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Tofu / Bean Curd (Dau Hu)

Make Tofu (Dau Hu) at Home with this Simple Recipe | recipe from runawayrice.comFragrant and delicious,¬†tofu is so easy to make at home with this simple 3-ingredient recipe. Talk about goodness that’s so much fresher and healthier than the store-bought versions. There are no preservatives or ingredients you can’t pronounce in this tofu. If you’re familiar with making Soy Milk, you’ll find this recipe to be a cinch! Hope you give this recipe a try and share your results with me! ūüôā

 Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

Use organic soybeans if possible.

To cut the soaking time of the beans in half use hot water.

I do not recommend using store-bought soy milk. Some of the milks have stabilizer and preservatives which prevent the milk from separating into the curds and liquid whey.

If fresh soy milk is available, you can start with this instead of making your own from the soybeans. Simply add 2 cups water to the milk and follow the remaining instructions.

I use distilled white vinegar with an acidity of 5%. You can substitute the vinegar for the same amount of lemon or lime juice but you will have to use more of the coagulant to get the separation.

Cheesecloth comes in different grades. I am using a double layer of grade 90 cheesecloth. The grade 60 cheesecloth, commonly sold at the grocery stores, will work just fine too.

Make sure the heat is Low when adding the coagulant. Do not allow the milk boil or this will break up the curds.

If after adding 1/2 cup + 3 Tbsp coagulant you still don’t see the separation, continue adding 1 Tbsp and letting it rest for 3 minutes. Repeat this process until you see the separation.

You can change the firmness of the tofu by adding more coagulant. More coagulant will make larger curds resulting in a firm tofu. Also increasing the pressing time will also yield a firmer tofu. Below are some guidelines:

10-15 minutes = Soft
20-25 minutes = Medium
30+ minutes = Firm

Soaking the tofu in ice water helps to firm up the tofu. If you prefer a soft tofu, you can skip this step.

Some other things you can use to make your own tofu mold: take-out food containers, plastic baskets for fruits and berries, disposal foil pans, plastic food storage containers. Optionally you can just buy a tofu maker. (This one is fairly inexpensive.)

If not using right away, store the tofu immersed in water in the refrigerator. Change the water daily to keep it fresh. The tofu is best consumed within 1 week.

Watch the video for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Soy Milk (Sua Dau Nanh) and Yogurt (Yaourt).


1/2 lb (approximately 1 1/3 cups) organic soy beans
10 cups water
1 cup water + 2 Tbsp distilled white vinegar (Note: Used in this recipe is 1/2 cup + 3 Tbsp)

Other Items
4 cup tofu mold or container with holes throughout
cheesecloth (Grade 90 or 60)
object weighing 2-3 lbs (soup can, small box salt, sugar, etc)


Sift through the dry soy beans and remove any which are mis-shapened or covered with dark spots and discard.

Wash the soybeans by swirling around in cold water for 1 minute and then pouring off the cloudy water. Repeat this process 2 more times making sure the final wash water is clear. Soak the beans in cold water for 8 hours or overnight.

Wash the beans one more time and then drain well.

Transfer the soybeans into a blender. Add 2 1/2 cups water. Starting first on Low speed, gradually increase to High speed. Blend for 1 minute. Add another 2 1/2 cups water and continue blending on High speed for another 30 seconds.

Pour the soy milk into a nut milk bag. Firmly squeeze the bag extracting the soy milk into a large bowl. Pour the soy milk into a large saucepan.

Transfer the soy pulp back into the blender. Add 5 cups water. Blend on High speed for 30 seconds. Again pour into the nut milk bag, extract the milk and then pour into the saucepan.

Make the coagulant by combining 1 cup water with the 2 Tbsp distilled white vinegar. Set aside for now.

Cut a double layer of cheesecloth to fit the tofu mold. Wet the cheesecloth and then wring out the water. Line the tofu mold with the cheesecloth.

Invert a small bowl or dish inside a large dish or pan. Place the tofu mold on top.

Warm the soy milk over Medium Low heat. Stir frequently to prevent the milk from burning on the bottom. Skim off the foam and discard. When the milk comes to a gentle boil, reduce the heat to Low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Reduce the heat to Low. Quickly stir the soy milk a few times to get it swirling. Slowly Add 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp coagulant by drizzling it into the soy milk. (You should see bubbles forming and the milk starting to curdle.) Stir gently in a back and forth motion to distribute the coagulant. (Small curds should be visible in the milk now.) Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes.

