Round shape, white in color, BÁNH ÍT TRẦN is popular dish in countryside of Vietnam, where the people produce rice, then they make many dishes from their products. To make the best BÁNH ÍT TRẦN (or any CAKE is based on glutinous rice, such as BÁNH ÍT, BÁNH Ú, BÁNH TÉT, BÁNH TRƯNG, …), after harvesting, the glutinous rice is processed and soaked over night in water, then ground by stone-grinder, then extracted flour to get glutinous rice flour….of course not easy by manual processing. Nowadays, glutinous rice flour is processed in factories and available in any Asian markets.
“Trần” is Vietnamese for “naked”, so BÁNH ÍT TRẦN means “naked BÁNH ÍT” literally.
With no banana leaf wrap, It is a steamed glutinous rice cake, usually savory, served with NƯỚC CHẤM.
Meat (pork), prawn and mung beans are stuffed inside (as kernel), They are cooked before stuffing. In Vietnamese cuisine, they are cooked with a little different ingredients from North to South of Vietnam.
It can be served as a snack or appetizer.
RECIPE (for 15 nos/5 serves):
- 400 gr glutinous rice flour
- 250 ml boiling water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 150 gr minced pork
- 150 gr prawn, peeled, deveined, minced
- 200 gr skinless mung beans
- 30 gr chopped shallot
- 30 gr wood ear mushroom, soaked in water, thinly sliced
- Seasonings: Salt, pepper, chicken powder
- 1 +1/2 tbsp cooking oil for sauteing
- 100 ml Fish sauce
- 150 gr Sugar
- 300 ml warm water
- 100 ml Lime juice (or rice vinegar)
- 1/2 tbsp Chopped chile (or less)
- 1 tsp Chopped garlic
- 1 tbsp cooking oil for sauteing
- 100 gr dried shrimps, soaked in water, washed, drained
- 50 gr scallion, sliced
- For OUTER part (shell): In a mixing bowl, put glutinous rice flour, salt, oil. Bring the water to a boil, then slowly add in bowl of flour, stir to combine. Use your hand to knead the dough until it is not sticky on fingers, cover, let it rests about 30 minutes.
- For INNER part (kernel):
- Steam the mung beans until cooked well then mash them coarsely.
- In a sauteing pan: with medium heat, put cooking oil, add chopped shallot, sauté the minced pork, minced prawn, sliced mushroom until just cooked, seasoning to taste, turn off the heat.
- In a mixing bowl: mix cooked mixture (above) with mashed mung beans to combine. Divide and make into 15 balls.
- Knead the dough again, then divide and make into 15 balls.
- Roll out and flatten the dough ball, put bean-ball in the middle, oil your hand, fold and seal carefully then shape to become a ball (like a globe). Do the process until finishing.
- Put the cakes in steamer, layer with banana leaves underneath, Steam them about 10 minutes or until cooked.
- Meanwhile, in a sauteing pan, with medium heat, saute the dried shrimps a few minutes until fragrant. Use a blender or mortar and pestle to grind finely (Called “Tôm chấy” or ”Tôm chà bông”).
- For dip: In a bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, add in chile, garlic, fish sauce and lime juice to finish.
- Sizzling scallion with hot oil.
- Serving: Put 3 cakes on serving plate, scatter the scallion oil and dried shrimp on the cakes, and serve with dip.