Steamed rice flour cakes with dried shrimp

Steamed rice flour cakes with dried shrimp

The Food of Vietnam
Alan Benson


Quantity Ingredient
100g rice flour
1 1/2 tablespoons tapioca flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
250ml lukewarm water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
400g small raw tiger prawns
1 tablespoon garlic, finely diced
1 tablespoon red asian shallots, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
35g pork crackling, broken into 1 cm pieces
20 small asian ramekins, each about 30 ml capacity
100ml * nuoc mam cham dipping sauce [rid:8084]

Dipping sauce

Quantity Ingredient
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar
125ml prawn broth, reserved from main recipe
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 red chillies, chopped


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the rice flour, tapioca flour and salt. Make a well in the centre and pour in half the warm water.
  2. Using your hands, stir the ingredients together, kneading the dough until well combined. Now add the rest of the warm water and stir it all together using a wooden spoon, until you have a fine liquid batter. Stir in 2 teaspoons of the vegetable oil and allow the batter to rest for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of water to the boil, add the prawns and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the prawns using a slotted spoon, reserving 125 ml of the prawn broth for the dressing. Peel and devein the prawns and set aside.
  4. Half-fill a steamer, wok or large saucepan with water and bring to a rapid boil over high heat. Place as many ramekins in the steamer tray as you can — you will probably need to work in four batches. Cover and steam the ramekins for 1 minute to heat them through. Now fill each ramekin two-thirds full with the batter. Cover and steam for 5 minutes. Repeat this process until the batter and ramekins are used up.
  5. Meanwhile, pound the cooked prawns using a mortar and pestle until finely crushed. Put a frying pan over low heat and add the crushed prawns, garlic and shallot. Stir-fry for 10 minutes, or until the prawns are completely dry and stringy — this is called ‘prawn floss’. Turn off the heat, add the pepper and continue to stir-fry for a further 3 minutes. Set aside.
  6. For the dipping sauce, combine the sugar, vinegar, reserved prawn broth and fish sauce in a bowl. Mix until the sugar has dissolved, then stir in the chilli.
  7. Remove the ramekins from the steamer. To each ramekin, add a teaspoon of the prawn floss, two pieces of pork crackling, and a teaspoon of nuoc mam cham. Serve warm, as a snack, with the dipping sauce on the side.
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