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Steamed Rice Flour Cakes with Dried Shrimp: Banh Beo

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 5 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Inactive: 15 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Dipping Sauce:

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup prawn broth

3 tablespoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons vinegar

2 chiles, chopped

Rice Flour Cakes:

3 1/2 ounces/100 g rice flour

1 tablespoon/15 g tapioca flour


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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil and allow the batter to rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Bring a pot of water to the boil, add prawns and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the prawns, peel and reserve the prawn broth.
  6. 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.
  7. Pound the cooked prawns in a mortar and pestle until crushed.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

Cook’s Note

20 small ramekins