This easy recipe for Savory Steamed Rice Cakes (Banh Beo) is a classic Viet dish of petite rice cakes topped with mung bean paste, toasted shrimp, and scallion oil is simply scrumptious. The cakes are delicate with a slightly chewy texture; the mashed mung bean is savory and creamy and the toasted shrimp is wonderfully crunchy. Served with the classic fish sauce dipping sauce and tangy pickles, it’s a party for your taste buds! Delish! 🙂
Notes on the Savory Steamed Rice Cakes (Banh Beo) Recipe, Tips and Tricks
What is the purpose of pouring out the liquid from the top of the batter and then adding more water? Answer: This is a method to rinse the rice flour to remove any impurities or funky odor. This step helps to keep the cakes nice and white. (If you noticed, the water that is poured out is a cloudy yellowish color.)
I use a sports water bottle so that I can easily mix the batter as the rice flour has a tendency to settle. If you don’t use a water bottle, just make sure to give the batter a good stir before pouring into the dishes.
Steam the cakes until they turn opaque. Do not over-cook them or they will be rubbery.
Below are the batter measurements and steam times for the following dishes and pans:
Small traditional dishes: use 1 Tbsp batter, steam for 4 minutes Specialty pan with the wells: use 1/2 Tbsp batter, steam for 3 minutes Mini-muffin pan: use 1/2 Tbsp batter, steam for 3 minutes Disposable foil muffin pans: use 1 Tbsp batter, steam for 4 minutes Disposable foil muffin cups: use 1 Tbsp batter, steam for 4 minutes 9-inch dessert plate: use 1/2 cup batter, steam for 6-7 minutes
The trademark for this dish is the “dimple” in the center of each steamed cake once it has cooled. To achieve the dimple you need to use double the amount of batter I use. (Adjust the steaming time accordingly.) I prefer my rice cakes thinner so I don’t use a lot of the batter.
If you have multiple steamer trays, you can stack them to make a lot of cakes quickly. This method works really well when using the cupcake foil liners because they don’t require pre-heating. You can just load everything up and steam at once. Super fast!
Watch the video for instructions.
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Savory Steamed Rice Cakes / Banh Beo
Toasted Shrimp 1 cup fresh or frozen shrimp, peeled and deveined (approximately 6 oz) 1 Tbsp water 1 tsp vegetable oil 1/8 tsp ground white pepper
Mung Bean Paste 1/2 cup mashed mung bean 1 Tbsp hot water salt and pepper
Scallion Oil 4 green onions 1 Tbsp vegetable oil salt and pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil or non-stick cooking spray for greasing the dishes
In a large measuring cup, combine the rice flour, tapioca starch, corn starch and salt with the cold water. Stir until the flour is dissolved and the mixture is free of lumps. Add the boiling water and mix together. Let the batter rest on the counter for 2 hours.
In a skillet over Medium Low heat, add the shrimp and 1 Tbsp of water. Cover the skillet and cook the shrimp for 1 1/2 minutes. Flip the shrimp over and cook for another 1 1/2 minutes (total of 3 minutes). Transfer the cooked shrimp into a food processor leaving any liquid behind. Pulse the shrimp for 30 seconds in the food processor. Heat the same skillet over Medium heat and add the vegetable oil. Add the chopped shrimp and cook for 3 minutes stirring frequently. Use a spatula and press the shrimp against the skillet and cook for another 4-5 minutes until the shrimp is toasted. Add the ground white pepper. Transfer to a bowl and set aside for now.
In a small bowl, combine the mashed mung bean with ground white pepper, salt and hot water. Mix together into a smooth paste. Set aside for now.
Chop the green onions and then combine with vegetable oil, salt and pepper. Set aside for now.
Being careful not to disturb the flour at the bottom of the measuring cup, carefully pour out the liquid from the top, removing about 1 cup. Add 1 cup water to the batter and mix well. Pour the batter into a sports water bottle and seal with the cap.
Fill the steamer basin 3/4 of the way with water and then bring to a rapid boil. Reduce the heat to Medium High. Line one of the steamer trays with the small dishes and then place on top of the steamer with the lid on. Heat the dishes for 2 minutes. Shake the batter bottle gently to mix up the batter. Oil the dishes using vegetable oil or non-stick cooking spray. Pour 1 Tbsp batter into each of the dishes. Steam for 4 minutes. Remove the tray and start the next steamer tray. Remove the cakes from the steamer and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes. Continue making the cakes until all of the batter is used.
Cook the scallion oil in the microwave for 30 seconds.
To assemble the dish, carefully run a spatula around the dish to loosen the cake. Arrange about 6-8 cakes on a plate. Top the cakes with scallion oil, a little dollop of the mung bean paste and the toasted shrimp.
Serve the Savory Steamed Rice Cakes with fish sauce dipping sauce and carrot and radish pickles or carrot and chayote pickles.
Store remaining cakes in the refrigerator and enjoy within 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave using Low power or gently steam.
Yields: 36 cakes, each made with 1 Tbsp batter, 3-4 servings