Steamed Rice Cakes with Dried Shrimp

Bánh Bèo Tôm Cháy

Inspired by:
Banh Beo Nam Loc Ba Do
No 8 Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, Phu Cat, Hue

Yields 8 Servings

Scallion Oil

¼ c vegetable oil
¼ t sea salt, fine
½ c scallions, thinly sliced, green part only

Rice Cake Batter

2 c rice flour
¼ c tapioca flour
1 t salt
½ t turmeric
4 c warm water

Topping

½ c mung beans, dried, split (soaked overnight)
1 t salt
1 t sugar
¼ t white pepper, ground
8 oz pork belly, skinless, cut into cubes
1 garlic clove, diced
4 t scallions, sliced
½ c shrimp, dried (soaked for 1hr)

To Complete

vegetable oil (as needed)

For Scallion Oil

Heat oil, salt in small saucepan over medium heat. Add scallions. Stir for 10
seconds. Remove from heat, transfer to another container. Refrigerate for 20
minutes to help scallions keep their color. Remove from fridge. Set aside.

Sift the batter dry ingredients together into bowl. Add water to the dry ingredients.
Whisk together until no sign of lumps. Set aside for 1 hour.

For Toppings

Drain, then steam the mung beans for 15 minutes or until soft. Add mung beans,
salt, sugar, pepper to food processor and mix until smooth. Set aside. Fry pork belly
in skillet on medium high until crispy. Add garlic and scallions. Cook for another
minute. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the fat and transfer the pork to a plate lined with
paper towels. Drain shrimp. Pat dry with paper towels to remove moisture. Add
shrimp to food processor until mixture is fine. Heat the 2 tablespoons of pork fat
in skillet to medium. Add shrimp. Stir and heat for 5 more minutes. Set aside.

To Complete

Give batter a good stir to remove any flour settled at the bottom of the bowl.
Depending on the size of your steamer, you can use either a miniature muffin pan
or small bowls (1.9 in x .9 in preferred). Unless non-stick, coat inside of each
with with vegetable oil. Fill each with 1 – 1 ¼ tablespoons batter. Cover steamer,
allowing small opening for some steam to escape. Wipe any moisture that forms
inside of the lid. Steam for 5-8 minutes or until set. Carefully remove muffin pan
or bowls from steamer. Remove rice cakes from pan or bowls. Spoon mung bean
paste, shrimp, and pork belly onto rice cakes. Drizzle with scallion oil.

These silver dollar sized rice cakes were named after the water
lily that is found throughout Hue, in Central Vietnam. They
were created during the Nguyen dynasty when the emperor
requested a unique dish for his 104 wives, and are now a
quintessential Hue snack.

You eat slowly, that is good for
stomach; you plow deeply, that is
good for fields.

-Vietnamese proverb

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