A labor of love that is well worth the effort
One more in my series of delicious dumpling recipes, only this time, I’m giving you a taste of vibrant Vietnam. You know how I always want to showcase a unique dish, which is why I’m so thrilled to present to you the Vietnamese Banh Bot Loc that Anna Bui shared. Originally from Toronto, Canada, but currently living in the US, she was kind enough to share her parent’s recipe for this amazing Central Vietnamese dish. She says she grew up indulging in specialties from Vietnamese cuisine, which helped her stay connected to her root culture. And I truly think there’s no better way to communicate your origins and pride than by sharing something of your culture with the rest of the world!
Vietnamese Banh Bot Loc is a traditional steamed dumpling type, usually filled with shrimp and pork. Anna best described them as chewy dumplings made of tapioca-based dough wrapped around a filling of spiced pork belly and shrimp, dipped in a mixed sweet and tart fish sauce. You’ll need tapioca starch, pork belly, shrimp, shallot, scallion, garlic, and a bit of fish sauce for this recipe. Just make sure to get the suitable tapioca starch and amount of boiling water on your first try so you don’t end up with an ‘uncooperative dough like me!
Giving Vietnamese Banh Bot Loc a try for the very first time, I can say I’m quite surprised by the texture. It’s kind of chewy (unlike many other dumpling varieties), and reminds of the texture of boba tea. The flavor explosion between the filling and the fish sauce, combined with the amazing smell and the balanced, vibrant colors, is a true feast for the senses. It’s definitely one of the most advanced dishes I’ve ever tried to make and while I struggled I am convinced next time around I’ll get it.
Don’t forget to glimpse at the rest of my blogs for more unique recipes!
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