Bánh Đúc Lạc Recipe

Lastest Updated April 19, 2024
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Vietnamese Northern plain rice cake, locally known as bánh đúc lạc, is a traditional dish from the Northern region of the country. This dish is made from rice flour mixed with clear limewater and then enhanced with crunchy boiled peanuts.

As the cake is fairly plant in taste, Vietnamese love to dip it in a rich soybean paste. The cake can be enjoyed as a hearty dish or snack.

In case you want to make banh duc lac yourself, I’ll show you the guidance to make it, from the tools and ingredients to making steps. There are some great tips for you in preparing the rice cake.

Let’s start the reading with the general information of Northern plain rice cake.

What Is Northern Plain Rice Cake (Banh Duc Lac)?

Northern plain rice cake (banh duc lac) is a traditional Vietnamese dish characterized by its simplicity and subtle flavors.

It is a soft, non-sweet cake made primarily from rice flour, limewater, and peanuts. This mixture is cooked until it forms a smooth and thick consistency.

These peanuts enrich the dish with a distinct richness and a contrasting crunch to the soft, jelly-like texture of the rice cake.

Traditionally, bánh đúc lạc is served as a cool dish and normally paired with savory sauce, particularly a fermented soybean sauce, which adds an umami flavor to the otherwise mild rice cake.

Originating in Hanoi around the 1960s, bánh đúc lạc was a popular snack sold by vendors near collective housing.

Today, you can easily find this rice cake at various spots throughout Hanoi, including street food stalls and well-known markets like Dong Xuan Market, as well as along Hang Be Street.

FYI, there is another style of Northern rice cake. This version is a savory, white-colored dish with a soft and gooey texture. It’s served hot with toppings like ground pork, wood-ear mushrooms, green onions, and fried shallots and accompanied by a fish sauce.

What Are Tools To Make Banh Duc Lac?

To make banh duc lac, there are 8 main tools to prepare:

  • Bowl: For mixing the rice flour and lime water.
  • Cooking Pot: To cook the peanut beans used in the dish.
  • Pot for Stirring Dough: Specifically designed for stirring the rice flour mixture.
  • Sieve: To strain and ensure a smooth texture of the mixture.
  • Mold: For shaping the Banh Duc Lac into its traditional form.
  • Cutting Board: To cut the whole cake into smaller pieces.
  • Knife: To cut the cake.
  • Laddle: To scoop and transfer the rice flour mixture smoothly and evenly.

What Are the Ingredients For Banh Duc Lac?

To make this Northern plain rice cake of Vietnam, you will need simple ingredients as below:

  • Peanuts: They need to be soaked before making the rice cake. They add the crunchiness to the soft texture of the rice cake.
  • Slaked lime powder: This ingredient is used to make limewater, which will be added to the rice batter. It’ll make the cake more chewy and elastic.
  • Clean water: Essential for mixing with rice flour and slaked lime powder to create the base of the cake.
  • Rice flour: The primary ingredient that forms the body of the rice cake.
  • Fermented soybean paste (tương bần in Vietnamese): A savory paste complements the mild taste of the rice cake.
  • Lemon juice: It adds a hint of acidity to balance the flavors in the dish.
  • Sugar: It’s used to sweeten the fermented soybean paste to enhance its flavor.
Banh Duc Lac Ingredients

How to Make Banh Duc Lac?

Here are the steps to create this Northern Vietnamese rice cake, which include preparing lime water, cooking peanuts, mixing and cooking the rice batter, shaping the cake, and preparing the dipping sauce. Here is detailed information.

Step 1: Prepare Limewater

Mix 2 liters of water with slaked lime powder and wait for the powder to settle. You’ll use clear limewater for this cake.

Banh Duc Lac Step 1 Prepare Limewater
Banh Duc Lac Step 1 Prepare Limewater1

Step 2: Cook the Peanuts

Soak peanuts in water for 5 hours or overnight, then rinse them clean.

Banh Duc Lac Step 2 Cook the Peanuts

Boil the peanuts in water for about 20 minutes until cooked, then drain and set aside.

Banh Duc Lac Step 2 Cook the Peanuts1

Step 3: Mix and Cook the Rice Batter

Combine rice flour with prepared limewater, stirring well. Cook on medium heat, constantly stirring. As the mixture thickens, reduce the heat and continue stirring until the batter becomes elastic.

Banh Duc Lac Step 3 Mix and Cook the Rice Batter

Then, add the boiled peanuts and stir until the batter is fully cooked.

Banh Duc Lac Step 3 Mix and Cook the Rice Batter1

Step 4: Shape the Cake

Pour the mixture into a mold, spreading it evenly.

