Vietnamese Clear Shrimp and Pork Dumplings – Banh Bot Loc Tran
This chewy shrimp and pork dish is great when drenched in nuoc mam (Vietnamese fish sauce). In my opinion, they can only be enjoyed fresh when they are soft and a little warm. What I like most about this dish is the texture of the tapioca dumpling there doesn’t seem to be too many foods that can replicate this texture.
Ingredients for Dough:
1-12 oz package of Bột Làm Bánh Bột Lọc mix (also called flour for clear roll cake and can be subbed with tapioca flour)
Ingredients for Filling:
¼ to ½ lb small raw shrimp (peeled and deveined)
½ lb pork chop or loin
Red/Orange food coloring (used to enhance the color of the shrimp in the dumplings but is optional)
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
½ tsp ground black pepper
Green onions (diced)
Ingredients for Dipping Sauce:
¼ cup nuoc mam (Vietnamese fish sauce)
¼ cup sugar
Lime juice (to taste)
Hot sauce or hot peppers (finely chopped, to taste – optional)
You can use mock pork and mock shrimp for this recipe.
Medium to large frying pan
Large mixing bowl
Paper Towels (Dampened)
Directions for the Filling:
Peel and devein the shrimp. Cut in half if you are using larger shrimp. Cube the pork into about 1 inch pieces. Mix with the rest of the ingredients. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a pan and add the shrimp and pork mixture to the pan. Fry until the shrimp and pork are cooked through. Set aside in a bowl to cool.
Once the filling is complete you can start on the cake part of the dumpling. Boil a pot of water (use the recipe on the package for guidance on how much water you will need. Make sure that the water is boiling when you mix it into the dough. Put the banh bot loc flour into a large bowl. You can either mix in the water by hand (of course being very careful not to burn yourself) or with a spoon which I would suggest until you get the correct consistency and the dough has cooled slightly. Add water slowly and mix with a spoon, then knead the dough until it is elastic and no longer sticks to your hands. Be careful not to over knead so the dough does not become tough.
Take a section of the dough and leave the rest in the bowl covered with plastic wrap to stay moist. Pull off a small piece of the dough and roll it into a ball in your hands. Flatten the ball out with your fingers to a thickness of about a 1/8 of an inch. Make sure to flatten into a circular shape and flatten the dough evenly. Once you are satisfied with your dough, put in one piece of shrimp, and one piece of pork into the center of the dough. Fold over the dough and press the edges tightly to seal. Set aside under a damp cloth or paper towel and finish making the rest of the dumplings.
Tip: You can get creative when sealing the dumplings using a fork to create a neat looking crease.
Bring 3-4 quarts of water to a slow boil in a large pot over medium heat. While the water is beginning to boil prepare and ice bath (just ice and water in a large bowl) for when they dumplings are done cooking. Gently place the dumplings in the water and cook for approximately 10 minutes. When the dumplings are done they will start to become clear and float to the surface of the boiling water. As they do, use a slotted spoon to scoop them out. Immediately put them in the ice bath to stop the cooking. While the dumplings are in the water they will become clear. At that point they can be removed and plated for serving.
Sorry these are not freezable. You can however refrigerate them. When you are ready to eat them just put a few in the microwave on a covered plate and heat up in 15 second increments until you get the desired softness. Be careful not to heat it up too much or the dumplings will become tough and not so pleasant to eat.
This recipe is traditionally made with shrimp and pork but I often leave out the pork and just have it with the shrimp. For me, I always enjoy foods made with less ingredients but have great flavor.