When mentioning Hue cuisine, many people will immediately remember  Bún Bò Huế (Hue beef rice noodles), Cơm Hến ( Rice with baby clams rice) or Bánh Nậm ( Flat steamed rice dumpling)… but perhaps the name Banh Ram It (Vietnamese Fried Sticky Rice Dumplings) is still strange to many diners.

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Banh Ram It or It Ram is a folk cake that used to be served in the Hue Imperial city a long time ago and is a favorite food of the Nguyen kings. Nowadays, this royal fried sticky rice dumpling has become a specialty of Hue people.

Banh It Ram is a combination oft wo distinct components: the steamed sticky rice dumpling (bánh ít) on top and the fried sticky rice pancake (bánh ram) at the bottom. At first, Banh Ram and Banh It are thought not to fit together, but with talented Hue artisans, Bánh Ram It has become a popular dish that is known in every region.  This special dumpling is crispy and sticky but not greasy. The crispy taste of Banh Ram and the sticky Banh It is mixed with the sweet and salty fish sauce and the spicy green chili will certainly satisfy all diners.

Hue people don’t eat Bánh Ram It in their main meals, but they usually eat this dumpling for breakfast or afternoon meals. When enjoying this dumpling, people often eat with Bánh Bèo (steamed rice flour cakes), Bánh bột lọc (Vietnamese clear dumplings), Bánh nậm (Flat steamed rice dumpling))

The recipe of this dumpling is quite complicated and requires skillful bakers. If you want to try making this dish at home, you can refer to below recipe.

 I. Ingredients

For the fried sticky rice pancake

  • Chicken egg white: 1 piece
  • Coconut milk: 100 ml
  • Glutinous rice flour: 100 gr
  • Rice flour: 20 gr

For the steamed sticky rice dumpling

  • Glutinous rice flour : 200 gr
  • Rice flour : 20 gr
  • Salt: 1 teaspoon
  • Cooking oil: 1 teaspoon
  • Warm water: 200 ml

For the dumpling filling

  • Minced lean meat: 150 gr
  • Fresh shrimp: 150 gr
  • Shredded shallots: 2 teaspoons
  • Seasoning: 2 teaspoons
  • Fish sauce: 2 teaspoons
  • Oyster sauce: 2 teaspoons

II. Steps for making Banh Ram It

Step 1:

Making Dumpling filling:

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Peel the shrimps, remove the heads, wash and then chop the shrimps. Wash and chop bacon meat.

Marinate 150gr bacon and 150gr shrimp with 1 teaspoon chopped shallots, 1 teaspoon seasoning seeds, 1 teaspoon oyster sauce and 1 teaspoon fish sauce. Mix well and marinate meat with shrimp for about 15 minutes.

Step 2:

Stir-fry dumping filling:

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Dice 30 gr carrot into small pieces and chop 30gr wood ear mushrooms.

Put the pan on the cooker, fry shallots, stir-fry marinated meat and shrimps, then add carrot and wood ear mushrooms, until it is cooked and dried.

 Steps 3:

Making Dumpling crust:

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Mix 200gr glutinous rice flour, 20gr rice flour, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp cooking oil. Slowly add 200ml of warm water to the dough. Use your hands to knead until the dough becomes smooth and soft.

Step 4:

Making Dumpling crust:

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Shape the dough into 15gr round pieces. Put the filling into the crust and then round it. Then use a towel to cover the steaming cooker. Steam for 25 minutes until it is cooked and not opaque crust.

Step 5:

Making the Pancake:

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Mix 1 egg white and 120ml coconut milk in a bowl. In another bowl, add 100gr of glutinous rice flour and 20gr of rice flour and mix well. Then slowly add the egg and coconut milk to the dough, mix well, then knead by hand until the dough becomes smooth and soft.

Step 6:

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For the Pancake: Squeeze the dough into 10 gr flat pieces. Then cook in a frying pan over medium heat until it is golden on both sides, turn off the stove, take out pancake and drain.

Step 7:

Put dumplings on the top of pancake, then decorate in a plate, spread shredded salty meat, green onions, serve with sweet and sour fish sauce.

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