Te ingredients for making banh rom include sticky rice flour, pork, green beans and green banana leaves. To turn out a fragrant, sticky and mouth-watering cake, makers are required to have skills.
Banh rom is often made early in the rice harvest season when the fragrance of ripe rice spreads throughout the village. The name of rom may also come from golden rice straw that Vietnamese people call rom.
The first step of making banh rom is choosing the best sticky rice as it decides the quality of the cake. Sticky rice is harvested, dried under the sunlight for two days and husked carefully. Round and big grains of Hanoi sticky rice should be soaked in water for haft a day and then ground into white flour.
The next step is pouring all the flour into a bag, and using a heavy rock to squeeze all the water out. Its fillings are either salty or sweet. For the sweet type, makers just peel off green beans, cook and grind them with sugar. For the salty one, they need to use pork, wood ears, onion and pepper and then mix them together with spices.
Makers take a piece of flour, roll it into a ball, flatten it in their hands, put the fillings in the center, and roll the piece of flour into a ball again before it is wrapped with banana leaves already lubricated by a thin layer of cooking oil.
The cake then will be cooked for half an hour. When its fragrance comes out with steam, it is ready for serving.