In previous blog posts, we have introduced Cốm – Vietnamese green flakes, a special ingredient of the Autumn and some amazing though easy recipes. This post presents ways Vietnamese use Cốm to make delicious desserts as a way to preserve the taste of Autumn.
Bánh Cốm (Cốm cake)
Bánh cốm is a Vietnamese dessert made from ground Cốm with mung bean paste. To make a traditional Banh Cốm, farmers have to select each of the Cốm grain from Vong village, marinate and stir-fry in a hot pan for about 2 hours until they become completely mingled. Beans for filling also have to be well-selected, soaked in water to hatch out, peeled, crushed up and mixed with coconut and sugar. For a long time, Bánh Cốm has become a famous specialty of Hanoi, that is also an indispensable dish in wedding ceremonies, traditional festivals and a featured dish all tourists want to try when visiting Hanoi.
Chè Cốm (Cốm sweet soup)
Chè Cốm or Cốm sweet soup is another Hanoian elegant classic dessert made with soft and sticky Cốm. Chè Cốm is incredibly easy to make, like most of other Che, and is perfect to served in Autumn. Main ingredients are Cốm, arrowroot Starch, and sugar. The dish is a velvety smooth that brings out the light cooling taste. The Cốm is soft and chewy, absorbing all the sweetness from the arrowroot starch syrup. In some places, they also use grapefruit fragrant, coconut milk, or Jasmine flower to enhance the flavour.
Cốm xào dừa
Cốm xào dừa literally means Cốm stir-fried with coconut. The dish is indeed easy to make at home. First, they put Cốm in a fried pan with low heat, add a little water to soften the grains. Once dried, add coconut crumbs, coconut milk and dissolved sugar, stir with a spatula or wooden chopsticks. Some sesame may be sprinkled to make the dish look even more appetising. Vietnamese usually use lotus leaves for wrapping to prevent it from drying out as well as to keep the aroma. In some areas, people may add lime juice or pineapple leaves which create a very peculiar taste. Cốm xào dừa is perfect with a cup of warm green tea for a cool Autumn afternoon.
Cốm ice-cream is very popular in Vietnam, from North to South. There are two types of Cốm ice-cream, one only with Cốm flavor and the other includes the Cốm grains inside. Currently, a lot of ice cream brands in Vietnam have made Cốm flavor ice-cream such as Trang Tien, Merino or Thuy Ta. Visitors can buy and enjoy Cốm ice cream all the time during the year. If you are travelling in Hanoi, you can find No 35 Trang Tien St which has a long time making ice-cream and try some.
Among these desserts, you can only find Bánh Cốm outside Vietnam, the others have to be tasted in their homeland. However, you can always buy some Cốm in Asia markets or purchase online and try to make them at home and enjoy the one-of-a-kind elegant taste of Vietnamese Autumn.
Author: Ha My