Hoi Hop Ball Rice Cake


              In the past, at Giao Diet party (normally called as Wrestling Party) at Hoi Hop village (Hop Thinh commune) opened annually from the tenth to the fifteenth of the Lunar New Year; there was a practice of holding a cooking contest between “giap” in communal house. In the dishes of candidate, beside traditional cuisines like minced meat, spring rolls, stew soup and “mọc”, it is required to have Ball Rice Cake. Ball rice cake becomes traditional cusisune of the whole village, every people could make these cakes and very talor, and it is handed down from generation to generation up to now, and has been famous in the Southern of Nam Duong district – Northern of Yen Lac district.

Firstly, to make ball rice cake, it is needed to choose the good rice, and then grind them to remove hard part and make rice whiter. The rice should be soaked in the water from morning to evening in order that rice can absorb enough water and achieve suitable softness, after that put it into a basket to dry. Then, dried rice is grilled in a basin millstone (nowaday we could use grilling machine). To have glutinous, adhesive cake, we have to prepare powder in advance, for example, if we plan to serve cake on the tenth, we should grilling powder from morning of the seventh or the eighth. After grilling, letting the powder setting, then decanting sour water and fill with new fresh water. Next morning, repeat that step. By that way, in the planned day morning, decanting all old water and diluting enough water to powder pot then “powder drying”. Before drying powder, they must “take drop”, this is important step to test whether water is enough or not. Using hand to stir regularly into the pot, dipping big chopstick to the powder mixure and then putting it out on your palm, if powder curdles, the cake will be hard; sometimes if powder is not mixed up well, it’s necessary to put more water; if powder spills all over, the cake will be flabby; if powder drops on the palm in round coin shape, it’s alright.

After taking drop, heat-up the pot on fire; keep on stiring till the mixure become solid, non-sticky. While the powder mixure hot, we take a piece of powder, roll over and over, and then divided into smaller pieces at small apple size. After that, press that each small piece out and put the patching in the center and then knead till round and smooth. The patching could be optionally including grilled peanut or chopped meat cooked with onion. Prepare another pot with boiled water, after kneading cakes, putting them into that pot to boil (as boiling floating cake), when cakes float, fishing out to put into a basket.  That is finishing all steps.

Cakes made in this way are glossy, glutinous, adhesive which contain flavor of carefully selected native rice, fatty flavor of meat and onion, it’s extremely tasteful!

According to Vinh Phuc Culture


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