Steamed Rice Flour Cakes with Dried Shrimp: Banh Beo

Recipe courtesy of Luke Nguyen
Show: Luke Nguyen's Vietnam Episode: Hue
TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 5 min
Prep: 30 min
Inactive Prep: 15 min
Cook: 20 min
YIELD: 4 servings
LEVEL: Intermediate


  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup prawn broth
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 chiles, chopped
  • 3 1/2 ounces/100 g rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon/15 g tapioca flour
  • Salt
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 4 teaspoons vegetable oil, for batter
  • 14 ounces/400 g small tiger prawn
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely diced (1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon finely diced red shallots
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup pork crackling, crushed
  • Special equipment: 20 small ramekins
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For the dipping sauce: Add sugar, prawn broth, fish sauce, and vinegar to a bowl. Mix until the sugar is dissolved. Now add the chopped chile. Set aside.

In a large bowl combine rice flour, tapioca flour, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Make a well in the center and pour in 1/2 the warm water.

Using your hands stir the ingredients together kneading the dough until it is well combined. Now add the rest of the water, use a wooden spoon to stir it all together until you achieve a fine liquid batter.

Add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil and allow the batter to rest for 15 minutes.

Bring a pot of water to the boil, add prawns and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the prawns, peel and reserve the prawn broth.

Bring a steamer pot to rapid boil, place as many ramekins to the steamer tray as you can. Now fill each ramekin with the batter 2/3 full. Cover and steam for 5 minutes. Repeat this process until batter is finished.

Pound the cooked prawns in a mortar and pestle until crushed.

Put a fry pan on low heat, add the crushed prawns, garlic, and shallots, stir fry for 5 minutes or until prawns are completely dry and floss-like texture.

Turn off heat, add pepper and continue to stir fry for a further 3 minutes. Add some oil to each rice cake and top with prawns, crushed pork crackling, and fish sauce.




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