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Specialty Food & Traditional Cuisine from Âu Lạc (Vietnam) -Malt: The Delicious and Nutritious Sweetener (In Aulacese)    
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Today’s A Journey through Aesthetic Realms will be presented in Aulacese (Vietnamese), Aulacese (Vietnamese), with subtitles in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Hungarian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Thai and Spanish.

Let us quickly cut the rice Let us harvest every grain-laden flower Oh, how happy we are!

Let us quickly cut the rice Let us harvest every grain-laden flower Oh, how happy we are!

Let us quickly cut the rice, every grain-laden flower Oh, how happy we are!

Let us quickly cut the rice Let us harvest every grain-laden flower Oh, how happy we are!

Let us quickly cut the rice Let us harvest every grain-laden flower Oh, how happy we are!

Let us quickly cut the rice, every grain-laden flower Oh, how happy we are!

You’ve just enjoyed a Quảng Ngãi folk song, “Hò Chanting for Rice Harvest,” from central Âu Lạc. It reflects the joyous singing of farmers during the harvest season on the paddies laden with ripe golden rice plants.

Âu Lạc, a beautiful country situated in Southeast Asia, with sub-tropical climate, is graced by Mother Nature with green plants and sweet fruits, all redolent and delectable throughout the four seasons. Depending on the weather conditions and culinary preferences of each region, the local people have skillfully created many savory dishes. In our program about Aulacese traditional cuisine, we are pleased to introduce the specialty foods of a land known for its freshness and abundance. Indeed, at a public lecture in the United States in March 1991, Supreme Master Ching Hai especially praised the rich natural resources of Âu Lạc.

“Âu Lạc is among the most enriched nations in this world: there are mines of gold, silver, uranium, lead, zinc, and tin. Âu Lạc has everything. There are morals, piety, harmony, and four thousands years of civilization. It is one of the most ancient countries in the world. Our land has always had abundant foods and fruits. I remember when I was a student there, there was a great variety of fruits when I went to Bình Dương and Long Thành. And rice! Aulacese indigenous rice, called Tám Thơm, is the most famous in Southeast Asia and in the world. There are also other products, dried or fresh, that are most popular in the world.”

We are deeply grateful to Supreme Master Ching Hai for her treasured words and boundless grace for the nation and people of peace-loving Âu Lạc.

Quảng Ngãi Province, Central Âu Lạc has a traditional occupation that is currently thriving: malt making. Malt is a traditional food derived from the essence of a gem of Heaven and Earth – rice grains and glutinous rice. The process of making malt results in a substance of gentle aroma, light taste, transparent yellow color, and a natural sweetness. Once having tasted malt, any visitor would fondly remember the land of Quảng Ngãi. We now invite you to visit one of the many malt production facilities in Quảng Ngãi to find out more about the steps in making this popular local specialty.

Raw materials to make malt consist of glutinous rice and rice sprouts. The process of making malt is as follows: Rice grains must be sifted really well, then we choose the firm ones and soak them overnight. After that, we rub and rinse them clean, then incubate for 4, 5 days. Before incubating the rice, line plastic canvas on the bottom and cover tightly on top so that sunlight cannot penetrate. That way the rice sprouts will have a good yellow color.

Otherwise, if sunlight seeps in, the rice sprouts will turn blue, and the malt won’t taste good. Make sure the rice sprouts’ roots do not grow through the bottom lining and turn black. Also, water them frequently. After about 6 to 7 days, the rice sprouts will be about 7 to 10 centimeters long. Thinly shred them, then sun dry. After drying, grind them, but remember not to grind too finely. Keep them at about 2 to 3 centimeters long. Then we proceed to make malt. Ground rice sprouts can be kept to use bit by bit for about 5 to 10 days.

After that, we can make another batch. Choose whole, unbroken glutinous rice. Wash them clean, then proceed to make steamed glutinous rice. Next, put the cooked glutinous rice into a big basin, add enough water to make a thick mixture, and stir it. Then add ground rice sprouts to the basin. The ratio is 10 kilograms glutinous rice to 1.1 kilograms ground rice sprouts.

