Thick Cake

Bánh Dày

Inspired by:
Banh Day Ngon
No 554 Alley, Truong Trinh Street, Hanoi

Yields: 10 Servings


4 banana leaves, approximately 14-inch x
vegetable oil, as needed for brushing
16 oz glutinous rice flour
2 t rice flour
½ t salt
1 ¾ c cold water
2 t vegetable oil

Meat Cake Mix

2 lbs pork, 80/20, ground twice
3 t fish sauce
1 t vegetable oil
½ t salt
1 t white pepper, ground
2 t sugar, granulated
1 clove garlic, minced
4 t ice cold water
1 t potato starch
¾ t baking powder

To Complete

6 banana leaves cleaned, approximately
14-inch x14-inch

For Dough

Cut banana leaves into 3-inch circles. Brush each lightly with oil and lay on
steamer tray about an inch apart from each other. Set aside. Sift dry ingredients
into mixing bowl. Slowly incorporate the water and 2 tablespoons oil. Combine
well until it can be formed into a soft ball. Pinch off a piece of dough and roll
into shape of golf ball. Place each ball onto banana leaf circle, gently pressing
each slightly, but not too much as it will flatten further when cooked. Repeat until all dough is used. Place tray in heated steamer. Steam for about 7-10 minutes or until completely opaque. Over steaming will cause it to flatten. Remove tray from steamer. Set aside.

Pork should stay cold at all times during this recipe. Place pork in freezer for
one hour prior to using. Chill one large and one small mixing bowls. Remove
pork from freezer, add pork, fish sauce, oil, salt, pepper, sugar, garlic and mix
thoroughly to large chilled bowl. In small chilled bowl mix water, potato starch,
baking powder. Fold completely into pork mixture. Cover bowl and refrigerate
overnight. When ready to prepare, bring steamer to boil. Lay out banana leaves
ready to be rolled. In small batches (keeping the pork cold), place mixture in food
processor to mix again prior to cooking. Pork should be smooth and glossy. Divide the pork into two plastic bags and place in freezer until firm and manageable, but not frozen. Remove the bags one at a time to shape into logs. Layer the banana leaves, shiny side up, perpendicular to each other so there are three leaves for each log. Shape and wrap into a log, covering all sides. Cut off excess banana leaves.
Tie loosely with twine to secure the shape, then wrap with plastic wrap. Steam
until the internal temperature reaches 165. Remove and allow to cool.

Pour three cups of the soy milk into large bowl. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, before heating, whisk the remaining 1 cup soy milk, gelatin, vanilla, until dissolved. Over medium-low heat, bring the liquid to a gentle boil in saucepan while whisking constantly. Once the liquid comes to a gentle boil, transfer the heated soy milk to the bowl with the 3 cups soy milk in it. Whisk well to remove any lumps. With a spoon, remove any bubbles on the top. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

For Toppings

Drain, then steam the mung beans for 15 minutes or until soft. Add mung beans,
salt, sugar, pepper to food processor and mix until smooth. Set aside. Fry pork belly
in skillet on medium high until crispy. Add garlic and scallions. Cook for another
minute. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the fat and transfer the pork to a plate lined with
paper towels. Drain shrimp. Pat dry with paper towels to remove moisture. Add
shrimp to food processor until mixture is fine. Heat the 2 tablespoons of pork fat
in skillet to medium. Add shrimp. Stir and heat for 5 more minutes. Set aside.

To Complete

Slice the meat cake. Place a piece of meat cake between two pieces of dough.