Try the Memorable Specialty Dish at Highland Market

Are you curious about the origin and recipe of the mouthwatering corn dumplings from the highland market? Here, we will uncover the secrets behind the unique and beloved treats that leave such a memorable impression.

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The corn cake is a renowned specialty from Lao Cai province, particularly originating from Si Ma Cai – a small district in the Northeast of Lao Cai. It is commonly found at highland markets, most notably at Bac Ha market.

The corn cake consists of two main components – the cake part and the sour broth part. The cake part is made from ground corn and lime water, while the sour broth part is made from cane sugar, khuôn, and chín.

Once the corn cakes are completed, they are brought to the market for sale. When customers purchase them, the sellers will cut the cakes into small pieces, place them in bowls, and add d?u x?. Finally, the sour broth is poured into the bowl. It is then stirred evenly and enjoyed with chopsticks.

The corn cake has a distinct and delightful flavor. The sweet and sour taste of the broth combines perfectly with the refreshing taste of the corn cake, along with the aromatic flavor of peanuts, the spicy taste of ground chili, and d?u x?, leaving a memorable impression on the diners.

The affordable price of a bowl of corn cake, ranging from 15,000 – 20,000 VND/bowl, allows everyone to savor the delicious and chewy treat without any concerns about the cost!

1. Introduction to corn cake

Corn cake is a renowned specialty of Lao Cai province, specifically originating from Si Ma Cai – a small district in the Northeast of Lao Cai. When visiting highland markets, particularly Bac Ha market, it is not hard to find corn cake displayed in large pots.

The main components of a corn cake are the cake part and the sour broth part. Ground corn and lime water are used for the cake part, while cane sugar, khuôn, and chín are used for the sour broth part.

Corn cakeCorn cake

Once the corn cakes are ready, they are taken to the market for sale. When customers buy them, the sellers will cut the cakes into small pieces, place them in bowls, and add d?u x?. Finally, the sour broth is poured into the bowl. All that remains is to pick up the chopsticks, stir it well, and savor the dish!

The corn cake is known for its delicious and unique flavor. The sweet and sour taste of the broth blends with the refreshing taste of the corn cake, complemented by the aromatic flavor of peanuts, the spiciness of ground chili, and d?u x?, captivating diners from their very first bite.

With a price ranging from 15,000 – 20,000 VND/bowl, the corn cake is an affordable and delectable treat, ensuring that everyone can indulge in its chewy and flavorful goodness without any worry about the cost!

2. Learn how to make corn cake

The cake part

Ingredients:

  • Ground corn
  • Lime water

Instructions:

Step 1: Start by drying and cleaning the corn kernels, then grind them in a small stone mortar. Afterward, carefully sift the corn flour to remove the outer husk.

Step 2: Once the corn flour is clean, soak it in lime water for approximately 2 days and 2 nights.

Sifting corn and soaking in lime waterSifting corn and soaking in lime water

Step 3: After 2 days and 2 nights, place the soaked corn flour into a grinding stone and grind it until it becomes a smooth paste.

Step 4: Cook the mixture of corn flour and water on the stove over medium heat. Stir continuously until the corn mixture boils, thickens, and turns a consistent yellow color. Then, turn off the heat. Finally, pour the cooked dough mixture into molds and allow it to cool completely.

Making the cake partMaking the cake part

Step 5: Finished product

After the corn cake is made, it is taken to the market. When someone wants to purchase it, the seller will either cut it or use a bào to create threads. This results in beautiful and shiny threads of corn cake, which are then placed in a bowl with sour broth.

Finished product of corn cakeFinished product of corn cake

The sour broth part

Ingredients:

  • Cane sugar
  • Rice vinegar
  • Ripe fruits

Cane sugar - the main ingredient of the sour broth partCane sugar – the main ingredient of the sour broth part

Instructions:

Step 1: Cut the cane sugar into small pieces, dissolve it in lukewarm water according to a certain ratio, then boil and let it cool.

Step 2: Once the sugar water has cooled, add a little rice vinegar and various ripe fruits. Stir well and pour the mixture into jars or bottles.

Finally, seal the jars or bottles tightly to allow the sour broth to ferment naturally. After 2 – 3 days of fermentation, the sour broth is ready to be used.

Sour broth partSour broth part

Step 3: Finished product

The seller pours the sour broth into a bowl, then adds corn cakes and herbs. The corn cake has a unique flavor that is characteristic of the highland region.

Combining the soft and chewy corn cake with the flavorful sour broth, it can be enjoyed with d?u x? to fully experience the dish’s taste. If you have the chance to visit this place, make sure to give it a try!

Sour broth served with corn cakeSour broth served with corn cake

Above is our article about corn cake, a specialty of highland markets that leaves a lasting impression on anyone who tries it. We hope that you find this information useful!