Banh beo (Vietnamese steamed rice cakes/Water-fern cakes)

Banh beo (Vietnamese steamed savory rice cakes/Water-fern cakes) about 24 cakes

Author: Marvellina
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The batter:

  • 150 gr Rice flour
  • 25 gr Tapioca flour
  • 25 gr Arrowroot flour substitute with another 25 gr of tapioca flour if unable to find
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 250 ml water
  • 500 ml water Bring to a boil & leave for 15 mins
  • 2 tsp cooking oil

Savory shrimp topping:

  • 6 oz of large shrimp shelled and deveined
  • 1 oz of dried shrimp soaked until soft
  • 1 tsp of cooking oil

Sautéed scallions:

  • 3 stalks of scallions chopped
  • 2 Tbsp of cooking oil
  • Cooked mung bean

Ground pork/chicken topping:

  • 5 oz ground pork/chicken
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • Small pinch of suager
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil

Fish Sauce Dipping sauce / Nuoc Mam Cham:

  • 2 red chilis seeded if you like and finely chopped
  • 2 Tbp fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and finely minced
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2-3 Tbsp Radish and carrot pickles optional-recipe below

Serve with:


Preparing Nuoc Mam Cham:

  • Place the water, vinegar and sugar in a small sauce pan, bring to a boil and then simmer until the sugar dissolves. Add in the rest of the ingredients. Let it cool and then store in a jar container in the refrigerator. It will keep for about a week

Preparing the savory shrimp topping:

  • Place the shrimp in a medium sauce pan and cover with just enough water and cook until they turn pink. Drained and roughly chop. Put them in a food processor along with the dried shrimp you have soaked and softened. Grind them into tiny pieces. Preheat a medium skillet with cooking oil and saute the shrimp mixture until they are dry and fragrant. Remove and set aside for later

Preparing the scallions:

  • Wipe the pan you use to cook the shrimp earlier. Preheat cooking oil and saute the scallions until they are soft

Preparing the pork/chicken topping:

  • Mix the ground meat with fish sauce and sugar. Leave it for 30 minutes. Preheat the same pan you use to cook scallions earlier with some oil. Add in the ground meat and saute them until cook through. Break the meat up with your spatula as you are cooking it. Remove from the heat into a bowl and set aside for later use

Making the cakes:

  • In a large bowl, mix together rice flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour & salt. Add 250 ml water and stir to mix. Add in the water which has been left 15 minutes after boiling. This step is very important. You don't want the flour to be cooked but you also don't want the water to separate from the flour, this method is to stabilize the flour and give each rice cake the dimple in the middle, like water ferns
  • Prepare your steamer by adding water. Water in the steamer needs to be boiling at all time during the steaming of the rice cake. This is very important
  • If you have individual condiments bowls, you can use them, or you can use mini muffin tins. Brush them with a bit of oil. Make sure you place these inside the steamer and let them steam empty for 1-2 mins, Then depending on the size of your bowls, spoon the batter to 3/4 of the bowls, ( It's easier to use measuring cup with pouts to pour the batter), close the steamer lid and steam on high for 5 minutes. I always give the batter a stir before I pour them into the bowls/cups
  • Leave to cool before either taking the cake out and arrange on a plate and or you can leave them in the bowls and then fill with toppings. I used a mini rubber spatula to remove them from the bowl without any issue
  • When ready to serve, sprinkle some savory shrimp, scallions, and ground meat toppings. Serve with the sauce and do chua