How to Make “Bánh Tét” South Vietnamese New Year Glutinous Rice Cakes

posted in: How-To's, Vietnamese Food | 0

Southern Vietnamese New Year Cake “Bánh Tét”

To make a southern Vietnamese new year cake, we need to have sticky rice, Thai banana’s leaves, scallion/leek, coconut milk, salt, sugar, panda leaves (optional). If making a banana filling, we need to have Thai banana; if making a bacon filling, we need to have bacon and mung beans; for vegetarian people, we skip the bacon just use mung bean only. Not all Thai banana can used, we can only use blue java/ice cream banana variety.

How to do:

  1. Cleaning & Preparing 
    Wash and clean banana’s leaves, clean sticky rice by rising it in the water, cut bacon into long strips, remove banana’s skins and split the banana into 4 but still hanging together, cook mung beans… clean banana’s leaves
  2. Seasoning the filling
    Mix & season bacon with salt/pepper/sugar/scallion; or season banana with salt… cake’s filling ready,
  3. Preparing the sticky rice
    Stir-fry sticky rice with coconut milk and panda leave juice in the medium heat. Like we mentioned at the ingredient section, panda leave/juice is an optional. As we’re known back then, people from some regions do not use panda leaves, they just want to keep the sticky rice clear. Maybe means something but we’re unable to know… cake skin preparing
  4. Wrapping the cake
    Wrap the cake by placing the sticky rice on the banana’s leaves, placing the fillings (mung bean then bacon if it’s a bacon filling) on the sticky rice.  Hole 2 sides of banana’s leaves together, start making it into cylinder shape.  It’s hard to put it in writing how to wrap the cake; however, there is a video which is best describing steps by steps how to do it at the following…,
  5. Cooking the cake
    To have a cooked, tasty,… cake, we need to cook the cake at least 7 hours; my pass-away grandmother cooked it up to 8 hours; however, she made a cake bigger. How to cook it? cook the cakes…
  6. Removing the cake out of the pot.
    Before taking the cake out, we need to prepare a big basket of room temperature water. Take the cake out, place it inside the water. Then hang the cake up to remove the water.
  7. Preparing the cake to eat
    cut the cakes…


  • If making the cake for vegetarian people, do not use bacon and use leeks instead of scallions.
  • Do not use the regular banana’s leave because it’ll ruin your cake.
  • Why they use blue java/ice cream banana but not others? Because as far as we’re known, ice cream banana is softer, sweeter and tastier especially when it goes together with sticky rice and has great smell.
  • Vietnamese New Year Cake at Vien Thong Temple (Banh Tet tai Vien Thong Tu) by BNYTV
    The video shows how to make a southern Vietnamese lunar New Year cake, “Banh Tet” in steps by steps. This is great video about Vietnamese New Year cake we ever seen. This is represented by Ms. Xuan Phuong of BNYTV, monks and volunteers at Vien Thong Temple and is great for a first learner.
    Video was recorded at Vien Thong Temple, Texas, U.S.A.
  • Southwestern Vietnam New Year Cake (Banh Tet Mien Tay) by Viet Life TV
    This video is aired by VietLifeTv in “Phong Su Banh Tet” and taken place in Vietnam. It’s a great video for the younger generation whom has no opportunities to witness an old time. After watching it, we will know more about the “Banh Tet”, how is it made, what does it mean, what does the cake shape mean,… There are many interviews with local residents too.
    Video was recorded in the southwestern Vietnam.

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