Bánh Nậm (Flat Steamed Rice Dumpling)

Ingredients
for Batter

2 cups Rice Flour

1/4 cup Tapioca Flour

2 teaspoons Salt

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

2 tablespoons Sugar

6 cups Water

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for Filling 

 2 pound Shrimps, peeled and deveined

1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

about 1/2 teaspoon Salt

about 1/2 tablespoon Sugar

2 Shallot, thinly sliced

 3 Green Onion, finely chopped

Annatto Oil

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Directions

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Preparing Banana Leaves

Thaw banana leaves under sink water. Cut the leaf into about 6 in x 10 in pieces. Use a kitchen towel to pat dry the leaves. You can prepare the leaves ahead of time then keep them in a bag and store in the fridge until ready to use. 

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Preparing Shrimp 

Chop green onion and slice shallots thinly. Set aside.

In a skillet, cook shrimp at medium high heat until shrimps turned pink and cooked.

Transfer shrimps into a food processor and process it until shrimps ground up into small bits.

Mortar and pestle can work in place of a food processor.

In the same skillet, saute annatto oil and shallot until fragrant.

Add shrimps, salt, sugar, and pepper. I eyeballed the seasonings so the measurements aren't precise. Adjust the seasonings to your taste.  

Use the spatula to smash the shrimps further until they are dry.  Turn off the heat.  Add green onion and mix well.

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Preparing Batter

In a pot, combine all the ingredients for batter and blend well to scrape up all the flour off the bottom of the pot.

Cook over medium low heat. Constantly stir it until the mixture starts to thicken up into a paste. Keep stirring it for a couple more minutes. Remove from heat. Continue stirring constantly until you get a smooth mixture.

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Assembling

Spread about 2 tablespoons of the batter in the center of the leave.

Spread the filling on top.

Fold both sides and ends up.

I find it easier to fold both ends using a chopstick to guide it.

Use the chopstick to lightly even out the batter by going cross from left to right.

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Steaming 

Bring a pot of water in a steamer to a boil. Place bánh nậm that you have already arranged standing up in a steamer tray onto the steamer and steam for about 30 minutes. When the banana leaves change color to a pale yellow evenly, the cakes are done.

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Presentation 

Allow bánh nậm to cool before serving. Bánh nậm can be served by itself or enjoyed by drizzling a dash of good fish sauce mixed in fresh chili pepper slices over the dumpling. 

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