Coming to Can Tho, the province that is famously named “the place of white rice and pure water”, tourists would be impressed much by the peaceful and beautiful scene of the waterways in this place as well as the special flavor of the sewer cake – also the specialty of this land.
Among lots of appetizing food of the South West, if you tasted the sewer cake for just one time, you would hardly forget all special tastes of it: sweet, salty, greasy and crunchy. All those flavors mix in a very clever way, along with the taste of the sauce; have created such a wonderful dish.
The name “sewer cake” somehow sounds quite strange. It is named so because the mould using to make the cake has the shape of the sewer, with a deep bowel, like a coffee filter. In the past, the mould was made from the bamboo tree. Nowadays, people make it from aluminum, which make it both durable and easier to use.
The main ingredient used to make the cake is rice flour, mung bean, chopped meat and shrimp. An innkeeper from the South West told us that if we want to have a good cake, then we should be very careful in the way we blend the flour and mix the stuffing of the cake. Those are very important phases to make to the cake crunchy and moreish.
The flour using to make the cake include three-fourths of rice and one fourth of sticky rice. Soak the rice in the water with a little salt for one night and then grind it. Then, squeeze to make it dry and finally mix it with one third of wheat flour and scallion.
To make the stuffing, we soak the mung beans into water until they remove their peels and boil them. Then, chop and fry the meat and mix all of them together. One more important ingredient to make the stuffing is shrimp. We should choose the fresh ones, clean them and remove the antenna.
After preparing the flour and the stuffing, we turn to the next shape, frying. Firstly, pouring the oil into a frying pan, which has a deep bowel, and waiting until the oil boiling. Next, spoon the flour and the stuffing into the mould one after another, then pour a little flour over and put some shrimp onto the mould. Dip the sewer mould in the boiling oil, notice to keep the fire small so that the cake would be crunchy from the cover to the stuffing.
A very interesting point when enjoying the sewer cake is that customer can eat while watching the makers fry the cake. We can eat and fry the cake nearly at the same time, which make the cake become more special.
After being finished, the cake forms like a sewer and has an appetizing yellow as well as a greasy taste. The sewer cake is used with sauce and raw vegetables. The fish sauce is sweet, sour and salty, with a little hot of chili. We can also use this cake with rice vermicelli, very delicious. This simple and rustic dish has enchanted so many customers who come to Can Tho, the place of “white rice and pure water”.