Making Sticky Rice Cake (Banh Tet)

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February 19, 2020

pile of Sticky Rice CakeThis sticky rice cake is only sold around Chinese New Year, but you can make this year-round! What's great is that you can also cut down the cooking time with an instant pot. As reference, I was able to make 6 in a 6 quart Instant Pot.


Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 6


  • 4 cups glutinous rice
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp ground pepper
  • 4 cloves shallots
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1 lb mung beans
  • 1 lb pork belly
  • 1 package banana leaves (frozen)
  • 6 lucky red envelopes (optional)
  • string
  • water
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • Optional sushi rolling mat
  • saran wrap
  • 3 tsp pandan extract
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil


  1. Place sticky rice in a bowl. Pour water until leveled with rice. Allow to soak for 2 hours. Do the same with the black beans and soak for 2 hours.
  2. Drain water out of the rice. Sprinkle 2 tsp salt and mix. Also drain black beans and set aside.
  3. In a large pan, add oil and your drained rice over medium heat. Stir the rice and add pandan extract, black beans and 1 cup water. Cook for about 10 minutes until rice expands. Set aside.
  4. Sticky Rice in pan

  5. Add mung beans in a pot. Pour water until leveled and cook over medium heat until soft. This will take about 15 minutes. Then mash.
  6. After mashing mung beans, divide 6 pieces and roll into Saran Wrap.
  7. saran wrapped rolled mung bean
  8. For the pork belly, cut into pieces and marinate with salt, pepper and soy sauce. Divide the pork belly into 6 portions.
  9. Using a sushi mat makes it easier but it's optional. Ready to roll. Unwrap one of the mung beans and flatten. Then add your meat and roll back up.
  10. Sticky Rice Cake (Banh Tet)
    dough laid with meat filling on sushi mat
    shusi mat rolled Sticky Rice Cake
  11. Divide the sticky rice and pat rectangle. And put your mung bean with meat roll over the sticky rice. Then roll it up.
  12. Sticky Rice Cake (Banh Tet)
    Sticky Rice Cake (Banh Tet)

  13. Lay over 2 banana leaves. And wrap with string securely. Repeat this step until you're done.
  14. Sticky Rice Cake on banana leaf
    Sticky Rice Cake in banana leaf
    string around banana leaf wrapped Sticky Rice Cake
    string around banana leaf wrapped Sticky Rice Cake
  15. Place your 6 sticky rice cakes in your instant pot and pour water up to the max line. In an instant pot, cook on high pressure for 1 hour and natural release.
  16. pile of wrapped Sticky Rice Cakes
    Sticky Rice Cake in instant pot
  17. Allow sticky rice cake to dry. Then optional - wrap with Saran Wrap and add a lucky money envelope.
  18. wrapped Sticky Rice Cakes

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