BÁNH RÁN is a deep-fried glutinous rice ball from northern Vietnamese cuisine. In Vietnamese, “bánh” is a category of food including: cakes, pies, and pastries, while “rán” means “fried.”
Its outer shell is made from glutinous rice flour, and covered all over with white sesame seeds. Its filling is made from sweetened mung bean paste, and scented with jasmine flower essence. Traditionally, the filling should be separated from the shell so that if one shakes the BÁNH RÁN, one can feel the filling rattle against the inside of the shell.
In southern Vietnam, a similar dish, called BÁNH CAM, is nearly identical to BÁNH RÁN, but does not contain jasmine essence. A further difference is that for BÁNH CAM the filling does not need to be separated from the shell.. In Southern Vietnam BÁNH CAM is different from BÁNH RÁN as the Northern version is traditionally eaten with a sugary syrup that is poured over the pastry.
BÁNH RÁN is also the Vietnamese translation of the Japanese confection dorayaki, made famous internationally by the manga Doraemon.
Ingredients (for 20 pcs):
Outer (phần vỏ bánh):
- 100 gr glutinous rice flour (bột nếp)
- 15 gr rice flour (bột gạo)
- 35 gr mashes sweet potato (or potato)
- 25 gr white sugar
- 50 to 100 ml warm water
Inner (Phần nhân bánh):
- 70 gr mung beans, skinless (soaked in water)
- 25 gr sugar (or to taste)
- 30 gr cooking oil (or coconut oil)
- 40 gr grated fresh coconut
- cooking oil for deep-frying
- 50 gr white sesame seed (or enough dressing for 20 cakes)
- 50 gr or more sliced ginger
- 80 gr palm sugar (or brown sugar)
Making OUTER of cake (vỏ bánh):
- In mixing bowl, put glutinous rice flour, rice flour, mashed sweet potato (or potato), sugar, mix them well.
- Slowly add warm water, knead the dough until well combined.
- Cover the dough, let it standing for about 30 to 60 minutes.
Making INNER of cake (nhân bánh):
- Wash the mung beans, then boil in water to soft, drained. (Need to soak mung beans in water overnight before boiling)
- Mash the boiled mung beans.
- In a wok (or sauteing pan), with medium heat, put mashed mung beans, sugar, coconut oil (or cooking oil). Saute the mixture until getting a paste about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add grated fresh coconut, and keep sauteing until the paste getting dry enough. Take off from heat. Let the mixture cool down.
- Make the mixture into 20 balls. (It is easy to make if the mixture is still warm)
- Divide the dough (outer of cake) into 20 portions (about 12 to 14 gr /each).
- Use a rolling pin, roll out the dough to flatten them large enough to wrap mung bean ball (inner).
- Put the mung bean ball in middle then fold the dough to seal then make into ball. Do the same process until finishing.
Note: If you like sesame seeds to cover outside of cake, simply roll and dress the balls with white sesame seeds before deep fry them. (now they are called BÁNH RÁN VỪNG). (VỪNG is sesame seeds in north of Vietnam, In south of Vietnam, It is called MÈ).
- Deep fry the cakes (at 150 C degree) until they are get double in size and golden in color. (about 6 to 8 minutes).
- If you want sugar glazed cakes. In a sauce pan, put 80 gr palm sugar with 50 gr sliced ginger and 100 ml to 120 ml water, cook until the syrup formed glaze. Glaze the cakes, now they are called BÁNH RÁN MẬT.
Note: Sesame seeds are not dressed for BÁNH RÁN MẬT.