Monday, June 28, 2010

Steamed Rice Canapes with Mung Bean and Shrimp Toppings (Banh Beo)

I was reluctant to make this recipe because it required (a) my food processor and (b) steaming batter in little bowls.  But I decided today was the day and discovered that each of the steps was quite simple despite being equipment-intensive.
First I cooked a third-cup of sprouted mung beans, pureed them in the food processor, and mixed in some oil and shallots.  Then I steamed four ounces of shrimp and pureed those in the food processor as well.  I sliced some scallions and prepared the addictive Vietnamese sweet-sour-spicy fish sauce (slightly modified from the original recipe): a clove of garlic, a teaspoon of chili flakes, two tablespoons of brown sugar, two tablespoons of rice vinegar, a tablespoon of fish sauce and a tablespoon of lemon juice).  Finally I whisked together one-third cup of stone ground rice flour, the remainder of my packet of tapioca starch (about two and a half tablespoons), and six ounces of hot water.  I poured this batter into three little dessert cups in my steamer basket and steamed them for ten minutes.  And repeated twice, wishing I had a larger steamer or smaller dessert cups.  I slid the gelatinous patties out of the dessert cups onto a plate and topped each with a spoonful of mung bean paste, shrimp, a sprinkle of scallions and a drizzle of awesome fish sauce.
In the end, one bite lets you know it's all worth it.

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