Tapioca dumpling is also called clear roll cake or bánh bột lọc in Vietnamese, is one of beloved classic Hue dishes. The small dumplings are filled with shrimp and pork, topped with fragrant scallion oil and served with spicy lime fish sauce. There are two versions of this dish, one is called bánh bột lọc trần or naked tapioca dumpling and second is bánh bột lọc lá, dumpling wrapped in banana leaves. The difference in these two versions is how we prepare the flour. In this post, I’ll instruct you on how to make the naked version of the tapioca dumpling. The other version will be followed in the future post.
Bánh Bột Lọc Recipe:
1 12 oz package of Flour for Clear Roll Cake (Bột Làm Bánh Bột Lọc) or Tapioca Flour
1 bunch green onion, to make scallion oil to garnish.
1 tbsp cooking oil
1/6 yellow onion, minced
1 pinch of red food coloring, optional
1/2 lb shrimps, peeled, deveined
1/2 lb pork loin
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Preparation for filling:
Peel the shrimp, cut in half or leave it whole, depending on the size of the shrimp, for approximate 1 inch long to make 40 of them. Slice pork into thin medallions approx. 1″ around, 40 pieces. In a hot skillet, add cooking oil and stir in the onion until fragrant, add the red food coloring and mix it up. Add the remaining filling ingredients and stir until the pork and shrimp are cooked, around 1-2 mins. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon to a bowl and continue to reduce the juice in the skillet until it’s almost gone, about 1-2 mins. Add the filling back into the skillet, mix it well so that the shrimp and pork are well coated with camelized sauce.
Preparation for cakes:
Boil a kettle of water. Make sure you use boiling water to knead the dough otherwise it will not stick. Pour the flour into a big bowl, make a well in the middle and fill hot water in halfway. Cover the well with flour and start kneading. Be careful not to burn yourself. Keep adding the hot water slowly if needed when kneading until the flour no longer sticks on your hands and the dough is elastic. Don’t overdo it because the dough will dry fast and become hard.
Divide the dough into 4 pieces, use one piece at a time at put the rest into a plastic bag to keep it moist. Break it further into half, put one half into the same plastic bag to keep it moist, roll the other half into a long roll, break it in 5 pieces.
Roll one piece at a time in your hand to form a ball and use your fingers to flatten it out into a round shape to get the right thickness, neither too thick nor too thin. Place the filling into the center, one piece of pork and one piece of shrimp, fold it over the skin and press the edge down to seal it. Keep doing it it until you’re done. You’ll make 40 cakes.
Fill the stock pan with about 3 quart of water and place it on a stove over medium heat. When the water is boiling, slowly add the cakes in. Approx 7- 10 minutes, when the water is boiling again; the cakes start floating to the surface and getting clear , use a slotted spoon to pick them out and shock them into cold water. The cakes will become clear.
Follow the instructions here to make scallion oil.
Transfer the cakes into a dish. Top them with scallion oil on each layer to unstick them.
Dipping fish sauce: Add 1/3 cup of Viet Huong 3 crab fish sauce into a cup, squeeze in 1/2 lime and 2 minced Thai bird eye chilies.
Serve cakes with dipping fish sauce.