Stir evenly. Keep the temperature at 50ºC to 65ºC. If it’s not hot enough, we can add hot water to maintain the required temperature. After stirring thoroughly, pour the mixture into a cask to brew. Line the cask’s outside with a layer of bamboo mat and its interior with a 10-inch layer of rice husks. On top of the cask, cover tightly with a lid.

Then top it with another layer of rice husks, about 10 – 15 centimeters thick. After brewing the mixture for 12 to 15 hours, transfer it to a cloth bag, and place the bag in a presser. Press the mixture to extract the rice’s essence. Once we obtain this extract, place it in a pot to cook. After about 4 to 5 hours of cooking, that extract will be concentrated. That is malt. This malt will be viscous, aromatic, and sweet.

In Âu Lạc, many places produce malt, but the best is made in Quảng Ngãi. The quality of Quảng Ngãi malt is well-known all over the country and abroad. Malt making villages are flourishing.

Thiên is Heaven, địa is Earth.

Thiên is Heaven, địa is Earth.

Cử is to preserve, tồn is to remain.

The legend about the origin of malt is quite interesting. Malt making appeared in Quảng Ngãi in the early 20th century, starting in Thi Phổ Village. It is said that Teacher Bảy in Thi Phổ Village, after sowing rice plants, forgot a basket which contained a few bowls of rice sprouts.

Please go back to have your meal.

Have you finished your homework today?

Yes, I did. After lunch, I will practice writing too. The next day, on his way home from school, Teacher Bảy suddenly remembered and went looking for his basket, only to find that the rice sprouts were all gone. Then he saw in the brushwood afar, a few country boys were savoring something that seemed quite delectable.

Later, he came to teach these boys to read and write; they in turn showed him to make a kind of food which they called “sugar from rice sprouts.” He found it to have a sweet and light taste. From then on, Teacher Bảy studied ways to make it and called it “malt.” Eventually, malt making became widely popular among the people.

It’s really good, Sister Tư!

So delicious! And it looks pretty too.

So tasty!

The experts share with us some of the secrets to making delicious and aromatic malt.

To make delicious malt, we must select good rice. The rice used to make steamed glutinous rice must be unbroken and the cooking water must be alum-free.

To make good malt, we must mix the correct proportion of rice and rice sprouts. The ratio has to be right. Too much rice sprouts will result in burnt and bitter malt. If there are too few rice sprouts, the malt won’t taste sweet; it’ll be unattractive and won’t have the golden color. When brewing malt, we must keep it airtight; otherwise the malt will be sour. We must brew at the right temperature, 70ºC. We must stir evenly, until the malt reaches the right level of concentration, then it’ll be aromatic and tasty.

Malt contains many nutrients such as starch, fat, protein, maltose, sucrose, amylase, vitamin B, vitamin C, and lecithin. Aside from being a food, malt is also a medicine used to treat a number of ailments. Physicians from the Eastern medicine tradition also use malt in combination with a number of medicinal herbs to treat symptoms such as bloating, acute hepatitis, milk cessation in women nursing their babies, low blood sugar, and children’s coughs.

Malt is made from rice sprouts, so it contains enzymes and readily absorbable substances. Therefore, malt is highly effective in helping the body digest starch-rich foods. Malt is also very good for people with weak digestion. Malt is delicious and nutritious because it contains lots of vitamins.

Malt is very wholesome because its vitamin source comes directly from pure rice sprouts, without involving any artificial chemicals. The sugar from malt is better than sugarcane sugar, because malt sugar can be used by the sick. In traditional medicine, people use malt to make medicine in place of honey because honey is an animal-derived ingredient.

Malt has another advantage; it can be kept for a long time without the use of preservatives.

To preserve malt for a long time, we need to boil it down to a proper concentration, not too dry or too moist. Keep it in airy and cool places. That’s all. No preservatives are needed.

Malt is used to make many kinds of cookies and candies. One of the most popular foods made from malt is malt rice cake.

Anyone for malt rice cake? Here’s malt rice cake! Malt rice cake, anyone?

Malt rice cake has a mild sweetness blended with the rich taste of coconut. Aromatic, delicious, healthy and easy to make, malt thus is very popular, especially among children.

Grandma, where is this malt jar from?

