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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Reminiscing rustic flavor of nam cake

By Ngoc Huyen

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Nam cake is a mouthwatering street food delicacy in Hue that captivates both domestic and international tourists with its irresistible first bite.

Made from rice flour, shrimp, and meat, nam cake is wrapped in small rectangular dong leaves. The key to creating a delectable nam cake lies in the dough. A well-balanced mixture of rice flour and water is carefully boiled. The cook must stir the mixture consistently to achieve the perfect dough consistency, avoiding it from being too wet or too dry.

The filling of the nam cake comprises cleaned and pureed shrimp and pork. They are stir-fried together with minced onions and a blend of spices, enhancing the cake’s characteristic aroma.

The wrapping process plays a crucial role in crafting a quality nam cake. The dong leaves are layered, and a thin coating of cooking oil, dough, and the shrimp-pork mixture are added in between. The cake is then wrapped into a rectangular shape and steamed for 10-15 minutes, creating a mouthwatering batch of nam cake.

Diners savor the nam cake by dipping it into a small bowl of fish sauce mixed with a few slices of green chili. It’s recommended to enjoy the cake slowly, allowing it to melt on the tongue. The soft and delicate dough blends harmoniously with the flavorful filling of shrimp and pork, complemented by a subtle spiciness from the chili. Despite its simple preparation and ingredients, nam cake encapsulates the culinary excellence and thoughtfulness that Hue people aim to convey to their diners.

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