Banh Duc Lac Step 4 Shape The Cake

Allow the cake to cool completely before removing it from the mold and cutting it into edible pieces.

Banh Duc Lac Step 4 Shape The Cake1
Banh Duc Lac Step 4 Shape The Cake2

Step 5: Prepare the Dipping Sauce and Serve

Mix 2 tablespoons of fermented soybean paste, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of sugar in a bowl and stir well. Finally, serve them in slices to easily dip in the sauce.

Banh Duc Lac Step 5 Prepare the Dipping Sauce

The completed banh duc lac is soft and chewy, blending perfectly with the nutty flavor of peanuts and the unique taste of the dipping sauce, creating a delicious and attractive dish.

What Are Tricks for Making Banh Duc Lac?

Below are some ideal tricks to upgrade your banh duc lac or make it simpler for you.

  • You can use an egg beater to mix peanuts with the batter for better integration.
  • If lime water is unavailable, regular water can substitute, but the cake’s texture might be less chewy.
  • Adjusting the boiling time for peanuts is based on their size. Smaller peanuts require less time.
  • Soaking peanuts prior to cooking to soften them will reduce their required cooking time.

What Are Other Vietnamese Dishes To Try?

  • Bánh Đúc Lá Dứa (Pandan Rice Cake): A Southern rice cake made from rice flour, pandan leaf extract, served with syrup, and coconut milk, along with sprinkles of sesame seeds.

Enjoy The Simple Yet Special Banh Duc Lac

Northern plain rice cake doesn’t require any fancy components or complex preparation methods. Still, it’s a satisfying and fulfilling treat for Vietnamese, especially Northern people.

Share this guide with friends and family who appreciate the art of simple cooking, and don’t hesitate to comment with your own experiences of Vietnamese dishes or other rice cake recipes.

Banh Duc Lac

Vietnamese Northern Plain Rice Cake (Banh Duc Lac)

Let’s explore the simplicity of Northern Vietnamese cuisine with banh duc lac, a traditional rice cake combined with peanuts served with soybean-based sauce. This easy-to-follow guide will help you create this delightful dish in your kitchen.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 290kcal

Ingredients

Ingredients List:

  • 3.5 ounces 100g of soaked peanuts
  • 0.7 ounces 20g of slaked lime powder
  • 2 liters of water
  • 10.6 ounces 300g of rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons of soybean paste
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar

Instructions 

  • Dissolve slaked lime powder in water. Use the clear limewater after the powder settles.
    Banh Duc Lac Step 1 Prepare Limewater1
  • Cook soaked peanuts.
    Banh Duc Lac Step 2 Cook the Peanuts1
  • Mix and cook rice flour batter (including limewater). Cook on medium heat while stirring continuously until the mixture becomes stretchy.
    Banh Duc Lac Step 3 Mix and Cook the Rice Batter
  • Add cooked peanuts and stir until fully cooked.
    Banh Duc Lac Step 3 Mix and Cook the Rice Batter1
  • Pour the mixture into a mold, spreading evenly.
    Banh Duc Lac Step 4 Shape The Cake
  • Allow to cool completely before cutting into pieces.
    Banh Duc Lac Step 4 Shape The Cake2
  • Prepare dipping sauce by combining 2 tablespoons of soybean paste with 1 teaspoon each of lemon juice and sugar.
    Banh Duc Lac Step 5 Prepare the Dipping Sauce

Video

Notes

  • Use an egg beater for optimal peanut integration into the batter.
  • Can substitute regular water for lime water.
  • Adjust boiling time for peanuts based on their size.
  • Soak peanuts before cooking to soften them.

Nutrition

Calories: 290kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 148mg | Potassium: 162mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 0.05IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg
Tien - Alden

Tien – Alden

Content Writer

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Home Cooking, Recipe Development, Food Editor, Beverage Editor, Cooking-video Maker, Asian Food Content Creator

Education

Saigon Tourism College

  • Program: Certificate in Culinary Arts
  • Focus: Vietnamese and Chinese cuisines.

Advanced Culinary Workshop, Beijing

  • Program: A three-month intensive program of Advanced Culinary Workshop
  • Focus: Authentic Chinese cuisine.

Vietnamese Traditional Cooking School

  • Program: Certificate of Vietnamese Traditional Cooking
  • Focus: A specialized course on traditional and family recipes passed down through generations.

American College of Vietnam

  • Program: Bartender
  • Focus: Provide background knowledge and help students confident to create appealing drinks

Alden is a skilled chef with expertise in Asian cuisines, known for blending traditional Vietnamese and Chinese cooking with contemporary innovations. Alden’s passion for Asian flavors and her creative approach to both food and beverages inspires fellow chefs and those aspiring to enter the field.

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