Bánh Giầy

Bánh giầy is a round Vietnamese sticky rice cake made from glutinous rice.

Lastest Updated January 6, 2024
Verified by A-Z Cuisines Team
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Fact: Bánh giầy is a correct name, though it is frequently misidentified as bánh dầy, bánh dày, or bánh giày.

Flag of Vietnam#63 in Vietnam

Basic Information

Bánh Giầy: Basic Information

Pronunciation

bahn yee-ay

Alternative Name(s)

No

Dish Type

Glutinous rice dishes, snacks

Course

Main Course

Mealtime

Anytime
Origin and Region

Bánh Giầy: Origin and Region

Origin

Vietnam

Continent’s Region

Southeast Asia

Country’s Region

Nationwide Origin

Associated Region

Unspecified
Vietnam Map
A Deep Dive

Popular Bánh Giầy Variations

Ingredients and Preparation

Bánh Giầy: Ingredients and Preparation

Main Ingredients

Glutinous rice

Main Cooking Method

Steaming or boiling

Preparation Process

Soak glutinous rice overnight, grind into a paste, shape into flat rounds, steam until soft and white, then oil and cover with a banana leaf to retain moisture.
A Deep Dive

Bánh Giầy: A Deep Dive

Cultural Significance

Symbol of gratitude to ancestors and sky

Taste

Mild (as a plain version), or slightly sweet or savory, depending on fillings or accompaniment

Texture

Soft, chewy, and sticky

Aroma

Mild

Color

Opaque white

Serving Style

Often served in pairs and wrapped in banana leaves

Serving Temperature

Warm or at room temperature

Accompaniment

Vietnamese sausage (for the savory version)

Occasions

New Year, festivals

Seasons

Year-round, spring

Special Diets

Gluten-free

Calories

180 – 320 kcal for 100 grams of bánh giầy.

Popularity

Vietnam

Popular Similar Dishes

  1. Mochi
  2. Tteok
  3. Nian Gao
  4. Puto

Popular Dining Area

Street vendors, eateries, and households in Vietnam

Bánh giầy (round sticky rice cake) is a traditional Vietnamese cake made from glutinous rice that is steamed or boiled and then finely pounded. It is a white, flat rice cake with a round shape, mirroring the shape and color of the sky according to Vietnamese beliefs.

Banh Giay Infographic

Moreover, bánh giầy may include a filling (e.g., mung beans and coconut strands), offering either sweet or savory flavors.

The texture of the cake is tender, sticky, and chewy. Locals typically wrap it in banana leaves and enjoy it alongside other dishes or present it as part of ceremonial or festive celebrations.

In the following sections, you’ll expand your knowledge about bánh giầy’s fascinating history, which is also related to bánh chưng, another traditional Vietnamese rice cake.

Making bánh giầy is also worth a try. Moreover, the round rice cake is also available in different variations in Vietnam.

Next, there are other details about the benefits and downsides of consuming bánh giầy. Last but not least, check out other dishes around the world that share some similarities with this Vietnamese round sticky rice cake. Let’s jump in the reading now!

Key Points

  • Bánh giầy is created from glutinous rice, steamed or boiled, and then finely pounded.
  • It is white, flat, and round to symbolize the sky.
  • It is properly referred to as bánh giầy, though often incorrectly called bánh dầy, bánh dày, or bánh giày.
  • There are options for fillings, typically involving mung beans and coconut.
  • It is historically associated with Prince Lang Lieu and the Hung King’s era.

Bánh Giầy Images

What Is the Origin of Bánh Giầy and Its Name?

The origin of bánh giầy is associated with the legend of Prince Lang Lieu and the ancient Hung Kings era. According to Vietnamese folklore, it was created to honor the sixth prince of Hùng King. The prince created the round cake to represent the sky, complementing the square bánh chưng, which symbolizes the Earth.

This legend emphasizes the cultural value of rice in Vietnam and the connection between nature and Vietnamese traditions. Over time, bánh giầy has become an essential food not just with the Hung Kings’ Festival but also with Tết, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year.

The name “bánh giầy” has evolved over time as well. Long ago, it was known as “bánh chì.” As the language changed, the “ch” in “chì” turned into “gi,” and the “i” became “ây,” making it “bánh giầy” as you know it today. Some people got mixed up with the word “dầy,” which means ‘thick,’ and started calling it “bánh dầy” by mistake.

As you just learned about bánh giầy history, I’ll show you how to create this traditional delicacy right in your home in the next part.

How to Make Bánh Giầy?

In Vietnam, locals normally make bánh giầy in 4 main steps, such as:

Step 1: Soak and Grind the Rice

Locals will soak glutinous rice overnight, then grind it into a smooth paste.

Step 2: Shaping Cakes

The paste will be formed into small, flat, and round cakes with or without a filling (based on region).

Step 3: Steaming Cakes

The cake will be steamed for around 8 to 10 minutes until soft and opaque white color.

Step 4: Covering Cakes With Banana Leaf

Once steamed, spread a bit of cooking oil on the bánh giầy’s surface and cover it with a banana leaf piece to prevent drying.

In the upcoming section, let’s pay attention to variations of this Vietnamese round sticky rice cake.

What Are Varieties of Bánh Giầy?

Below are three popular bánh giầy variations.

Banh Giay Gio

Consists of two pieces of Banh Giay, typically served with Vietnamese sausage (giò chả).

Banh Giay Ngot

Contains a sweet mung bean filling mixed with coconut strands.

Banh Giay Dau Xanh

Filled with mung bean paste and covered with a layer of finely ground mung beans on the outside.

Continue to the following section for more details about the advantages and disadvantages of this Vietnamese round sticky rice cake.

Pros and Cons of Eating Bánh Giầy

For a detailed view of bánh giầy’s positives and negatives, you should check the table below.

Pros

  • Cultural Experience: Enjoying bánh giầy connects you to Vietnamese traditions and celebrations.
  • Versatility: It can be eaten with Vietnamese sausage (savory version) or fillings (sweet version).
  • Portability: Easy to wrap, carry, and consume on the go.

Cons

  • Caloric Content: Bánh giầy can be high in calories, especially when filled with sweetened beans or meat.

Lastly, let’s turn to the following part for extended information about this round, flat rice cake-related inquiries.

Bánh Giầy FAQs

Yes, bánh giầy is made from glutinous rice and is naturally gluten-free.

Yes, the basic cake without fillings is vegan, and even when filled, it can be made with vegan-friendly ingredients.

While bánh giầy can be enjoyed anytime, it is traditionally associated with the Lunar New Year and other special occasions in Vietnam.

Bánh giầy should be kept in an airtight container to maintain its moisture and can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days.

Truc Tran (Kris)

Truc Tran (Kris)

Senior Food Editor

Expertise

Home Cooking, Meal Planning, Recipe Development, Baking and Pastry, Food Editor, Cooking-video Maker, Vietnamese Food Evaluation Expert

Education

  • Hospitality (Commercial Cookery) at TasTAFE
  • Culinary Arts at Kendall College (Australia Branch in Sydney)
  • Vietnamese Cuisine Head Chef at HNAAu School (Vietnam, International Joint Training Program)

Truc Tran (Kris), an experienced food writer and editor, is great at exploring and describing global cuisines, from simple street food to fancy dining. In her writing, she skillfully mixes different flavors, cooking methods, and culinary traditions, showing the unique character of various cultures through their food and drinks. On azcuisines.com, Kris highlights her knowledge, especially in Asian cuisine and worldwide traditional dishes.

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