Check to see if the liquid has separated into curds and liquid whey. If it has not, drizzle in another 1 Tbsp coagulant and stir gently. Let rest for another 3-4 minutes.

The milk liquid should separate into curds and an opaque liquid (liquid whey). Using a slotted spoon, transfer just the curds into the tofu mold.

Use a spatula to evenly distribute the curds into the mold. Fold the cheesecloth covering up the tofu. Add the lid and place a weight on top. Allow the tofu to be pressed for 20 minutes.

Fill a large bowl with ice water. Invert the tofu into the cold water and remove the mold. Unwrap the tofu and remove the cheesecloth. Allow the tofu to rest in the ice water for 15 minutes.

Enjoy the tofu fresh or as an ingredient in your favorite dishes.

Yields: 1 lb tofu

Love tofu? Here are some tasty dishes to try:

Tofu in Tomato Sauce (Dau Hu Sot Ca)

Fermented Chili Tofu (Chao)

Lemongrass Tofu and Rice Noodles (Bun Dau Hu Xao)

Braised Tofu and Mushrooms (Dau Hu Kho Nam)

Sweet and Sour Tofu Stir-Fry (Dau Hu Xao Sot Chua Ngot)

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

Fresh Tofu (Dau Hu) - Amazing when Homemade, a Must-Try! | recipe from

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Crab and Salted Egg Yolks Meatloaf (Cha Cua Trung Muoi)

Deliciously Savory Crab and Salted Eggs Meatloaf | recipe from runawayrice.comSavory and delicious, this¬†dish has all the bold flavors we love–tender crab,¬†briny eggs, springy noodles and¬†vegetables plus it’s a cinch to make with this no-fail recipe. What can be¬†better than a hearty meatloaf dish for those busy nights when you need a hot and tasty dish that is easy to prepare and cook? Steaming the meatloaf keeps it super-moist and requires little fussing. Give this recipe a try. It’s guaranteed to be a winner!

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

Substitute crab for any seafood you like such as fish, shrimp, scallops, lobster, etc or use a seafood combination.

As the salted egg yolks¬†are solid, make sure to break up into small pieces.¬†You don’t want big chunks of the yolks¬†in the meatloaf as¬†it is pretty salty. Optionally, mash¬†the yolks in a separate bowl using a fork,¬†then add to the meatloaf mixture and combine. (Note: I only use the salted egg yolks and not the¬†entire salted eggs. The egg whites are super-salty and that’s why I don’t add to the meatloaf mixture.) If you really love the saltiness, add 1 more salted egg yolk.

I am using a¬†9″ x 5″¬†loaf pan and the steam time is 40 minutes. The steaming time varies depending on the size of the pan used. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the meatloaf and checking that it is clean.


.4 oz dried black fungus slivers (also called wood ear mushrooms)
1.8 oz bean thread noodle
1/4 small onion
3 green onions
5 large eggs
12 oz canned crab meat (drained of all liquid)
1/2 lb ground pork
2 Salted Egg Yolks
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
1/2 Tbsp oyster sauce
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
non-stick cooking spray


Soak the black fungus slivers and bean thread noodle in separate bowls of warm water for 10 minutes.

Rinse and drain the mushrooms and then finely chop. Drain the noodles and use scissors to cut into small pieces.

Finely chop the onion and green onions.

Separate 2 egg yolks and set aside in a small bowl for later. (This is used to brush the top of the meatloaf later.) Place the 2 egg whites into a separate bowl. Add the remaining 3 whole eggs to this bowl.

In a large bowl, add the mushrooms, noodles, onion, green onions, 5 egg whites + 3 egg yolks, crab meat, ground pork, salted egg yolks, minced garlic, vegetable oil, fish sauce, oyster sauce and ground black pepper. Combine all of the ingredients really well.

Coat a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Transfer the meatloaf mixture into the greased loaf pan. Spread out the mixture evenly and smooth the top.

Fill a large steamer basin 2/3 full with water. Cover and bring to a boil over High heat.

Reduce the heat to Medium. Place the meatloaf into the steamer and steam for 40 minutes.

Brush the egg yolk mixture on top of the meatloaf. Steam for another 5 minutes or until the egg yolks are golden.

Remove from the steamer and serve while hot.

