Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mom's Recipes: Bánh Ít Trần (Mung Bean stuffed Dumpling)

Bánh ít trần is a little savoury dumpling (I think, I have never heard it translated) stuffed mainly with đậu xanh (mung beans), pork and shrimp. When I lived in Vietnam, the little restaurant that sold nem nướng (pork meatballs) also sold these. I would always buy one as a side treat.

My mom's version.

I remembered my mom making some purple ones and asked her to make some. The purple colour comes from the addition of purple yam. Purple yam is used in Vietnamese cuisine so don't be surprised if you ever see a bright purple soup made with this.

Bánh ít trần, with some nước chấm, that I would buy in Vietnam.

Bánh Ít Trần (Mung Bean stuffed Dumpling) - makes 23
The filling is similar to bánh bột lọc, with the addition of mung beans. The shell is probably more appealing because it does not have that chewiness of bánh bột lọc.

* 3 tbsp oil
* 1 small onion
* 200 g pork
* 200g shrimp
* 1-½ tsp salt
* 1 tsp pepper
* ½ lb. mung beans, cooked and mashed

Sauté onion in oil until softened.
Add pork and shrimp, with salt and pepper.
Cook until the shrimp and pork are cooked through.
Meanwhile, cook the mung beans, drain and mash.
Mix the shrimp and pork with the mung bean mixture.
Roll about 2 tbsp of the mixture into balls.

Cubed pork and chopped shrimp.

Mung bean mashed.

Rolled into balls.

For the Shell - Makes 8
* 1-⅛ cup sticky rice flour
* ½ cup hot water

Mix the flour with hot water (boil and let it cool down).
Roll a ball about the same size as the filling.
Flatten the dough with your fingers into a disc.
Cover the filling with the dough by closing it around the ball of mung bean.
Place onto 3"x3" squares of parchment paper.
Steam at low heat for 10 minutes.
Serve with nước chấm (in Vietnam, they also added some dry shrimps).

Sweet Rice Flour.

Dough made into a disc.

Placing the ball of mung bean onto the disc of dough.

Close the dough and cover the ball.

Bánh ít trần ready to be steamed.

For the purple yam dough
* ½ of the dough above
* 1 cup purple yam
* ½ cup sticky rice flour

Make half of the recipe of the dough above and set aside.
Microwave purple yam for a minute.
Mix with flour.
Mix this new purple mixture with the regular dough mixture.
Roll and cover the filling as above.
Cook and serve with nước chấm.

Package of frozen purple yam.

Close-up of the bánh ít trần.


Anonymous said...

Your mama's the best!

Wandering Chopsticks said...

"Tran" as in naked. :) Your mom doesn't use VNese flour for this? Well, I guess the Japanese sweet rice flour is similar enough to bot nep?

I like the purple ones. So creative. And how could you buy just one banh it? I'd buy at least half a dozen. :)

Miss.Adventure said...

G: I am pretty spoiled!

WC: I asked my mom and she said it's pretty much the same as bot nep. This is what she found when she first came to Canada and she finds it is cleaner than bot nep (?).

I can definitely eat a few but my appetite was less I guess in VN!

Phan-tabulous said...

I loved banh it. I still do. I love banh bot loc too. I can't make them, but I'll try.

I've never seen the purple ones and I'm curious if I can actually make these.

I'd love to be fed by your mother one day.

Anonymous said...

is purple yam = khoai mở tím or khoai lang tím ?

Jean said...

Whoa, this looks delicious! I wish these were available at my local Vietnamese restaurants so I can try one and decide if attempting them at home is a task that is worth undertaking. This morning I just made some glutinous rice with mung bean & pork wrapped in bamboo leaves. It's funny how Asian cultures have their own variations of snacks that use essentially the same ingredients in different forms.