The interesting story behind Banh Chung

Nga Do
Banh Chung is a very popular dish in Vietnam. It mainly consists of sticky rice, green peas and pork. However, it is very seasonal, Vietnamese mainly eat it during the most important festival of the year: But it’s more than just a popular and traditional dish. There is a very interesting story behind Banh Chung, which everyone in Vietnam knows from childhood on.

The legend says that after a great victory over his enemies of the Shang Dynasty in the 17th century BC, the King of the 6th Hung dynasty could not decide which of his 18 sons should be his successor. For this reason he gave his sons one year time to prepare the best dish he’s ever eaten in his life. The son who serves him the best dish should become his successor.

Seventeen of his sons started to travel the world searching for the greatest dish that exists. Only the 18th son named Lang Lieu stayed at home. He was the poorest of all sons and did not have the opportunity to travel like his brothers did. Neither could he afford all the luxury ingredients they used. So he focused on the local ingredients to create a new dish for his father.

When the big day came and the contest came to an end the young prince served this dish to his father. The King was impressed by its taste by only using local ingredients, which also shows a great respect to the culture and the ancestors. None of the other dishes could compete with the Banh Chung made by Lang Lieu. He was later crowned King and found his way in the history books not only as inventor of Banh Chung but also as founder of the 7th Hung Dynasty, which ruled over the country for the following 200 years.

During the Tet festival, Banh Chung is the traditional dish in every family. Although it’s possible to buy it on every corner in this time of the year, most families prepare the dish themselves. Would you like to try Vietnam Cake at the biggest festival in Vietnam? Contact us now to plan a visit to the upcoming Lunar New Year Festival in Vietnam,

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