Vietnamese five-colored cylindrical sticky rice cake

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A: Hello and welcome to VOV 24/7’s Food Delight. We’re A and B. And we’re so excited to share with you some cooking tips on today’s program.
B: Hello, you guys. Hello, A. Tet - Vietnamese Lunar New Year is just around the corner and it’s now time to start counting down the days until 2017. Hey A, what are you doing to prepare for Tet?
A: Uhm. Tet preparations are in full swing at my home. And me, I'm now rolling my sleeves up to prepare as many gifts as possible to give to my loved ones. You know, on such a special occasion, handmade gifts convey so much more than something bought at a gift shop. How about you, B? Have you finished your to-do list yet?
B: Me? Oh, not yet. You know, thinking about what to do those days sometimes makes me very confused. Last year I made a batch of traditional cylindrical sticky rice cakes for my family and friends. Oh, god. You can’t imagine how happy they were to receive such a special gift. But this year…*sigh*. What should I do when I have no idea what to do? Please give me a hint.
A: Uhm. Let me think. How about making five-colored cylindrical sticky rice cakes? Instead of making it plain, we can make it in the form of a beautiful flower with different colored petals. The art I’m talking about here happens inside the roll. Different ingredients are intentionally layered before getting rolled up, and wow, flower is only revealed when the roll is cut into individual pieces.
Vietnamese five-colored cylindrical sticky rice cake - ảnh 1
Traditional Vietnamese cylindrical sticky rice cakes are made from glutinous rice, fatty pork, and mung bean only; this special version of the cake is made by adding natural colors taken from different kinds of fruits and vegetables (Source: mulanbepnhe.blogspot)
B: Really? I’ve seen flowers decorating a cupcake, maybe even decorating a drink, but making a cake so that the inside looks like a flower when you cut it sounds unbelievable. For a newbie cook like me, I bet it’s impossible.
A: Don’t worry if you’ve never made a five-colored cake before. Today I invited Mrs. Ngoc Ha, who has many years of experience making cakes, to the studio. She’ll walk us beginners through the steps of making this stunning masterpiece. 
B: Really? I can’t tell you how curious I am, A. Let’s get started! “Traditional Vietnamese cylindrical sticky rice cakes are made from glutinous rice, fatty pork, and mung bean only; this special version of the cake is made by adding natural colors taken from different kinds of fruits and vegetables. The red is taken from the flesh of the baby jackfruit, while the purple is taken from the magenta plant’s extract. Pandan leaves can give the cake a light green color, while mung beans provide a yellow color.”
A: Hey, B, I think we’ll need a blender or juicer and a strainer to extract the colors before soaking the rice. This cake is not only pleasing to the eye, it’s made from healthy ingredients. If you’re looking for new ways to get creative in the kitchen, you should really try this recipe. 
B: Yep. So, what’s the next step? How do we use these colors to make a flower? 
A: Uhm. I’m sure Mrs. Ngoc Ha has the answer. Let’s listen. “The five-colored cylindrical sticky rice cakes require much more time and patience to make than the original version. The first and most important step is to select high-quality glutinous rice, which is then soaked in bowls of color for several hours before mixing with coconut extract and a bit of salt. Afterwards, steam the soaked rice until it’s half-cooked. Spread each color of rice on a flat surface and roll each color into a separate cylinder. These will be the petals of a flower. Carefully arrange all the rolls around the meat strips to form a flower and wrap your flower in several layers of Dong leaves to form a cylinder-shaped cake.”  
Vietnamese five-colored cylindrical sticky rice cake - ảnh 2
It might be tricky to master all the steps the first time, but making this cake is an opportunity for family members to get together and bond in the holiday spirit (Source: Amthucit.com)
A: The petals of the flower need to be of equal proportion, so you’ll need a scale to measure out your rice. To prevent the Dong leaf from coming apart during cooking, the cake is usually tied up carefully with strings made of young bamboo before being steamed for several hours until the cakes are fully cooked inside and out. The cake might take a little practice, but the result will be spectacular.
B: I have to admit that using sticky rice as a “canvas” on which to create beautiful art is a brilliant idea. It might be tricky to master all the steps the first time, but making this cake is an opportunity for family members to get together and bond in the holiday spirit. “Although the cylindrical sticky rice cake takes time to master, I think it’s worth the effort. Imagine how festive and beautiful your Tet tray will be with these special flowers on it. And in Vietnam the number five represents the five elements that create the well-being of heaven, earth, and humans, so the five-colored cylindrical sticky rice cake has a special symbolic meaning during the Tet holiday. ”  
  A: Those cakes are fun to make and attractive to the eye. No one can resist it because it’s beautiful, delicious, and very good for your health. 
B: We hope we’re inspired you to experiment with a batch of cylindrical sticky rice cakes. Give it a try at home and amaze your loved ones with your creativity. Enjoy and have a delightful time. And now, good bye. Join again next week on VOV24/7’s Food Delight. 

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