3 Ways to Identify Boiled Sticky Rice Cakes Made with Batteries, Never Worry about Buying the Wrong One for Tet

To avoid buying low-quality, toxic bánh chưng, pay attention to the following points.


Rice cake is a traditional Vietnamese dish that is often made during the Lunar New Year. It takes at least 8-10 hours to boil a pot of rice cakes.

Therefore, some sellers find ways to shorten the cooking time, helping to save costs. One of the most common ways is to cook rice cakes with batteries.

Why is cooking rice cakes with batteries faster?

Batteries, especially lithium batteries, contain electrolytes, usually potassium hydroxide – an alkali. In addition, it also contains substances that can promote electrochemical reactions to generate current.

The characteristic of an alkaline environment is that it helps starch absorb water better. Therefore, if you put batteries in the pot with the rice cakes, the cakes will cook faster.

Of course, using batteries to cook rice cakes will not make them as fragrant as when cooked traditionally. In particular, cakes cooked this way can pose a potential health risk.

How to identify rice cakes cooked with batteries

Outer leaf wrapping

Rice cakes cooked in the traditional way take 8-10 hours for the rice to become soft. Therefore, the outer leaf wrapping will turn slightly yellow.

Meanwhile, rice cakes cooked with batteries often have a purplish or vibrant green color like freshly wrapped leaves.

Surface of the cake

Ordinarily cooked rice cakes will have a slightly pale green or yellowish surface, with the glutinous rice not fully cooked. On the other hand, rice cakes cooked with batteries will have a bluish-green crust, the rice grains are fully cooked, and it looks more attractive.

However, in some cases, the packer can mix glutinous rice with pandan leaf juice to create a green color for the cake. In that case, the cake may also have a darker green color.

For rice cakes made with purple sticky rice and have a purple crust, they can be recognized by the color of the outer leaf wrapping and the filling inside.

Filling inside the cake

With normally cooked rice cakes, the glutinous rice will be very chewy, with a distinctive aroma and a firmer texture. On the other hand, rice cakes cooked with batteries have no fragrance, the glutinous rice is not chewy as it is forced to cook quickly, and the cake is not firm.

During the process of eating the cake, if you notice any strange flavors, unusual colors on the cake crust, or symptoms such as stomach pain and nausea, you should stop eating the cake immediately.

Source: Xe và thể thao

Frequently asked questions

Some sellers, aiming to reduce cooking time and costs, use batteries as a shortcut. Batteries, particularly lithium batteries, contain electrolytes (often potassium hydroxide) which create an alkaline environment. This alkalinity enhances starch’s water absorption, thus speeding up the cooking process.

Rice cakes cooked with batteries often have a vibrant purple or green color, resembling fresh leaves. The surface of the cake has a bluish-green crust, and the rice grains are fully cooked. However, they lack the traditional fragrance and have a softer texture. Additionally, they may pose potential health risks.

Rice cakes cooked with batteries often have colorful outer leaf wrappings that remain fresh-looking. The surface of the cake is uniformly bluish-green, and the rice is thoroughly cooked. In contrast, traditionally cooked rice cakes have a pale green or yellowish surface, with a chewier texture and a distinct aroma.

Yes, rice cakes cooked with batteries may pose potential health hazards. If you notice any strange flavors, unusual colors on the cake crust, or experience stomach pain and nausea after consuming them, stop eating immediately and seek medical advice if symptoms persist.
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