Yields: 4-6 servings

Crab and Salted Eggs Meatloaf | recipe from runawayrice.comCrab and Salted Eggs Meatloaf | recipe from

Crab and Salted Eggs Meatloaf | recipe from runawayrice.comCrab and Salted Eggs Meatloaf | recipe from

Crab and Salted Eggs Meatloaf | recipe from runawayrice.comCrab and Salted Eggs Meatloaf | recipe from
If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Easy Bake Egg Meatloaf (Cha Trung)

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Crab and Salted Eggs Meatloaf (Cha Cua Trung Muoi)Crab and Salted Eggs Meatloaf | recipe from*This post contains affiliate links.*

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Mooncakes with Salted Egg Yolks (Banh Trung Thu / Banh Nuong Nhan Trung Muoi)

Make homemade Mooncakes with Salted Egg Yolks with this step-by-step video recipe | recipe from runwayrice.comThese¬†beautiful mooncakes¬†have a¬†subtly sweet pastry dough¬†filled with sweet mung bean and salted egg yolk. The contrasting¬†textures and tastes of the delicate pastry, sweet mung bean and savory egg yolk¬†is simply mouth-watering and such a¬†delicious treat. Making these¬†exquisite pastries at home is not difficult and I really recommend you give¬†it a try. You’re going to have¬†a lot of fun making them. Yes, they are a bit time-consuming to make but, the¬†end result is¬†so worth it. The mooncakes are such stunning gems that once done you won’t want to eat them! ūüôā Make a batch and gift them to your family and friends for the Mid-Autumn Festival. They will marvel at your baking skills and love you for the thoughtful gift. Enjoy!

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

Making the Filling

  • Use a¬†large non-stick pan¬†or wok¬†to cook the mung bean. The larger surface helps to cook-off the liquid quicker.
  • During the entire cooking process, scrap the pan often to prevent any crust from forming on the bottom. The crust will cause the mung bean to be lumpy.
  • If considerable crusting¬†forms, reduce the heat to Low.
  • If you have cooked/roasted glutinous rice flour, add 3 Tbsp to the mung bean puree. This flour¬†helps to absorb the liquid, reduces the cooking time and¬†makes the mung bean more pliable, plus it tastes great!
  • Work with the mung bean while it’s warm and¬†it’ll be easier to shape¬†into balls. If cooled, microwave on High for 1 minute to warm up again.
  • Salted egg yolks take about 1 month to make. If you don’t have them on-hand for this recipe, as a shortcut, use lightly salted hard-boiled eggs or purchase the salted eggs¬†from the Asian grocer.
  • Try making the cakes with double salted egg yolks for more savory goodness.

Making the Mooncakes

  • In this recipe, I use Lyle’s Golden Syrup instead of breakfast syrup which I’ve used in past for making mooncakes. I really¬†like the taste of this syrup and it gives the cakes a beautiful golden color. Of course, if you like the¬†breakfast syrup, this is just fine for this recipe. The syrup measurements are the same.
  • Substitute the peanut oil for any mild-tasting vegetable oil such as soybean or canola if needed.
  • The dough should be soft, moist and slightly sticky. If the dough is too dry or crumbly, add equal amounts of golden syrup and peanut oil, 1 tsp at a time, and work together. Err on the side of a drier dough rather than a wetter one. The dough will moisten and soften after the 30-minute resting period. If the dough is too wet, add 1 Tbsp cake flour at a time and work into the dough. A dough that is¬†too wet will not hold the mooncake patterns and will ooze when left to sit at room temperature.
  • After the 30-minute resting period, do a quick test of the dough: Pinch off a small amount and roll into a ball. Let sit for 15 minutes and see if the dough oozes or loses its shape. Adjust the dough¬†accordingly, if needed.
  • Each¬†mooncake¬†weighs 200 grams (7 oz): pastry dough is 80 grams (2.8 oz)¬†+ mung bean and salted egg yolk filling are¬†120 grams (4.2 oz). The typical ratio for dough to filling is 1:2 or 1.5:2.
  • If there are bubbles in the dough¬†while rolling the cakes, prick with a toothpick and smooth.
  • Be sure to¬†coat the cake ball with flour before placing into the mold (in addition to generously dusting the mold). This is the secret to preventing sticking. You can dust off the flour later. Nothing is¬†sadder than having your beautiful mooncake stick¬†to the mold and tearing.¬†ūüôĀ
  • If the mooncake sticks to the mold and tears, smooth¬†out the dough¬†using a¬†small spatula¬†or patch with thin layers of dough. Scrape off the dough from the mold and dust generously with flour before¬†making¬†another cake.
  • Practice makes perfect but there is¬†a trick to getting the egg yolk centered in the cake: Place a toothpick through the egg yolk and use¬†it as your guide when¬†forming the filling ball and¬†making the cakes. Roll the mung bean and dough with the toothpick in place¬†and you’ll always know where the egg yolk is, so you can keep it centered. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect! ūüôā

