Savory Steamed Rice Cakes (Banh Beo)

Delicate steamed rice cakes topped with mashed mung beans, toasted shrimp and scallion oil. Served with a side of fish sauce dipping sauce and carrot and radish pickles. | recipe from runawayrice.comThese steamed rice cakes, topped with mung bean paste, toasted shrimp, and scallion oil are simply scrumptious.  The cakes are delicate with a slightly chewy texture; the mashed mung bean is savory and creamy and the toasted shrimp is wonderfully crunchy.   Served with the classic fish sauce dipping sauce and tangy pickles, it’s a party for your taste buds!  Delish!

This recipe is a long-time coming and I’ve been meaning to share this recipe for some time.  It kept getting bumped because there were other recipes I enjoyed making more.  Of course, during this time, I must have made this dish at least a dozen times for family and friends.  As a result, I had lots of opportunities to fine-tune my recipe.  Now I can finally share it along with all of my tips and tricks.  The video shares lots of tips, short cuts and options for steaming the cakes using things other than the traditional small dishes.  If you think these cakes are too time-consuming to make, check out my cheat method and you’ll be enjoying this scrumptious dish in no time.  🙂

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

What is the purpose of pouring out the liquid from the top of the batter and then adding more water?  Answer:  This is a method to rinse the rice flour to remove any impurities or funky odor.  It helps to keep the cakes nice and white.  (If you noticed, the water that is poured out is a cloudy yellowish color.)

I use a sports water bottle so that I can easily mix the batter as the rice flour has a tendency to settle.  If you don’t use a water bottle, just make sure you give the batter a good stir before pouring into the dishes.

Steam the cakes until they turn opaque.  Do not over-cook them or they will be rubbery.

Below are the batter measurements and steam times for the following dishes and pans:

Small traditional dishes:   use 1 Tbsp batter, steam for 4 minutes
Specialty pan with the wells:  use 1/2 Tbsp batter, steam for 3 minutes
Mini-muffin pan:  use 1/2 Tbsp batter, steam for 3 minutes
Disposable foil muffin pans:  use 1 Tbsp batter, steam for 4 minutes
Disposable foil muffin cups:  use 1 Tbsp batter, steam for 4 minutes
9-inch dessert plate:  use 1/2 cup batter, steam for 6-7 minutes

The trademark for this dish is the “dimple” in the center of each steamed cake once it has cooled.  To achieve the dimple you need to use double the amount of batter I use.  (Adjust the steaming time accordingly.)  I prefer my rice cakes thinner so I don’t use a lot of the batter.

If you have multiple steamer trays, you can stack them to make a lot of cakes quickly.  This method works really well when using the cupcake foil liners because they don’t require pre-heating.  You can just load everything up and steam at once.  Super fast!

Watch the video below for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Savory Rolled Cakes (Banh Cuon) and Clear Shrimp and Pork Dumplings (Banh Bot Loc Tran).

Ingredients

Batter
1 cup rice flour
2 Tbsp tapioca starch
1 Tbsp corn starch
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup cold water
1 cup boiling water

Toasted Shrimp
1 cup fresh or frozen shrimp, peeled and deveined (approximately 6 oz)
1 Tbsp water
1 tsp vegetable oil
1/8 tsp ground white pepper

Mung Bean Paste
1/2 cup mashed mung bean
1 Tbsp hot water
salt and pepper

Scallion Oil
4 green onions
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
salt and pepper

1/4 cup vegetable oil or non-stick cooking spray for greasing the dishes

Directions

In a large measuring cup, combine the rice flour, tapioca starch, corn starch and salt with the cold water.  Stir until the flour is dissolved and the mixture is free of lumps.  Add the boiling water and mix together.  Let the batter rest on the counter for 2 hours.

In a skillet over Medium Low heat, add the shrimp and 1 Tbsp of water.  Cover the skillet and cook the shrimp for 1 1/2 minutes.  Flip the shrimp over and cook for another 1 1/2 minutes (total of 3 minutes).  Transfer the cooked shrimp into a food processor leaving any liquid behind.  Pulse the shrimp for 30 seconds in the food processor.   Heat the same skillet over Medium heat and add the vegetable oil.  Add the chopped shrimp and cook for 3 minutes stirring frequently.  Use a spatula and press the shrimp against the skillet and cook for another 4-5 minutes until the shrimp is toasted.  Add the ground white pepper.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside for now.

In a small bowl, combine the mashed mung bean with ground white pepper, salt and hot water.  Mix together into a smooth paste.  Set aside for now.

Chop the green onions and then combine with vegetable oil, salt and pepper.  Set aside for now.

Being careful not to disturb the flour at the bottom of the measuring cup, carefully pour out the liquid from the top, removing about 1 cup.  Add 1 cup water to the batter and mix well.  Pour the batter into a sports water bottle and seal with the cap.

Fill the steamer basin 3/4 of the way with water and then bring to a rapid boil.  Reduce the heat to Medium High.  Line one of the steamer trays with the small dishes and then place on top of the steamer with the lid on.  Heat the dishes for 2 minutes.  Shake the batter bottle gently to mix up the batter.  Oil the dishes using vegetable oil or non-stick cooking spray.  Pour 1 Tbsp batter into each of the dishes.  Steam for 4 minutes.  Remove the tray and start the next steamer tray.  Remove the cakes from the steamer and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes.  Continue making the cakes until all of the batter is used.

Cook the scallion oil in the microwave for 30 seconds.

To assemble the dish, carefully run a spatula around the dish to loosen the cake.  Arrange about 6-8 cakes on a plate.  Top the cakes with scallion oil, a little dollop of the mung bean paste and the toasted shrimp.

Serve the savory steamed rice cakes with fish sauce dipping sauce and carrot and radish pickles.

