Bánh Ít Trần Mặn Recipe

Lastest Updated April 19, 2024
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Bánh ít mặn is a type of dumpling made of glutinous rice flour featuring a meaty filling. The steamed dumpling is known across the country often wrapped with banana leaves.

However, there are also unwrapped versions called bánh ít trần. Bánh ít mặn usually has the filling cooked by stir-frying before being wrapped in the dough for steaming.

On Tet and Vietnamese death anniversaries, bánh ít, including both savory and vegan versions, are served in many countryside households. When made with no wrappers, bánh ít mặn often adores a round shape and is best enjoyed with a sweet and sour fish sauce.

Explore the process of making bánh ít mặn with a savory filling through a detailed guide that provides you with all the necessary tools and ingredients needed to make this dish.

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What Is Bánh Ít Mặn?

Bánh ít mặn is a Vietnamese rice dumpling made using glutinous rice flour with a savory minced meat filling. These dumplings are often steamed or boiled to attain a chewy profile.

Enjoyed as a snack, these meaty dumplings come with a sweet and savory dipping sauce made from fish sauce. On its own, bánh ít mặn provides a meaty flavor deriving from the filling.

The wrapping for bánh ít is often banana, but you can simply overlook this component to make the bánh ít trần (no leaf wrappers) instead. Aside from the triangular shape, a circular form is also common for the bánh ít trần variety.

After getting to know about bánh ít mặn, you should look into the tools you will need to pull off this rice dumpling recipe.

What Tools Are Used for Making Bánh Ít Mặn?

When you want to recreate a bánh ít mặn, having the right tools at your disposal is crucial. Here’s a comprehensive list of the essential tools you’ll need:

  • Mixing bowl: A fundamental tool for blending the various ingredients together, forming the base of your dish.
  • Mortar and pestle: Used for grinding and mixing spices or pastes, adding depth and authenticity to the flavors.
  • Pan: Necessary for frying or sautéing components of the dish, ensuring they’re cooked to perfection.
  • Steaming Pot: Vital for steaming certain elements of the dish, this tool helps in cooking them evenly while preserving their natural textures and flavors.
  • Ladle: Ideal for cooking the filling ingredients. You can use two ladles, one for mixing the dough and one for cooking the filling.
  • Spatula: Great for dealing with the dough.
  • Dough divider: Ensures that the dough or mixture is portioned evenly, maintaining consistency in size and cooking across all pieces.

What Ingredients Are Needed for Making Bánh Ít Mặn?

To prepare this savory Vietnamese dish, a specific set of ingredients is essential to achieve authentic flavors and textures. Here’s a detailed breakdown of what you’ll need:

For the Dough:

  • Glutinous rice flour: The main ingredient for the dough, known for its sticky texture, which is essential for the chewy consistency of the dish.
  • Water: Used to mix with the glutinous rice flour to create a pliable dough.
Banh It Man Ingredients

For the Filling and Accompaniments:

  • Mung beans: Provides a soft and slightly sweet filling, balancing the savory elements of the dish.
  • Diced shrimp: Adds a delicate seafood flavor and texture to the filling.
  • Ground meat: Usually pork or chicken, it enriches the filling with savory depth.
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  • Dried shrimp: Offers an intense umami taste, enhancing the overall flavor profile.
  • Salt, sugar, ground pepper: Basic seasonings that add depth and balance to the taste.
  • Minced garlic and minced shallots: Aromatics that provide a fragrant base to the dish.
  • Cooking oil: Used for sautéing the aromatics and ensuring the filling is moist and flavorful.
  • Chili garlic fish sauce: A sweet and sour sauce that complements the savory cakes.
  • Scallion oil: Adds a glossy finish and a burst of onion flavor when drizzled over the finished dish.
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Accompaniments:

  • Bean sprouts, carrots, and fresh herbs: Serve as refreshing sides that contrast the richness of the dish, adding texture and freshness.
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What Cooking Steps Are Needed for Making Bánh Ít Mặn?

After preparing all the elements essential for making bánh ít mặn, it’s time for you to roll into the kitchen to ready the dough, and dried shrimp before cooking the mung beans and fillings.

Also, prepping for the dumpling’s shape is essential before steaming it. Here are exactly what you need to do:

Step 1: Prepare the Dough

Combine glutinous flour with warm water and mix them together. Add room-temperature water to the dough and knead.

Knead the dough by pushing it away from you before bringing the dough back and repeat the process.

Note

Adding more flour can help in case the dough is too soft while adding more water can help with dry dough.

Banh It Man Step 1 Prepare the Dough
Banh It Man Step 1 Prepare the Dough1

Step 2: Prepare Dried Shrimp

Pound dried shrimp using a mortar and pestle until the mixture is fine and smooth. Then, stir-fry the dried shrimp over heat for around 5 – 7 minutes to dry them out.