Storing the Mooncakes

  • Cover and refrigerate any remaining cakes. Allow the cakes to come to room temperature before eating. Enjoy within the week.
  • The mooncakes can be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and then store in a resealable plastic bag. Thaw and allow to come to room temperature before enjoying. Optionally, wrap in foil and warm in a toaster oven.

Watch the video for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like:

Mooncakes with Coconut Filling (Banh Trung Thu / Banh Nuong Nhan Dua)

Mooncakes with Sweet Red Bean Filling (Banh Trung Thu / Banh Nuong Nhan Dau Do)


14 oz (2 cups) peeled split mung bean
1/2 tsp salt
5 cups water
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
8 Salted Egg Yolks

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
2/3 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup
1/4 cup peanut oil
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup all-purpose flour for dusting the molds and rolling the cakes

Egg Wash
1 egg yolk
1 tsp water
1/2 tsp sesame oil


Wash the mung bean several times with cold water until the water is mostly clear. Soak the beans in a large bowl of water for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Steam the salted egg yolks over Medium High heat for 15 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside for now.

Wash the beans again with cold water and then drain. Transfer into a large pot. Add the salt and water. Bring to a boil over High heat. Stir and reduce the heat to Low. Skim off the foam from the top and discard. Continue cooking over Low heat, stirring every 5 minutes, for 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the beans are soft and creamy.

Transfer the cooked mung bean into a blender. Add the sugar. Blend on High speed until smooth, approximately 30-45 seconds.

Add the vegetable oil into a large pan along with the pureed mung bean. Cook over Medium Low heat stirring often. Slowly cook-off the liquid until the mung bean transforms from a pudding-like consistency to a stiff dough, approximately 30-40 minutes. The right consistency is achieved when you can fold the mung bean and it holds its shape.

Transfer the mung bean to a bowl. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Use a food scale to weigh one egg yolk. Weigh the mung bean so that the egg plus mung bean total 120 grams. (For example, if the egg yolk is 10 grams, weigh out 110 grams of mung bean to make a filling ball that is 120 grams.) Roll the mung bean making a rough ball. Shape into a thick patty about 3-inches wide and then make an indentation in the center. Place the egg yolk in the middle. Work the mung bean around the yolk, covering it completely. Roll between your palms to smooth and shape into a ball. Repeat these steps to make the remaining 7 filling balls. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for now.

In a large bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour and cake flour.

In a bowl or measuring cup, add the golden syrup, peanut oil and egg yolks.  Whisk together until the egg yolks are completely incorporated.

Make a well in the sifted flour and pour in the syrup mixture. (Scrape out all the syrup from the measuring cup.) Using a fork, gradually work the flour mixture into the syrup: Combine the flour and syrup together by stirring in circles, working from the edge of the bowl toward the center. Continue stirring until all the dry flour is worked into the dough. Push all the dough to one side of the bowl forming a large ball. Scoop out the dough ball and gently knead in your hands for 1-2 minutes. Place on a flat surface and knead the dough for 1 minute. (Don’t overwork the dough.) Shape the dough into a log. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

Line a baking tray with a Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat or parchment paper.

Sift the remaining 1/2 cup all-purpose flour into a large bowl. (This is used to dust the molds and make the cakes.)

Sprinkle some sifted flour on the work surface and dough log. Knead the dough gently for 1-2 minutes. Shape into a log again and cover with plastic wrap so the dough doesn’t dry out while working with it.

Use a food scale and weigh out 80 grams of dough. Roll the dough into a ball. Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough into a 5-inch circle. Place a filling ball in the center and then gently work the dough around the filling covering it completely. Gently stretch and pinch the dough together to cover the filling ball. Roll between your palms until smooth. Dust the entire ball with more flour.

Coat the mooncake mold with a generous amount of flour. Lightly tap the mold to remove the excess flour. Assemble the mold.