Yields:  36 cakes, each made with 1 Tbsp batter, 3-4 servings

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen


Savory Steamed Rice Cakes with Toasted Shrimp | recipe from runawayrice.com

*This post contains affiliate links.*

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16 Responses to Savory Steamed Rice Cakes (Banh Beo)

  1. Ngoc May 4, 2017 at 8:19 am #

    Hi Trang, love your recipes and tips! I love banh beo when they are thinly made. Your tip about the foil cupcake liners are a great idea but I was wondering if they are too thick from the result photo? What is your take on the best way to make them thin enough without breaking? Ngoc

    • Trang May 4, 2017 at 2:14 pm #

      Hi Ngoc,
      You can make the cakes thinner by reducing the batter. I wanted to show a variety, using the different molds and liners. The banh beo in the cupcake liners are definitely thicker. I suggest starting with 1 Tbsp batter and seeing if you like that. Using the cupcake liners makes it really easy to remove the cakes so you don’t have to worry about them breaking. Good Luck and let me know how it turns out for you. 🙂

  2. Nikki March 2, 2017 at 4:48 pm #

    Hi Trang! Love the website (just came upon it while searching for recipes). Was wondering were you purchased the small white traditional bowls from? Love your directions and the videos! Thanks

    • Trang March 3, 2017 at 8:48 am #

      Hi Nikki,
      Thanks for stopping by. You can find these cute bowls at T&K Food Market 9681 Bolsa Ave, Westminster, CA 92683 or at Vinh Thai Restaurant Supply, 10562 Westminster Ave, Garden Grove, CA 92843
      Good Luck with the recipe!

  3. Madeleine April 5, 2016 at 6:18 pm #

    Why do you pour out liquid from the batter then add the same amout you pour out? Is that necessary?

    • Trang April 6, 2016 at 6:48 pm #

      Hi Madeleine,
      It’s a technique for rinsing the flour. It removes the impurities and is necessary to produce a nice and white cake. Hope that helps 🙂

  4. Jenny September 30, 2015 at 10:00 pm #

    Hi Trang,

    By chance I recently discovered your website and I love your recipes, instructions and tips/tricks. I’d like to know where you bought your (1) jar lifter and (2) metal banh beo tray with handle. I’ve been looking for it but can’t seem to locate it.

    Please keep adding more Vietnamese recipes. You make an excellent teacher with your simple to follow step by step instructions. I am Vietnamese myself and I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE Vietnamese food. There are so many really GREAT Vietnamese dishes and I never get tired of Vietnamese food – EVER!

    Thanks!

    • Trang October 3, 2015 at 11:20 am #

      Hi Jenny,

      Welcome to RunAwayRice and I am happy to hear you love Vietnamese food and cooking! I hope you find a recipe you’d like to try.
      Here are some links for the items you requested:
      Jar Lifter:
      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EZ51AW8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00EZ51AW8&linkCode=as2&tag=runawayrice-20&linkId=SIKBQXGS7HAQ2ODK
      You can also find this tool at a 99 Ranch Market or larger Asian grocery stores.
      Metal banh beo tray with handle:
      If you’re in Southern California, many of the Vietnamese grocery stores sell these trays. I purchase mine at the following store:
      Vinh Thai Restaurant Supply
      10562 Westminister Avenue
      Garden Grove, CA 92643
      (714) 539-3179

      Please let me know if you have any questions.

    • Jenny October 13, 2015 at 3:24 pm #

      Hi Trang,

      Thanks for your response and information. I will purchase the jar lifter from the website you provided and also try to locate some banh beo trays. Unfortunately, there are no vendors where I live that sell them and I don’t want to wait until I return to VN as who knows when that will be. I will keep you posted. Have a great day!!!

      • Trang October 13, 2015 at 8:59 pm #

        Hi Jenny,
        That’s too bad you’re not finding these pans in your area. Maybe I need to ask Amazon to stock up on these pans. 🙂
        Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Nga August 30, 2015 at 8:14 pm #

    Thanks for sharing , I am looking a recipe to make banh beo because I miss this kind of food. The Vietnamese town is more than 1 hour to drive since I live in Chicago suburb. I can make it myself now:)

    • Trang August 30, 2015 at 10:08 pm #

      Hi Nga,

      I know how it feels to crave some home cooking. I hope you give this recipe a try and stop back to share your results. Happy Cooking!

  6. Kim April 12, 2015 at 7:07 am #

    Hi Trang,
    I tried your banh beo recipe. I used a cake pan to steam, then I used a round cookies cutter to cut into little rounds. There are no dimples. But, I do not miss them: once I sprinkle the toppings on,I can not tell the difference. All the cakes have the same thickness. It is much much faster to steam and clean up than using the little dishes. The water bottle is a nice trick too. Good batter, excellent recipe and tips. You are awesome ! Thank you so much for sharing.
    KIM

    • Trang April 13, 2015 at 8:22 pm #

      Hi Kim,

      I am so glad you tried the recipe and liked it! (The dimples are over-rated 🙂 ) I really like your idea of using a cake pan and then cutting into little round cakes. What a neat idea and another wonderful option for making these cakes. I appreciate you taking the time to share your comments. Happy Cooking!

  7. Kim March 28, 2015 at 12:16 pm #

    Hi Trang,
    I have been waiting for this recipe for a long time. You always have good ideas to make thing easier. I am impressed with the water bottle and foil paper cups. I will try soon and let you know, but I am confident, because all your recipes I have tried are excellent.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Kim.

    • Trang March 29, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

      Thank you for waiting patiently for this recipe and I am so glad to hear you like the tips I shared. I’d love to hear back from you once you give the recipe a try. Happy Cooking!

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