Check out this recipe for Boehmeria nivea cake -Banh Gai- we know- it’s a mouthful. As interesting as it sounds, this dessert is known during holidays and festive seasons in Thailand. From choosing the leaves, cleaning them, refining the filling of the cakes and wrapping them requires quite a skill.
So, this dessert is best made during large family gatherings so you can have more helping hands to make these cakes a success. Nevertheless, they taste super delicious. So, it is worth your time.
Here’s what you will need to do.
- 500g glutinous rice flour
- 100g tapioca starch
- 400g Boehmeria nivea leaf
- 350g peeled mung beans
- 300g refined sugar
- 100g shredded coconut
- 100g pork fat
- 100g sesame seeds
- 20ml grapefruit extract
- 1 big bunch dried banana leaves
- Bamboo strip
- Cooking oil
- Tear the Boehmeria nivea leaf into 2 parts, remove the midrib of the leaf and clean them carefully with water and let it drain.
- Then, place a pot on the stove and boil the leaves until they are well cooked. Drain out.
- Once the leaves cool down, place them into a blender and grind well. Then, using a sift, filter the residue and get the extract.
- In a small pot, add glutinous rice flour and tapioca starch and mix them well. Then, add 150g sugar and Boehmeria nivea leaf extract into the mixture and mix well.
- Then, using your hands, knead the flour until the mixture becomes dense.
- While the flour sets aside, place a pan on the stove and turn on the heat medium temperature. Add the sesame seeds into the pan and stir well until they have fragrant smell. Then, remove and let them to cool.
- Meanwhile, soak the mung beans 2-3 hours earlier to make them softer. Then, steam them and grind well. Set aside.
- Later, clean the pork fat and bring it to boil. Then, dice the pork fat and mix with 2 tablespoon of sugar. Stir the mixture well until the pork fat turn opaque. If the sugar melts, drain out and keep the pork-fat sugar mixture dry.
- Add pork fat sugar mixture into the bowl of ground mung beans. Add some shredded coconut, grapefruit extract and sugar into the bowl and mix them well.
- Later, ladle a little mixture into your palm and shape them into round balls and place them in a tray. Then, take the dough and make them flat and stuff some mung beans in the middle. Wrap the dough and get the round shape again. After kneading, roll lightly in the roasted sesame bowl.
- Clean the dried banana leaves and dip into boil water until they become soft. Then, lay 2 pieces of banana leaves alternatively adding some cooking oil to the inside of the leaf (the place touching the cake). Later, place the cake to the middle position and place light pressure. Make them all into square shapes and tie the cake using bamboo strips.
- Then place them into the steamer and steam for about 30-40 minutes. Lastly, remove the cakes from the steamer and allow them to cool.
Although this recipe for Boehmeria nivea cake -Banh Gai may seem a little much, we promise you it’s worth the effort. Since this recipe is a dessert dish, we recommedn you get a hot serving of Vietnamese Style Chee Chong Fun for mains. It’s the perfect combo!
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