Place the cake ball inside the mold. Using your fingers or palm, press down gently, flattening and pushing the cake ball into the mold. (Dust with flour if the dough starts to stick to your fingers.) Press the cake evenly into the mold, filling out the corners and keeping the dough inside the mold. Prick a few holes in the cake using a toothpick to allow the steam to escape when baking. Remove the top piece of the mold. Use a rolling pin to tap the sides of the mold to release the cake. Brush off any excess flour and then transfer the cake to the baking tray. Continue with these steps until all mooncakes are made.

Position the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Bake the cakes at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes.

Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Spritz each cake with water.

To make the egg wash, whisk together the egg yolk, water and sesame oil. Strain the mixture. Brush each cake with the egg wash, coating it evenly.

Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F. Return the cakes to oven and bake for 7-8 minutes or until the tops are just golden. (Do not over-bake.)

Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely (about 2 hours). Store in an air-tight container for 1 day.

Enjoy the mooncakes with hot tea!

Yields: 8 cakes

Looking for more mooncake recipes? Check out the following:

Snowskin Mooncakes Part 1: Making the Syrup and Taro Root Filling (Banh Deo: Cach Nau Nuoc Duong, Lam Nhan Khoai Mon)

Snowskin Mooncakes Part 2: Making the Dough and the Cakes (Cach Lam Vo Banh)

Piggy Mooncakes for Mid-Autumn Festival (Banh Trung Thu / Banh Nuong)

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

Celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival with these beautiful and delicious Mooncakes | recipe from

Quintessential cakes for celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival, Learn how to make these Mooncakes with Salted Egg Yolks! | recipe from

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Salted Eggs (Trung Muoi)

Briny and delicious, these Salted Eggs are simply amazing! | recipe from runawayrice.comIf you’ve never had Salted Eggs, you’re in for a treat. These¬†briny eggs will wake-up your taste buds and have you craving this unique yet simple dish. In this recipe, chicken¬†(or ducks) eggs are soaked in brine and spices¬†permeating them¬†with salty goodness. The eggs can then be hard-boiled, steamed, fried or used as ingredients¬†in other dishes. In future posts, I’ll share some of my favorite recipes using Salted Eggs, so please stop back!

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

Use chicken or duck eggs. Ducks eggs have a thicker shell and ideal for brining. The eggs are fattier and have a rich, buttery flavor.

Use sea salt as it dissolves easily. If all you can find is table salt, this will work, but note, this salt will not dissolve completely.

The ratio of water to sea salt is 4:1, for every 4 cups water, use 1 cup sea salt. You can easily adjust the recipe to make more or less salted eggs.

If you enjoy the aroma of star anise, add 1-2 whole flowers to the brine.

The brining time varies depending on the size of the eggs. For large eggs, brine for 4 weeks. If using medium¬†eggs, check after 3 weeks. Crack¬†one open and if the yolk is solid,¬†it’s ready. Letting the eggs brine for too long may result in a yolk that is misshapen.

The eggs are super salty so be careful to reduce/omit salt, soy sauce or fish sauce in any recipe.

If not using the salted eggs right away, hard-boil the eggs and then freeze for up to 3 months. Please note egg whites do not freeze well. They become rubbery when frozen so when freezing eggs, the edible portion is the yolk.

Watch the video for instructions.


2 dozen large chicken or duck eggs
10 cups water
2 1/2 cups sea salt
2-inch ginger, peeled
1/2 Tbsp peppercorns
2 Tbsp vodka

Other Item
1 gallon jar with lid


Place eggs into a large colander removing any cracked ones. Gently wash the eggs with cold water and then drain.

Add the water and sea salt into a large pot. Heat the solution over Medium heat stirring constantly until the salt is completely dissolved. (This takes approximately 10 minutes.) Allow to cool to room temperature. (This take approximately 1 1/2 hours.)

Add the peeled ginger, peppercorns and vodka into the jar along with the eggs. Pour in the brining liquid filling the jar to the top. Use a flexible plastic lid or a re-sealable plastic bag filled with water to weigh-down the eggs so they are all submerged in the brine. Put the lid on the jar and seal.

Place the jar on a countertop (away from direct sunlight) or in a pantry and allow the eggs to brine for 4 weeks.

After 4 weeks, the eggs can be hard-boiled, steamed, fried or used in other recipes.

