BÁNH NẬM (Steamed rectangular cake wrapped in banana leaf with prawn and pork stuff)

BÁNH NẬM is one of the typical dishes of Hue (Middle of Vietnam), with some simple ingredients such as: RICE FLOUR, TAPIOCA flour, PRAWN, PORK meat and some seasonings, they are processed and wrapped in banana leaves, then steamed about 15 to 20 minutes. BÁNH NẬM is served with DIP based on FISH SAUCE.

At first, BÁNH NẬM is just a poor countryside dish, where poor people are very hardworking and meticulous. They make dishes with organic ingredients these are available around them. Because It is a healthy dish and simple, and unique, It is now available in menu of many restaurants or food stalls in Vietnam and anywhere Vietnamese community live in the world.



Flour base:

  • 250 gr rice flour
  • 30 gr tapioca flour
  • 1.6 liter water


  • 200 gr prawn, peeled, deveined, chopped
  • 100 gr pork meat, minced
  • 1 tbsp achiote oil
  • 1+ 2 tbsp chopped shallot
  • 50 gr Spring onion
  • Seasonings: Salt, pepper, 1/2 tsp MSG, 1 tsp chicken powder

For Dip:

  • 3 nos Hot chile (green and red), thinly sliced, or finely chopped
  • 100 ml fish sauce
  • 100 ml Prawn stock (or water)
  • 100 gr sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled, sliced (optional)

For wrap:

  • Banana leaves (or Stachyphrynium placentarium leaves)


  1. In a mixing bowl, put rice flour, tapioca flour with 1/2 of water (800 ml), mix well, keep aside, let standing 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, Pour 1/2 of water (800 ml) into a pot, then bring to a boil.
  3. Slowly add and stir flour mixture (did at step 1) into the pot, keep stirring continuously on medium heat until become thick form (like glue), take it off from heat, still keep stirring a few minutes, let it cool down.
  1. Marinate the minced pork with 1 tbsp chopped shallot, 1/2 tsp MSG (optional), 1 tsp chicken powder (or pork powder), salt and pepper to taste. Marinate chopped prawn meat with 1/2 tbsp chopped shallot in other bowl.
  2. In sauteing pan, with medium heat, put 1 tablespoon of achiote seed oil, sweat 1 tbsp chopped shallot a few second, add marinated pork, sauteing a couple minutes, then add chopped prawn meat, continuous sauteing until just cooked, add sliced spring onion to finish. Take them of from heat.
  1. Wrap in banana leaves (or Lá dong – Stachyphrynium placentarium): leave the banana leaves under the sun light for wilting or blanch them quickly in boiling water, then clean and cut the leaves in size of 15cm x 15cm or slightly longer. Brush some cooking oil on leaf, put a full spoon of cooked flour mix and spead evenly (see picture), put a spoon of cooked prawn and pork mixture on top. Fold and wrap to seal into rectangular shape. Do the same process until finish all of them.
  1. Arrange BÁNH NẬM into food steamer, steam them about 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked.
  1. Dip: Mix all the dip ingredients, then adjust to taste.
  1. BÁNH NẬM is served when they are still warm with dip as an appetizer or a snack at any time in a day.

Note: because of flour quality, so that, amount of them in the recipe maybe different, you need to adjust the water to get perfect result (the water is maybe less).

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Post Author: dvd

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