Tapioca dumplings with prawn and pork

Tapioca dumplings with prawn and pork

Bánh bột lọc

Real Vietnamese Cooking
24 dumplings
Michael Fountoulakis

Tapioca makes for a lovely chewy and sticky dumpling, but is not the easiest flour to use. We did a lot of research trying to work out how the street vendors in Hue achieve the tapioca dumpling's translucent look, and it seems this is due to the addition of borax, which is not yet banned as a food additive in Vietnam. Needless to say, borax is not included in this recipe. which preserves the taste and texture of the original dumpling. However, it doesn't have the same appearance you may be familiar with from visiting Hue.


Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 red asian shallots, diced
150g minced pork
8 prawns, peeled and deveined, cut into thirds
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Classic dipping sauce, to serve


Quantity Ingredient
150g tapioca flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. To make the dough, place the tapioca flour in a bowl and add the oil, sugar and salt. Pour in 190 ml boiling water and combine with a spoon.
  2. When the dough is cool enough to handle, remove to a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5-7 minutes, until smooth. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rest for 20 minutes, so it will be easier to handle.
  3. For the filling, heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat and saue the shallot for about 1 minute. Add the pork and cook for 2-3 minutes, untll the meat is evenly coloured. Now add the prawns and cook for a further 1 minute. Remove and drain on paper towel.
  4. Wipe the pan clean and return to the heat. Sprinkle the sugar on the base of the pan and allow to caramelise until it is a deep golden colour.
  5. Standing away from the pan, pour in 100 ml water. When the spluttering has stopped, add the oyster sauce, fish sauce, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Add the prawn mixture and reduce the heat to a simmer. Continue cooking until all the liquid has been absorbed, then remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  6. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil.
  7. Meanwhile, divide the dough into 24 balls, then cover with a damp cloth so they don't dry out. Using a rolling pin, flatten one ball into a 5-6 cm disc.
  8. On one half of the disc, place a teaspoon of the filling, making sure a piece of prawn is sitting on top. Fold the dough over and seal with your fingers, making sure no air is trapped inside, as the dumpling will otherwise burst when cooking.
  9. Place the dumpling on a lightly oiled tray and continue with the remaining ingredients.
  10. Boil the dumplings in batches for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in cold water for 30 seconds to stop the cooking process. Remove from the water and drain well.
  11. Serve warm, with the dipping sauce.
Real Vietnamese Cooking
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