In Hue, there is a cake that combines two different types of cake, which is both crispy and flexible, fatty but not tired because it is dipped with sweet and sour fish sauce, that is Banh Ram It (little ram cake).
It seems that ram cake and little cake are two cakes that do not go well with each other, but through the talented hands of Hue women, ram little cake has become a rustic dish of Hue that is known by tourists near and far.
Banh Ram It has two clearly separated parts: the ram cake part and the little cake part. Although the processing method is different, both cakes are made from glutinous rice. Glutinous rice cake must be delicious, white and flexible. Glutinous rice is ground into powder, mixed with a little salt, and warmed up little by little. Use your hands to knead the dough until it forms a smooth, soft, but not mushy mass, shape into small balls with two fingers. Whole shrimp, diced pork belly, seasoned with sugar, delicious fish sauce, pepper, minced purple onion, add a little oil or fat and simmer for 15 minutes. Rub a little cooking oil in your hands, press each dough ball into a flat shape, take a spoon to scoop the shrimp meat and put it in the middle and then roll it up. Put the cake in the tray, steam for about 10 minutes after the water boils. The cake is pliable and white in color. When the cake is cooked, take it out and let it cool. Cover with banana leaves to prevent the cake from drying out, but remember not to cover it or it will be sour. Unlike small cakes, when kneading the dough, the ram cake is a little less watery to make the dough a bit hard. The ram cake does not need to be filled, the cake is fried on a greasy pan until it is crispy and has a dark golden color. Remove the cake and place on absorbent paper to drain the oil. Place a small cake on top of the ram cake, use chopsticks to flatten the cake and press it firmly into the ram cake.
When putting out the plate, Hue people often put the pure white cake on top and then sprinkle a layer of burnt yellow shrimp powder, which looks very attractive. The unique feature of Banh Ram It is dipped with sweet and sour fish sauce specially prepared, not too salty or too sweet, adding the spicy taste of Hue chili slices. The combination of the crispy taste of ram cake with the aromatic and flexible taste of little cake and the sweet and salty taste of fish sauce has satisfied many diners.
From folklore, Banh Ram It was learned by royal families to become one of the royal dishes. Nowadays, visitors can easily find Banh Ram It in restaurants, snack shops or street vendors of dreamy Hue.