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Vietnamese Recipes – Husband and Wife Cake or Conjugal Cake or Tapioca and Mung Bean Cake (Northern Cuisine – Bac Ninh) – Banh Phu The hay Xu xe (Mon An Bac Bo – Bac Ninh)


Glutinous rice flour (Bot nep)
200 Grams
Mung bean, split and peeled
50 Grams
Coconut flakes
20 Grams
Pandan leaves (La dua)
5 Grams
60 Grams
Sesame seeds, roasted and crushed
10 Grams
Vegetable oil
Food covering
Mold for cakes

Preparation mode:

1/ Take pandan leaves and rinse them carefully under fresh water. Grind them into fine mixture with food processor. Use its extract and remove its residue. Pour the pandan’s essence into fresh water to make 400ml of liquid.

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2/ Fill in gradually 200g of glutinous rice flour into the 400ml of liquid above. Mix them well to avoid any curdles in the mixture. At that stage, add coconut flakes, 30g of sugar, 5g of salt and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil into the combination. Stir them well in circular motion.

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3/ Tranfer your prepared mixture to a saucepan. Cook them over a medium heat while continuing tossing the mixture inside. Do it repeatedly until you feel a smooth and viscious texture of flour. The trick here is that to check it out, you can ladle a pinch of the mixture and put them into a dish of salt. If you see they flow in a broken line, it reaches our desirable level.

4/ Clean split mung beans under fresh water. Soak them in lukewarm water overnight or 2 hours at the least. Put them into a pot. Bring it to a boil til having a cooked mixture. Use a spoon to stir them inside frequently to make a fine and smooth mixture.

Prepare a pan with thin layer of cooking oil. Add your processed mung beans above into that pan while pouring 30g of sugar simultaneously. Stir them well until you see beans being dried up.

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5/ Bring out cake molds and line the bottom with a layer of flour at step 3/ up to 1cm. Add on top mung beans at step 4/  to make the filling. Continue to add another layer of flour at step 3/.  Garnish the finishing with some sesame seeds sprinkled on top.

4/ Steam the cakes for 20 minutes. Wait til they get cooler then transfer them out. Set them aside and use food covering to protect it.

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Why it is called Husband and Wife cake?

The conjugal cake is usually served in Vietnamese wedding parties. In a traditional ceremony, bridegroom would bring a tray full of this cake to his bridesmaid's family, especially on engagement day. It is said that the stickiness of cake represents for the stickiness of a marriage tie. How wonderful it is, isn't it? Now, this cake still plays an essential part in Vietnamese banquets and food culture. How it is wrapped in tiny square boxes signifies for respectful attitude of husband dedicating for his future wife and a long term commitment through out their life. You would know tons of stories about it if you visit Ding Bang, Bac Ninh province.

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