Monday, April 20, 2009
Banh Bot Loc originated from Hue, Vietnam along with other banh such as banh beo, banh uot, and banh nam. I remember eating Banh Bot Loc for breakfast in Vietnam when I was little. I love the soft and chewy texture of the dough on the outside and the well seasoned pork and shrimp filling on the inisde. Dip in good fish sauce really complete this dish.
I was fortunate to learn how to make Banh Bot Loc from my friend's mom. The best way to learn something is to observe. And I have never really work with flour before so it could get tricky. This is my first time making Banh Bot Loc by myself and I was quite satisfy with the result. The only thing I really want to improve on is my consistency. It was really hard for me to use the same amount of dough each time because it was so sticky. Sometimes I have too much dough and other times I have not enough dough. I have so much opportunity to practice and get better, plus it's a lot fun playing with sticky dough!
1/2 lb pork belly meat
1/2 lb shrimp
1/2 cup of dried black fungus
ground black pepper
banh bot loc flour bag
banana leaves (i've seen people use aluminum foil but I love the smell of banana leaves)
1. Cut the shrimp into three smaller pieces.
2. Cut the the pork belly into 1/2 inch strips and then sliced it into thin pieces.
3. Minced the shallot
4. Soak the the dried black fungus in warm water until soften. Then minced it.
5. Prepare the banana leaves by cutting them into two differen size. ( I will go into detail below on why)
Banh Bot Loc has a unique look because we can see bright orange filling through the translucent dough after it is steamed. You can achieve his in two ways. If you use the shrimp with its head still attached, some of the "cach" in the shrimp head will provide coloring. You still need to remove the head because only the body should be use. If you use the already clean shrimp you can add color with aneeto seed oil.
1. Prepare coloring by warming up aneeto seed in a pan with about 1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil.
2. After extract enough color from the aneeto seed you can now remove the seed from the pan.
3. Add the shallot and sauteed until you can smell the swet fragrance.
4. Add the minced dried black fungus and sauteed.
5. Add the pork and shrimp and continue to sauteed.
6. Season the mixture with a little bit of salt, sugar, pepper, and fish sauce.
7. Once the mixture is cooked you can have a little piece and adjust for taste if needed.
I just follow the directions on the back of the bag.
1. Mix the whole bag with 1 and 1/2 cup of cold water.
2. Boil two cup of water in a pot, use a roomy pot because you will need to combine the flour mixture.
3. Once the water has come to a boil, turn off the stove and remove from heat.
4. Add the mixture from step 1 and add 1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil.
5. Mix all it together thoroughly so you don't end up with chunks in your dough.
6. After a while the dough should thicken and become extremely sticky.
Give yourself some room to assemble.
1. My friend's mom taught me to use two layer of banana leave. The smaller piece will be use to hold the dough in it's place and I guess to help shape it.
2. Place a spoonful of dough on to the banana leave. It really depends on how big you want it to be. If it's your first time making this beware that the dough is sticky and you probably won't have a lot of control on the consistency right away. Use a spoon to try to spread and flatten the dough.
3. Put some filling on top of the dough.
4. Bring the top and bottom edge of the smaller banana piece together. I like to push the filling down into the dough so it doesn't come apart when you roll.
5. Begin to roll the larger banana leaves until it becomes a tube.
6. With the open part facing up, fold the two sides down.
7. Tie to rolle together so the leave doesn't come apart.
It takes about 15-20 minutes to steam the banh bot loc.
These freeze really well, anytime you have a craving just take them out and steam for about 25 minutes.