Yields: 24 salted eggs

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Briny and delicious, these Salted Eggs are super easy to make at home. | recipe from
















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Steamed Rice Cakes and Pork Roll (Banh Day)

Vietnamese Steamed Rice Cake and Pork Roll (Banh Day) | recipe from runawayrice.comA thick slice of pork roll layered between two glutinous steamed rice cakes makes this savory dish one amazing snack. Call it a Vietnamese sandwich, this tasty treat is full of flavor and texture. Glutinous rice flour is what gives these delicious cakes the uniquely sticky and chewy texture. The ingredients are simple and the recipe is straightforward, so no excuses for not giving this recipe a try. Make a batch for your family today. These sandwiches are great for lunch boxes or as small bites in between meals. Delish!

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

The banana leaves add a wonderful aroma, but if you need a shortcut, use parchment paper.

This dough is¬†really forgiving.¬†Any time before steaming, if the dough is too dry or too wet, adjust by adding more water or glutinous rice flour and then mixing together. It’s better for the dough to be a bit on the drier side than too wet. If you need to add more water, add 1 Tbsp at a time, mix and then check the consistency.

This recipe yields 8 sandwiches. Each cake¬†is about 2 ounces of dough. Use more dough if you’d like¬†the cakes a bit thicker.

Wrap the lid with a kitchen towel to prevent the moisture from dripping onto the cakes and causing blisters.

Do not steam these cakes with vigorously boiling water. The cakes will ooze and become flat. Steam gently and be sure to remove the lid twice to release the steam.

The cakes are done when they turn from a white color to opaque.

2 lbs of of steamed pork roll is generous and you may not use it all depending on how meaty you like your sandwiches.

Store any remaining cakes in refrigerator and consume within the week. These cakes can be frozen for up to two months. To reheat, microwave on Low until warm or allow to defrost at room temperature.

Watch the video below for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Savory Steamed Rice Cakes (Banh Beo)


1 lb glutinous rice flour (approximately 3 3/4 cups)
2 Tbsp rice flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups + 2 Tbsp water
4-8″¬†square sections, cleaned banana leaves
1 Tbsp vegetable oil for coating the banana leaves
2 lbs Steamed Pork Roll (Cha Lua/Gio Lua)


Take one of the banana leaves and fold in half and then in half again making a small square. Use a 3″ round cookie cutter to score the leaf. Cut out the circles using scissors. Repeat the steps with the remaining leaves making a total of 16 circles.

Place the water into the microwave and cook on High for 1 minute and 30 seconds.

In a mixing bowl, add the glutinous rice flour, rice flour, salt and vegetable oil. Mix on Low speed for 10 seconds. Gradually pour in the hot water while mixing on Low speed. After a minute or so the dough should start to form. Continue mixing for another minute or until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated. Scrape off the dough from the flat beater. Continue mixing for another 2 minutes.

Knead the dough for 30 seconds working in any remaining dry ingredients. Pat the dough into a rough ball and transfer to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.

Using a pastry brush, coat the dark green, shiny side of the banana leaf circles with vegetable oil.

Divide the dough into 16 equal-sized balls. Take one of the dough balls and gently squeeze a few times to compress the dough. Roll between your palms shaping into a smooth ball. Place the ball on the banana leaf and gently press down flattening the dough, leaving about 1/4-inch of the banana leaf showing. Continue until all cakes are made.  Place 8 cakes into the steamer tray.

Fill 1/3 of the steamer basin with water. Cover and bring to a boil over High heat. Reduce the heat to Medium Low. Add the steamer tray and lid and steam for 3 minutes. Remove the lid to release the steam and then cover again. Steam for another 3 minutes. Again, remove the lid to let out some steam and cover. Steam for another 4 minutes.

Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and allow to cool. Repeat the above steps to steam the second batch.

Slice the steamed pork roll into thick slices.

To assemble, place a rice cake on a plate (with the banana leaf touching the plate). Add a slice of the steamed pork roll. Add another rice cake on top (with the banana leaf facing up) making a sandwich.

Peel off small sections of the banana leaves and discard as you eat the cake. The leaves keep the cakes from sticking to your fingers. Enjoy!

Yields: 8 sandwiches

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The perfect little snack: Steamed Rice Cakes with Pork Roll | recipe from

Need a refresher on how to clean banana leaves? Check out this post: Preparing Banana Leaves
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