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a plate of steamed Vietnamese rice cakes
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5 from 17 votes

Vietnamese steamed rice cakes with prawn floss and mung bean (bánh bèo)

These delicious Vietnamese steamed rice cakes (bánh bèo) are topped with velvety mung bean, prawn floss, fried pork fat, and a drizzle of scallion oil.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Steaming Time55 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Vy Tran

Equipment

  • 2 inch shallow dipping bowls or plates
  • Bamboo steamer

Ingredients

Batter

  • 2 cups rice flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups water, warm water
  • 2 tbsps vegetable oil for steaming

For serving

  • 1/2 cup split mung beans, soaked in cold water for 6 hours or overnight
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 ounces pork fat, diced into cubes
  • 1/4 cup dried prawns or shrimp, soaked in water for 2 hours

Scallion oil

  • 1/2 cup scallion, thinly sliced, green parts only
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Dipping sauce

  • 2 tbsps fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tbsps granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 red bird's eye chili, thinly sliced

Instructions

Prawn floss (make this the day before)

  • In a food processor add steamed mung bean and salt and pulse until smooth.
  • Rehydrate the dried prawns in cold water for 2 hours. Drain and pat dry with paper towel.
  • Put the rehydrated prawns in a food processor and blitz to a fine floss.
  • Heat a small frying pan over low heat, add the prawns, cook on low heat while stirring continuously for 10 minutes or until dry.

Steamed mung beans (start this the night before)

  • Place the mung beans in a large bowl and cover with cold water for 6 hours or overnight.
  • Wash and drain the pre-soaked mung bean. Put the mung bean in a steamer and steam for 15 minutes or until mung bean is soft.
  • Store in an airtight container in the pantry or fridge for up to 1 week.

Fried pork lard

  • Place the pork fat in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Render the fat on all sides for 20 minutes until crispy. Transfer them to a plate lined with paper towel to drain.

Scallion oil

  • For the scallion oil, place the oil, salt, and onion in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 2 minutes or until the oil just starts to simmer. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Dipping sauce

  • To make the dipping sauce, combine everything in a bowl and whisk together until combined. Set aside until ready to serve.

Steamed rice cakes

  • Now add the rest of the water, and whisk until you achieve a fine liquid batter. Set aside and let it rest for 1 hour.
  • To make the batter, in a large bowl combine rice flour, tapioca flour, and salt. Make a well in the center and whisk in 1/2 the warm water.
  • Brush the dipping bowls with vegetable oil to make it easier to remove them after cooking.
  • Working in batches, arrange the bowls in the base of a large bamboo steamer and fill each bowl with 1 tablespoon of batter.
  • Set the steamer over a saucepan or simmer water and steam for 5 minutes until the rice cake is cooked. Carefully remove the dipping bowls and repeat with the remaining batter.
  • Remove the steamed rice cakes and transfer them to a serving plate. Spoon a little mung bean onto the cakes, top with a few pieces of pork fat and prawn floss. Drizzle the scallion oil and dipping sauce over the cakes and serve immediately.

Notes

  • To save time and make things more efficient, make the prawn floss the day before. Mix the batter first and let it rest while you make the steamed mung beans, friend pork lard, scallion oil, and dipping sauce.
  • Let the batter rest for an hour after you mix it. Give the batter a quick stir to redistribute the flour that had settled at the bottom.
  • Use small, shallow bowls for steaming the rice cakes. You can find these bowls at Vietnamese grocery stores.
  • Make sure to grease the bowl with vegetable/canola oil before pouring the batter in. It will make removing the rice cakes easier.
  • One tablespoon of batter takes about 5 minutes to steam which creates a thin rice cake.
  • If you like thicker rice cakes, use one and a half tablespoon of batter which will take about 7-8 minutes.
  • Use tongs to remove the bowls so you don't burn yourself.
  • Wait until the bowls are cool enough to handle before removing the steamed rice cakes from the bowl.
  • This recipe makes about 8-10 servings so scale down the ingredients if you're cooking just for yourself and another person.