This recipe for Bloating Fern or Banh Beo is a simple yet classic Vietnamese traditional dish that you would normally see being sold on the streets on Vietnam. The dish is also referred to as Bloating Fern Shaped Cake as the cake resembles the green bloating ferns in Vietnam’s countryside.
This recipe is extremely simple with ingredients you can easily find at your local grocer. You can make this dish from scratch as the batter is mainly a mix of rice flour and tapioca starch. Therefore, instead of travelling to the streets of Vietnam to savour this traditional dish, here’s the recipe below for you to make from the comfort of your own home.
- 100g rice flour
- 15g tapioca starch
- 1 cup of water
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 400g small tiger prawn (cleaned and deveined)
- 1 cup of pigskin
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp red shallots (finely diced)
- 1 tbsp garlic clove (finely diced)
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp vinegar
- ½ cup of prawn broth
- 2 chillies (chopped)
- Batter: Start by combining rice flour, tapioca starch and water in a large bowl. Stir well until all the ingredients are dissolved and leave it to rest for an hour.
- Then, add the salt and vegetable oil into the batter. Mix well.
- Ready and stack small condiment bowls in a steamer. Steam the empty bowls for about 2 minutes.
- Fill each condiment bowl until each bowl is two-thirds full. Cover and steam for about 5 – 10 minutes, or until firm. Repeat this step until the batter is finished.
- Dipping sauce: Meanwhile, add the dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Then, add the chopped chillies, if desired. Set aside.
- Prawn Filling: Boil and pound/grind the prawn to small pieces.
- Heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil to a pan and add in the garlic and onion. Cook until fragrant and add the ground prawns, salt and black pepper. Stir-fry until the prawns are dry. Set aside.
- Pigskin Filling: Deep fry the pigskin until it is yellow and crisp. Then, cut into small pieces.
- Lay the bowls of Banh Beo on a tray and top with ground prawns, fried pigskin and a little dipping sauce. Enjoy!
There you have it, a relatively simple recipe of the Vietnamese traditional dish – Banh Beo. For more Vietnamese cuisines, check out our recipes on Banh Ran (Vietnamese Pancakes) and Spring Roll and Lemongrass Pork Vermicelli.
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