Banh Gio: A countryside delight

Banh gio (sticky rice cake soaked in herbal ash water) is a dish typical of the countryside. The dish has won the hearts of city folk because of its simple but delicate taste. 

Banh gio used to be made only during the Doan Ngo Festival (the mid-year festival) as an offering to ancestors.

The dish has now become a favorite snack for Hanoians during summer days.

Banh gio is also called banh tro orbanh nang, depending on the locality it comes from. It is made from glutinous rice soaked in the water of the ashes of various herbs and fruits.

Banh gio is served with molasses .

To make banh gio, soak glutinous rice in water filtered from the ash burnt from pomelo peel, mistletoe, chinaberry fruit, thorny amaranth and rice straw. Wrap the glutinous rice in bamboo, banana or dong leaves in a pyramid shape. Boil from three to four hours, then drain and keep them in an airy place.

Banh gio is served with molasses which is the secret behind the special taste of the dish.

Recommended places for trying Banh gio in Hanoi:

Banh gio Hai, Hom market, No. 79, Hue street.

Banh gio Homefood, No. 19, Truc Khe street
and No. 26, Tran Binh Trong street.

Banh gio in the Dong Xuan Market alley.

Thanh Loan Food, No. 103, Quan Thanh street.

Story: Ngan Ha – Photos: Khanh Long