Savory and sweet shrimp and pork encased in a translucent and chewy dumpling skin make these some of the best dumplings around. A popular snack food, these scrumptious Clear Shrimp and Pork Dumplings (Banh Bot Loc Tran) are completely addicting. The combination of chewy and slippery dumpling skin filled with flavorful meat morsels and then dipped in a sweet fish sauce dipping sauce will have your taste buds jumping for joy! Give this recipe a try! 🙂
Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks
I prefer a leaner pork but feel free to substitute with pork belly. Chicken thighs are also a tasty alternative to pork. Optionally, skip the meat altogether and just use a whole shrimp.
These dumplings are bite-sized so there’s not a lot of shrimp and pork in them. Use the smallest fresh shrimp you can find. I use size 71-90 and cut them in half. If using larger shrimp, cut them into thirds to make them smaller.
The dough can be a bit tricky to make and the timing is very important. Make sure the heat is on Low so the starch mixture doesn’t heat up too quickly. As soon as you see small tapioca lumps forming, remove from the heat right away. If you let the tapioca mixture cook for a bit too long, it will quickly turn into a really thick dough and it will not be useable.
If you want to make a double recipe and it’s just you cooking, prepare one batch of dough and make the dumplings. Then prepare a second batch of dough and make the dumplings. Do not make a double batch of dough at once because once the dough gets cold it becomes less pliable and tougher to spread.
Use approximately .4 oz – .5 oz of dough per dumpling which yields 36-45 dumplings, respectively.
Boil the dumplings gently. Boiling vigorously may cause the parchment paper to detach from the dumpling.
The cooking time is the same whether boiling or steaming – just 10 minutes.
If you would like the dumplings less chewy, add 3 Tbsp rice flour + 2 Tbsp cold water to the dough recipe. The dumplings won’t be translucent but they will be delicious!
If you love the aroma of banana leaves, use them instead of parchment paper.
Make lots of dumplings and freeze them to enjoy later. Uncooked dumplings can be frozen for up to 3 months when sealed in an air-tight container or bag. (See picture below.) Boil or steam straight from the freezer. (Thawing is not necessary.) This is a great way to enjoy these delicious dumplings whenever the craving hits! 🙂
Refrigerate any remaining dumplings and consume within the week.
3 oz pork shoulder or pork loin
3 oz size 71-90 shrimp (approximately 20 pieces)
1 garlic clove
1/2 small shallot
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp fish sauce
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 heaping tsp paprika
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups tapioca starch
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups cold water
1 small bunch green onions
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
Fish Sauce Dipping Sauce
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp fish sauce
2 red chilies
Optional Topping: fried onions
Cut the pork into thin slices about 1/4-inch thick and then into 3/4-inch strips. Place into a small bowl. Cut the shrimp in half and place into a separate bowl.
Peel and mince the garlic. Finely dice the shallot.
Marinate the pork by combining 1/4 of the minced garlic, 1/4 of the diced shallots, 1/4 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp fish sauce and 1/16 tsp ground black pepper. Allow to marinate for 15 minutes.
Marinate the shrimp by combining 1/4 of the minced garlic, 1/4 of the diced shallots, 1/4 tsp sugar, 1/8 tsp salt and 1/16 tsp ground black pepper. Allow to marinate for 15 minutes.
Heat a wok or skillet over Medium High heat. Add vegetable oil and 1/2 tsp sugar. Cook for 10-15 seconds or until the melted sugar just starts to turn golden. Add the remaining minced garlic and diced shallots and stir-fry for 10-15 seconds. Add the marinated pork and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add the marinated shrimp and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add a few more dashes of paprika and combine well. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool.
Cut parchment paper into 4-inch squares, making a total of 40 squares.
In a medium-sized saucepan, add the tapioca starch, salt, vegetable oil and cold water. Whisk together until the starch is dissolved. Warm the starch mixture over Low heat stirring continually. When the starch mixture starts to turn lumpy and sticks to the bottom of the whisk (approximately 5-6 minutes), remove from the heat and continue whisking quickly. Continue whisking for 1 minute allowing the starch to thicken into a cake-like batter. Return the saucepan to the stove over Low Heat. Continue cooking and stirring for another 1 minute or until the dough thickens into a pudding-like consistency. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Place a parchment square on the work surface. Spoon out approximately 2 1/2 tsp dough and spread on the parchment paper making a circle approximately 2 1/2-inches in diameter. In the center, add 1 piece of shrimp and 1 piece of pork. Fold the parchment square in half so the dumpling is now a half circle. Press gently along the edge to seal the dumpling. Use a small glass, dish or cookie cutter to shape the dumpling further into a half circle. Continue making the dumplings until all the ingredients are used.
Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil and then reduce the heat to Medium. Add half of the dumplings to the pot and boil gently for 5 minutes. (The dumplings will float to the top.) Rotate the dumplings and boil for another 5 minutes. (Total boiling time is 10 minutes.) Transfer the cooked dumplings into a large bowl filled with ice water and allow to soak for 2-3 minutes. Transfer the dumplings to a colander and allow to drain for 5 minutes. Repeat the same steps to cook the remaining dumplings.
To make the Fish Sauce Dipping Sauce, combine the sugar, lime juice, water and fish sauce. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Chop the red chilies and add to the sauce
To make the Scallion Oil, chop the green onions and transfer into a microwaveable bowl. Add the vegetable oil, salt and pepper and toss together. Microwave on High power for 20 seconds.
To serve, brush some oil from the Scallion Oil onto a plate. Peel back the parchment paper and transfer the dumplings onto the plate. Top the dumplings with the Scallion Oil and fried onions. Serve with a side of the Fish Sauce Dipping Sauce.
Yields: 40 dumplings
Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen
Freeze the uncooked dumplings to enjoy at a later time. I store them inside a re-sealable plastic bag.
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