hotels and restaurants and during parties. –VNA