Banh It Tran (Sticky-rice Dumplings)

  • 450 gm (16 oz) bag of glutinous rice powder
  • 400 ml (1 2/3 cups) water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 225gm (1/2 lb) small to medium shrimp, cleaned, de-shelled and deveined cut into small 0.5-1 cm (1/4-1/2 in) pieces
  • 225 m (1/2 lb) pork belly cut into small 0.5-1 cm (1/4 to 1/2 in) pieces 
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 cup split mung beans, soaked in water for at least 4 hrs
  • banana leaf or aluminium foil, cut into small 7.5-10 cm (3-4 in) squares
  • 1 green onion/scallion, thinly sliced
  • cooking oil
  • fried shallots
  • nuoc mam cham and pickled carrots and daikon
  1. Marinate the shrimp with 1 ts fish sauce, sugar, pepper and set aside for about 20 mins. 
  2. Marinate the pork with 1 ts fish sauce, sugar, pepper, and dark soy sauce also for about the same time. 
  3. In a large pan at medium high heat, saute the pork belly first. 
  4. When it's just done, add the shrimp. Saute until shrimp turns pink and slightly opaque and set aside.(one minute is enough)
  5. You may either steam or boil the mung beans. Steaming is a less demanding method, if boiling then use only enough water just to cover the beans, stir throughout the cooking. Steam mung beans until you can easily smash the grain with your fingers. The longer you soak in water, the quicker it will cook. When done, transfer to bowl or mortar and lightly smash.
  6. Now in mixing bowl, incorporate the crushed mung beans, shrimp and pork together. Form small balls, about quarter size and set aside.


  1. In mixing bowl, combine glutinous rice flour with salt and mix. Add the water, and work it into a pliable play dough like texture. 


If you don't have any fried shallots prepare these.

  1. Pinch off dough and roll into golf ball size and flatten into a disk. 
  2. Add the ball of filling in the centre and fold over the edges and roll gently, sealing it. 
  3. Lightly brush a bit of cooking oil on the banana leaves/foil and place the banh it tran on it. 
  4. Transfer the dumplings into a steamer. Do not overcrowd the steamer and steam for about 8 minutes, until dough is opaque. Do not over steam as it will be flat. 
  5. Remove and place in cold water bath to stop the cooking and remove the foil/banana leaf. Drain in colander and then place in a bowl. 
  6. Add about 1 Tbsp of scallion oil or so and work it around so that the banh it do not stick together.
  7. Top with fried shallots and serve with nuoc mam cham, pickled carrots and daikon, and chillies.