Bánh Bèo (Steamed Rice Cake)

RECIPE: Bánh Bèo (Steamed Rice Cake)

For Bánh Bèo Batter
1 cup Rice Flour
1 tablespoons Tapioca Flour
2 cups Lukewarm Water
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Olive Oil or Oil
For Bánh Bèo Toppings
1 pound Shrimp, Shell on
3 Slices Sandwiches or Bread cut into small squares, for croutons or
Fried Fat Pork
1 bunch of scallions,  finely chopped
Fried Shallot, optional
1/2-1 tablespoon Annatto Oil (dầu hạt điều), optional
For Fish Sauce Dip
1 cup Shrimp Broth
1 1/2 tablespoons Fish Sauce
11/2 tablespoons Sugar
1-2 fresh red chilies, thinly sliced
Preparing Bánh Bèo Batter
In a large mixing bowl, combine Bánh Bèo batter except oil and stir well until you achieve a fine liquid batter.
Let it settle for a while until the water becomes clear.
Pour the clear water to another bowl or a measurement cup. Make sure to measure the amount of water you poured out.
Discard the water. Place back the same amount of clean water to the batter bowl. This process is to eliminate the smell of old flour.
Add oil and allow the batter to sit for at least half an hour.
Preparing Shrimp Paste Topping
Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to boil. Add shrimp and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove shrimps then peel and reserve the shrimps broth.
Smash each shrimp with a meat tenderizer or the back of the knife. You can also pound shrimps in a mortar and pestle until crushed.
Place a frying pan on low heat, add the crushed shrimp. Season lightly with about 1/2-1 teaspoon fish sauce or a dash of salt and pepper. Use a spatula to stir and press the shrimp down for 5 minutes or until shrimps are completely dry and bluff.
Add annatto oil to enhance the beautiful orange color of cotton shrimp. Stir it well for another couple of minutes. Turn off heat
and continue to stir fry for a further a minute.
Preparing Croutons
Cut bread or sandwich into small squares.
Bring a frying pan with 2 tabespoons of oil to medium heat. Add pieces of sandwich to the hot oil. Remove the croutons with a strainer when they are turning golden. Place croutons on a paper towel to absorb the excess of oil.
If prefer Fried Fat Pork (Tép Mỡ), click here for recipe.
Preparing Scallion Oil
Place scallions and a dash of salt in a bowl. Heat a small sauce pan with 1 tablespoon of oil.
When hot, pour the hot oil into the scallions bowl. Mix it well. Set aside.
Preparing Fish Sauce
Mix all the fish sauce ingredients. Set aside.
Steaming Bánh Bèo
Fill a steamer with 2/3 water and bring to rapid boil. Place a full tray of plates to the steamer. Stir the mix before each use. Fill each plate just half way. Cover and steam for about 3 minutes.
Remove and allow to cool for a minute or two. Repeat this process until batter is finished.
Top Bánh Bèo with scallion oil, shrimp paste, croutons or fried fat pork.
Drizzle or flood with fish sauce. Scoop it out with a teaspoon and Enjoy!