Chive cakes, willow leaf cakes and radish cakes are among the dozens of Chinese dishes you can find at Phung Hung Market in HCM City's District 5, known as a Chinese food heaven.
A dish of willow leaf cakes.
Chinese chive cakes are made from rice flour and served either flat, round or square. Traditionally, rice flour is mixed with warm water, then hand-kneaded until the dough reaches a soft, supple and smooth texture. Chives are cut, then added to the dough, which is steamed.
The final step involves deep-frying the cakes until crispy.
Willow leaf cakes are a snack popular in China's Chaozhou city. The dumpling powder crust is typically filled with sticky rice, dried shrimp, pork, pickled radish and spring onions, very similar to a steamed, salty sticky rice dish.
The cake has a purple pink colour and is considered a symbol of luck and longevity. Chaozhou people often include willow leaf cakes in their ceremonies.
Radish cakes are considered a lucky new year dish in Chaozhou. The cake is made from sticky rice flour and white radish, shredded into fibres, drained of liquid, then stir-fried before mixing. Dried shrimp, shiitake mushrooms, five-flavour seasoning, or sausages can be added before steaming.
Most dishes cost only VND5,000 to VND35,000 (US$0.22-1.50).
There are many types of cakes in Vietnam, with different styles and flavors.
Of all the snacks that have been enjoyed by Vietnamese students throughout the years, the sweet and creamy bò bía ngọt (sweet popiah) is one of the most popular.