When it comes to Hue cuisine, there are 3 popular types of glutinous cakes, they are Sticky rice dumplings (banh it tran), wrapped Sticky rice dumplings (banh it goi) and Sticky rice dumplings on a pancake (banh ram it). Their ingredients and recipes are not quite different. Only different at the last step.
The recipes of Banh It Tran and Banh It Goi is similar. Banh It Tran is simply made from sticky rice flour and filled with shrimps and meat then steamed. And with Banh It Goi, there is one more step of wrapping in banana leaves and steaming.
Usually, after steamed, Banh It is very sticky to your hands, so to solve this problem, Hue cookers have created another cake called Banh Ram It. Banh Ram It is a combination of 2 Sticky rice dumplings. After steamed, the dumplings at the bottom is fried in boiling cooking oil, so it is no longer sticky. And another cake is put on the top. Therefore, it is called sticky rice dumplings on a pancake.
Among 3 types of cake, Banh It Tran is the most common and simple cake. Its main ingredients are rice flour and filling like Tapioca Dumpling. They are different from their fillings when Sticky rice dumplings’ filling is needed chopping into smaller pieces. Because of its round shape, shrimps, and bacon are chopped into small pieces. If we make its filling like Tapioca Dumpling, the filling may be protruded when you fill.
The recipe of Banh it tran is the same as Banh Troi Nuoc, but banh it tran is steamed. When the cake is cooked, you can sprinkle grated dried shrimp and green onions. Banh it tran is served with a spicy fish sauce to enjoy the unique taste of Hue cuisine.
Steps to make Banh It Tran are quite simple, if you want to try, you can refer to the below recipe.
Ingredients for 10 Sticky rice dumplings
- 1 cup of glutinous rice flour
- 1/2 cup of steamed mung beans
- 1/4 cup of dried shrimp
- 100g bacon
- Salt, cooking oil, green onions, pepper, dry onions, fish sauce, and seasoning.
Steps for making sticky rice dumplings
Glutinous rice flour is poured into a clean bowl, you add ½ teaspoon of salt, slowly pour 100ml of water at about 50 degrees Celsius, or you can use fresh milk instead (using fresh milk make the dough soft and sticky). Depending on the water absorption of the powder, you can adjust the water suitably.
Use the spoon to mix well until the mixture is smooth and soft, when you press, it is not sticky, then you knead for 2 more minutes and cover with cling film for 30 minutes then set aside to rise for 30 minutes.
Soak dried shrimp and pound it.
Wash and chop the bacon.
Boil 2 tsp of cooking oil, fry onions, add bacon and stir-fry, then add dried shrimp and stir well.
Add steamed mung beans, use wood spoon to stir until mung beans is dry, add salt, fish sauce, seasoning, pepper.
Stir fry for 5 to 8 minutes until mung beans is dry, turn off the cooker, cool it down, use your hands to shape mung beans into small round balls.
After resting the dough, use your hands to make small round balls to wrap mung bean balls, roll the dough out and put mung beans in the middle, then wrap it.
Continue doing until out of the dough and mung beans.
Wash banana leaves, make it dry, put it into a steaming pot, spread cooking oil to avoid being sticky, put dough balls, cook over low heat, sometimes use clean towels to wipe water under the lid. Steam for 15 to 20 minutes until the dough becomes clearly white.
When the cake is cooked, take it out and spread onion oil on the surface, it can be served with sour and sweet fish sauce.