Banh Beo (Steam Shrimp Cakes)

daughter of a well-known caterer in a small town gives you no leway whatsoever for mistakes when it comes to replicating her famous dishes – even in the comfort of your own home 5 hours away. there’s this guilty conscious beating me left and right for not taking advtange of looking over moma’s shoulders. While what others would have given just to be in the same room with her. Now i’m finding myself having to put mom on constant redial to extract this much craved “Banh Beo” or Steamed Rice Cakes recipe… Mom loves me regardless because she had hope that one day all her mad skills would be passed on to her only daughter…

This cake normally comes with mung beans paste, but since I really don’t have the time or the patience to actually cook this, I skipped it all together. You won’t miss it. Sorry mom!

You would need a good sweet chili sauce to go with this. Something light and not too thick so you can slurp without holding back. I will work on a recipe for this sauce soon. For now, a bottle of store bought sweet chili sauce will suffice.

 The batter for the steam cakes
————————————————–
1 bag of “bot banh beo” (it comes with directions)
2 1/2 cup cold water
2 1/2 cup boiling water

Directions
In a big mixing bowl, put in the entire bag of batter with 2 1/2 cup cold water and 2 1/2 cup boiling water. Stir until the flour has dissolve. Should be smooth and milky. Put aside.

Toppings

Sauteed Dried Shrimps
——————————
1 small bag of dried shrimps (you can get this at most asian stores)
2 green onions chopped (only use the white part for sauteeing)
Oil

Direction
In a blender, grind the shrimps into a fine texture or until it’s fluffy and completely broken into.

In a hot pan, drizzle in the oil to cover the pan, put in the chopped white part of the onions and then the ground dried shrimps.

Sauteed for a few minutes and pour into a bowl. let it sit and chill.

Green Onion Oil infusion
——————————–
1/4 cup good canola or canola/olive oil
4 stalk of green onions chopping (using only the green part)
pinch of salt

Directions
In a very hot pan, pour in the oil, using medium to high heat. You want to infuse the oil with the green onion but not really cooking on the stove.

Take the pan off the stove and put in the green onions. If the pan is at the right hot temperature, there should be some sizzling! Do not put the pan back on the stove.

At this point, stir it gently to let the onion infused in the oil. Seasoned with a bit of salt. Pour into a bowl.

All the while doing this, yes, it is a lot of process for just 1 cute little piece of steam cake isn’t it? Do not let all these steps discourage you and deprive your palate of this wonderful and tasty little cakes.

Directions
For steaming the cakes, you would need little porcelain plates or a mold specifically made for this. I have both but decided that the little molds were testing my patience. So I used a bigger plate (yes, any regular small sized plates would do.)

Put the plates inside the steamer and let it steam up for about 1-2 minutes, oil the plate so the batter won’t stick and then pour in the batter just to the rim of the plates. Cover and let it steam for about 5-6 minutes.

To test for fully cook, use a fork and go around the edges to lift it. it should be easy to lift. When ready, take it out and let it cool for about a minute.

If it gets stick, use a knife dipped in the infused oil and run it around the edges of the cake. Lift it out gently and place on a pretty plate. Now you can generously slather the sauteed dried shrimps on top, drizzle some of the green onion infused over the top and right before serving, pour in the sweet chili sauce.

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