Miss Hồng just returned from Quảng Ngãi and gave it to me as a gift.

Grandma, last week, Tâm’s mother taught us how to make malt rice cake. It’s so easy and delicious! Since we have malt here, can I invite my classmates here? I want to make malt rice cake to treat them.

Yes, sweetie!

Hi everyone! (Hi Linh!) Come in!

That’s all the ingredients?

That’s right! It’s very simple to make, but very tasty. We just need toasted rice cake, malt, shredded young coconut, and toasted sesame. I’ve prepared everything.

Did you also prepare this toasted rice cake yourself?

I bought it at the market. But we can toast it ourselves too if we want. Now let’s toast the rice cake. First, we place the rice cake on the grid. Then we turn it over and over until it’s light brown evenly.

Now, let’s begin to make malt rice cake. We’ll spread malt on the rice cake until it evenly covers half of one side. Next, we’ll sprinkle shredded coconut on top, then add some toasted sesame. Now, all we have to do is fold half of the rice cake without malt to fit on top of the half with malt. That’s all. Very easy, isn’t it? Your turn to try!

Aside from making malt rice cake, malt can also be used as the main ingredient in many other products including malt peanut candy, Hà Tĩnh Cu Deux candy, sesame candy, and Bến Tre coconut candy; all are well-loved by both the children and adults.

Hi Sister, we’re just back from school!

Leave your school bags there and come here, let me wash your hands.

Yes.

How was school today? Anything interesting?

Yes, Second Sister. Yesterday, Linh gave us malt rice cake; it’s so good!

Really? But you know what, malt is also used to make many other foods.

What are those, Sister?

Let me see! We also have malt peanut candy, crunchy and spongy.

I’ve had malt peanut candy before. It was very good!

That’s right! There’s Cu Deux candy too. This candy is best when it’s made in Hà Tĩnh.

What is Cu Deux candy, Sister?

Cu Deux is the name of an elder from Hà Tĩnh. He was the first one who made this candy. Besides malt, Cu Deux candy also has ginger and lemon juice. All the ingredients are pressed between the two pieces of rice cakes. Stand here. Wait for me to put up the hammock so we can sit and enjoy.

Yes.

You can give me your school bags. I’ll put them away for you.

Sister, Cu Deux candy has ginger and lemon? It must be very tasty, right?

There’s Bến Tre coconut candy too. This candy is cooked from coconut milk and malt. It’s a specialty product of Bến Tre Province, originating in Mỏ Cày District. The coconut candy from here is very famous. That’s why there’s a song:

“Bến Tre has a long river and fresh water With Mỏ Cày Market renowned for its candies Mỏ Cày’s candies are rich and aromatic Mỏ Cày’s girls are skillful and dutiful.”

I love coconut candies, Sister!

Second Uncle from Huế came to visit and also brought sesame candies. Mom gave us some to eat, remember? (Yes.) Sesame candy is a specialty of Huế. This candy has both the light sweetness of malt and the aroma of sesame. You know, there are many other foods made from malt because products using malt in place of sugar are tasty, healthy, and nutritious.

Sister, next week is my birthday. Will you make me all these candies?

We don’t really need to make, sweetie; they’re sold in every candy store. Only Cu Deux candy, I’ll ask Uncle Eight from Hà Tĩnh to bring for you.

Thank you, Sister!

Nowadays, malt, especially the famous malt in Quảng Ngãi, has made its presence in many countries of the world. Almost any place where there are Aulacese people, malt is available. Malt is aromatic, sweet, light, and nutritious; thus it can be used as a healthy sugar alternative to make cakes, candies, and other edibles. In particular, carefully cooked malt can be kept for a very long time without resorting to preservatives harmful to our health. Malt will always be an authentic and richly Aulacese food.

Thank you for watching our program featuring a food specialty of Âu Lạc (Vietnam) – malt. Please tune in to Supreme Master Television for more on Aulacese traditional cuisine in future broadcasts. Coming up next is Vegetarianism: The Noble Way of Living, after Noteworthy News. Farewell for now.

Join us today on Golden Age Technology for part one of Supreme Master Television’s overview of this year’s Geneva International Motor Show and New York International Auto Show.
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