Huong Canh Fried Gruel and Ball Rice Cake

04/02/2014

                  From many generations at Three Canh Villiages (nowadays it is called Huong Canh Town) there are 2 traditional dishes but very famous, they are fried gruel and ball rice cake. Their names are simple but unforgetable to who used to taste them.

There are two Anecdotes about these two special dishes of the wet-rice-growing village. The ground of the Huong Canh Communal house from the past to nowaday there is practice of organizing Tet Market Fair on 25 December of Lunar Year to sell fried gruel and ball rice cake for old people and children in surrounding areas. There were many wedding parties serve some trays of fried gruel and ball rice cakes only but those couples still happy together in the whole life. It is normal in crowded or luxry meetings, parties to serve these special dishes only. Many old people who have fried gruel and ball rice cakes for breakfast day to day in many years still feel delicious. They affirm that, fried gruel and ball rice cakes of the two villages Ngoc Canh and Tien Huong are the most delicious in the region. Frankly it is really difficult to make high-class fried gruel and ball rice cake. Ladies and maidens all prove their cooking ability through these two dishes.

Rice to make these dishes is the best rice selected from the previous harvest season to reduce sticky. The rice should be clean with water, then dewatered, after that, grinded and milled. The finish powder is put to the steamer after make wet. Put ten chopsticks at the center of the steamer and some others surrounding. Heat-up to boild the water at the bottom of the steamer. Then withdraw chopsticks so that the steam shall evaporate about 15 minutes. When the powder rises and sponges, lift out the steamer and throw out the dough to the clean tray. Then pour boiled water at the bottom of the steamer into the dough, little by litle. After that stir till powder wet totally and soft. Now, the dough is warm, so knead the dough to adhere. Check the dough sticky or not and elastic. This dough shall be used to make ball rice cake. The powder to make fried gruel needs to be treated more carefully to make long strings.

The dough divided into small pieces small guava size and glutinous. They shall be stretched out, curved like a small bolw. The patching includes of onion fried with Jew's ear, flavor mushroom, chopped pork. A piece of patching is put into the center of dough, then rolls in and kneads till it like a pingpong ball. All ball rice cakes shall be put into the hot steamer. Each slayer of cake should be heat-up to harden before stow next slayers. Keep the fire low until the flavor blow out and open the cover lid, if the ball cakes transperant, it means the cake are ready to serve. Display the cakes to the trays, dishes or keep in the baskets lined by banana leaves to warm. The warm cakes are delicious.

To make fried gruel takes time. Lean pork cut up, chopped chicken meat or pegion meat, all mix with seasoning and good fish sause, then stir-fry, after that put into the boild water pot. Small piece of glutinous dough treated by kneading among two palms till pour into the pot. Each three or four pieces of dough are treated; it is needed to stir by chopstick so that the powder strings do not tangle. Countinuely treat the dough till the end, then keep low fire and stir regularly. When all powder strings float, the fried gruel are done.

Eating ball rice cakes is a cultural beauty. Take the cake on hand, squeeze gently to check the heat, feel likes the patching moving inside. Press more trongly, a small leak open with attractive flavor. Break the cake into half. Eat rightafter or dipped lightly in a sauce seasoning mix bowl. Ball rice cakes could eat together with fried gruel.

About fried gruel, you should eat by a chopstick instead of a spoon as usual. It should be served with a chopstick. Each gruel string is clamp up moderately and then slowly put into the mouth. The scent of seasoning, tough feeling of the gruel strings, and the sweetness of meats swirled togeter and left unforgettable impression.

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