Banh It Man Step 2 Prepare Dried Shrimp
Banh It Man Step 2 Prepare Dried Shrimp1
Banh It Man Step 2 Prepare Dried Shrimp2

Step 3: Cook Mung Beans

Cook mung beans with water at medium heat for around 20 minutes.

You can add salt and sugar to the beans while cooking to season it.

Note

The bung beans should be barely cooked and not too tender. Then, you want to mash the mung beans into a paste to make the filling.

Banh It Man Step 3 Cook Mung Beans
Banh It Man Step 3 Cook Mung Beans1

Step 4: Stir-fry the Filling

Heat up a pan with oil and quickly stir-fry a combination of minced garlic and shallot.

Add minced pork and season it with sugar, salt, and pepper.

Banh It Man Step 4 Stir Fry the Filling

Stir well until the meat is cooked through before introducing diced shrimp to the mix. Keep stir-frying until the shrimp is fully cooked.

Banh It Man Step 4 Stir Fry the Filling1
Banh It Man Step 4 Stir Fry the Filling2

Step 5: Create the Filling

Combine the mung bean paste with the stir-fried meat and ⅔ of the dried shrimp, the remaining ⅓ of the dried shrimp is used for sprinkling over the dumplings when serving.

Roll the filling into balls of around 1.7 ounces, or do it to your liking.

Banh It Man Step 5 Create the Filling
Banh It Man Step 5 Create the Filling1

Step 6: Shape the Dumpling

Divide the dough into equal parts before rolling and flattening them. Then, add the filling balls to the dough and seal them carefully.

Banh It Man Step 6 Shape the Dumpling1
Banh It Man Step 6 Shape the Dumpling2
Banh It Man Step 6 Shape the Dumpling3
Banh It Man Step 6 Shape the Dumpling4

Step 7: Steam the Dumpling

Steam the dumpling in a steamer with a bit of oil over the steaming surface to prevent sticking. Alternatively, you can place a banana leaf between the bánh ít chay and steamer.

Banh It Man Step 7 Steam the Dumpling
Banh It Man Step 7 Steam the Dumpling1
Banh It Man Step 7 Steam the Dumpling2

Steam in 20 – 30 minutes, depending on the size of the dumpling. When cooked, bánh ít mặn has a white color.

Banh It Man Step 7 Steam the Dumpling3

Step 8: Serve

Serve the steamed dumpling with a little bit of sprinkled dried shrimp and scallion oil. Enjoy bánh ít mặn with a sweet and sour fish sauce dip to enhance the flavor.

Banh It Man Step 8 Serve

What Tips Do You Need to Know to Make Bánh Ít Mặn?

Making the perfect bánh ít mặn requires more than just following a recipe; it’s about making full use of some cooking tips that elevate the dish. Here are some expert tips to aid you:

  • Flour Selection: Stick to glutinous rice flour for its elasticity is key to the authentic texture of bánh ít mặn. While tapioca flour can add chewiness, it should only be used sparingly to avoid making the dumplings too tough.
  • Storage and Preservation: Wrap them tightly and store them in the freezer. They can be easily defrosted and steamed again.
  • Cooking Techniques: Bánh ít mặn is best steamed. However, boiling is an alternative method where the cakes are cooked until they float to the surface, indicating they’re done. In some regions, the cakes are wrapped in banana leaves before steaming, adding a unique flavor.
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What Vietnamese Dishes Are Similar to Bánh Ít Mặn?

Vietnamese cuisine is rich with a variety of traditional dishes, many of which share similarities with bánh ít mặn. Here are a few dishes that bear resemblance:

  • Bánh Bèo: Steamed rice cakes topped with savory ingredients like shrimp, crispy pork skin, and scallions, having a round shape.
  • Bánh Ú: A variation of the traditional Vietnamese sticky rice dumpling, having mung bean paste and sometimes pork, encased in banana leaves and steamed.
  • Bánh Giò: Soft, pyramid-shaped dumplings made from rice flour and tapioca starch, filled with ground pork and wood ear mushrooms, wrapped in banana leaves, and steamed.
  • Bánh Dày: Thick, chewy rice cakes made from glutinous rice, often served with savory dishes or enjoyed as part of traditional ceremonies.
  • Bánh Khúc: A glutinous rice ball mixed with khúc (a type of leafy green) and filled with mung bean paste and pork, offering an earthy flavor and a chewy texture.

Savor the Flavor Profile of Bánh Ít Mặn

When all the cooking steps are now in your grasp, making bánh ít mặn is a breeze. These dumplings are ideal to renew your snack time with an attractive flavor.

Make sure to share your experience in making these sticky dumplings in the comment section. Also, you should share this helpful recipe with people looking to try making Vietnamese dishes.

Banh It Man

Bánh Ít Mặn

Bánh ít mặn is a pyramid rice dumpling in Vietnamese that comes with a meaty filling of pork and dried shrimp. It’s usually steamed for serving on special occasions.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 12 Servings
Calories: 210kcal

Ingredients

For the Dough:

  • 14.11 ounces glutinous rice flour
  • 10.14 ounces of warm water
  • 3.38 ounces room temperature water

For the Filling & Accompaniments:

  • 3.53 ounces of mung beans
  • 3.53 ounces of diced shrimp
  • 5.29 ounces of ground meat pork or chicken

Additional Ingredients:

  • 1.76 ounces of dried shrimp
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • Fish sauce
  • Scallion oil

Additional Accompaniments:

  • Blanched bean sprouts
  • Pickled vegetables
  • Water mimosa perilla leaves, Vietnamese balm, Vietnamese mint

Instructions 

  • In a large mixing bowl, add 14.11 ounces of glutinous rice flour. Gradually pour in 10.14 ounces of warm water, mixing continuously to combine the flour and water smoothly.
    Banh It Man Step 1 Prepare the Dough
  • Add 3.38 ounces of room-temperature water and start kneading the dough. Push the dough away and then pull it back in your direction, repeating this action until the dough becomes smooth and non-sticky to the touch.
    Banh It Man Step 1 Prepare the Dough1
  • Pour the dried shrimp into a mortar to start pounding using a pestle until the mixture is fine and smooth.
    Banh It Man Step 2 Prepare Dried Shrimp
  • Stir the dried shrimp over heat for around 5 – 7 minutes to dry them out.
    Banh It Man Step 2 Prepare Dried Shrimp2
  • Take 3.53 ounces of mung beans and cook them with 5.07 ounces of water over medium heat for about 20 minutes.
    Banh It Man Step 3 Cook Mung Beans
  • You can season the beans with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of sugar to enhance their flavor, depending on your preference. Remember to cook the beans until just done; they shouldn’t be too soft.
    Banh It Man Step 3 Cook Mung Beans1
  • Stir-fry a combination of minced garlic and shallot before adding minced pork and season it with sugar, salt, and pepper.
    Banh It Man Step 4 Stir Fry the Filling
  • Cook the meat before introducing diced shrimp to the mix. Keep stir-frying until the filling mixture is fully cooked.
    Banh It Man Step 4 Stir Fry the Filling1
  • Put mung bean paste with stir-fried filling and ⅔ of the dried shrimp, save ⅓ of the dried shrimp for sprinkling over the dumplings when serving.
    Banh It Man Step 5 Create the Filling
  • Roll the filling into balls of around 1.7 ounces, or whatever sizes you like.
    Banh It Man Step 5 Create the Filling2
  • Divide the dough into equal parts before rolling and flattening them.
    Banh It Man Step 6 Shape the Dumpling
  • Then, add the filling balls to the dough and seal them carefully.
    Banh It Man Step 6 Shape the Dumpling4
  • Steam the dumpling in a steamer with a bit of oil over the steaming surface to prevent sticking. Alternatively, you can place a banana leaf between the bánh ít chay and steamer.
    Banh It Man Step 7 Steam the Dumpling1
  • Steam in 20 – 30 minutes, depending on the size of the dumpling. When cooked, bánh ít mặn has a white color.
    Banh It Man Step 7 Steam the Dumpling3
  • Serve bánh ít mặn with a bit of sprinkled dried shrimp and scallion oil. Enjoy them with a sweet and sour fish sauce.
    Banh It Man4

Video

Notes

  • Do not substitute glutinous rice flour with tapioca flour because glutinous rice flour provides elasticity, while tapioca flour is chewy. If you want the cake to be chewy, you should only add a little tapioca flour.
  • You can wrap bánh ít mặn tightly and store them in the freezer. When needed, thaw them and steam them again.
  • In addition to steaming the dumplings, you can also boil them directly in hot water. When the dumplings float, they are cooked.
  • In some places, bánh ít mặn are wrapped in banana leaves and then steamed.

Nutrition

Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 353mg | Potassium: 177mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 11IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg
Tien - Alden

Tien – Alden

Content Writer

Expertise

Home Cooking, Recipe Development, Food Editor, Beverage Editor, Cooking-video Maker, Asian Food Content Creator

Education

Saigon Tourism College

  • Program: Certificate in Culinary Arts
  • Focus: Vietnamese and Chinese cuisines.

Advanced Culinary Workshop, Beijing

  • Program: A three-month intensive program of Advanced Culinary Workshop
  • Focus: Authentic Chinese cuisine.

Vietnamese Traditional Cooking School

  • Program: Certificate of Vietnamese Traditional Cooking
  • Focus: A specialized course on traditional and family recipes passed down through generations.

American College of Vietnam

  • Program: Bartender
  • Focus: Provide background knowledge and help students confident to create appealing drinks

Alden is a skilled chef with expertise in Asian cuisines, known for blending traditional Vietnamese and Chinese cooking with contemporary innovations. Alden’s passion for Asian flavors and her creative approach to both food and beverages inspires fellow chefs and those aspiring to enter the field.

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