Vietnamese street food is incredible, while I was in Vietnam I was astonished by the variety of it and how people enjoy this style of food. Banh Gio is so tasty and the texture is very particular, they are simply small steamed dumplings having an outer layer made up of rice flour. These orange-sized dumplings are filled with delicious ingredients, including cooked onions, mushrooms, ground pork wrapped in a banana leaf. Banana leaves provide a specific alluring aroma to these steamed dumplings leaving you wanting more and more!
Wondering whether you should try these or not? Well, if you’re fond of delicious street foods and have an appetite for new tastes and savors, there’s no reason you should NOT try this mouth-watering recipe.
Vietnamese Banh Gio (Origin and Curiosities)
These pyramid-shaped dumplings originated from Northern Vietnam, therefore, are referred to as Vietnamese Banh Gio. Now, if you’re aware of Vietnamese, you’ll know that Banh is a word used to mention flour. Or even if you were unaware, now you know the secret behind any Vietnamese dish name having Banh in it!
Wondering what Banh Gio actually means? Well, its literal meaning is somewhat similar to a ‘Pork Cake,’ which not only sounds pleasant but tastes like a palatable and delicious steamed snack having a unique aroma.
This exquisite meal wrapped in a green-colored banana leaf was basically a street dish in Vietnam. And you must be aware of the fact that no elite dish served in an expensive restaurant can ever compete with a desi street dish! The same is the case with these intriguing dumplings. Even if you haven’t been a fan of meat or desi foods, you won’t be able to avoid this super cool Vietnamese production.
How to eat Banh Gio
There are a lot of ways you can enjoy Banh Gio. You can try this Vietnamese super-cool dish as a snack at any time of the day. They can not only make a delightful snack but can also help you with your midnight cravings. So the next time you feel hungry out of the blue, you know the solution, right?
How do Vietnamese Eat it
Most locals prefer these dumplings as a breakfast. As Banh Gio has meat and other energizing ingredients in it, it’s an excellent choice for a perfect day start. Although it’s a dish of countryside people, it brings about a pleasing sensation and carries courtesy of those who make it. So, never eat Banh Gio in a hurry, savour its every bite for as long as you can.
Another thing you must know is these Pyramid Dumplings’ taste enhances to a great extent when served with fish sauce (Yes, we learned this trick from our Northern Vietnamese friends!)
Make Them at Home
These pork and rice pyramid dumplings are super-easy to make at home. Collect the ingredients, prepare the batter, fill the batter in a banana leaf, and then steam it! You’re all set to go.
Steam Them Using Aluminum Foil
After filling up the batter in the banana leaf, wrap the dumpling in aluminum foil. It’ll make it easier for you to steam and handle the dumpling. Plus also, you’ll be able to keep it warm until you serve them with delicious sauces.
Freeze Them for Later
You can also prepare a bundle of Pyramid Dumplings (Banh Gio) and freeze them for later. You can either freeze the batter (made up of rice flour, flavourful pork stock, starch, cheese, wood ear mushrooms, and other vegetables) or can freeze the entire uncooked dumpling. You can also customize the batter according to your choice and add or subtract certain ingredients as you like.
Now, if you kept the batter, it might be a bit difficult to use it to make dumplings once it is frozen (obviously). However, if you have saved lots of half-cooked dumplings in your fridge, take them out, steam, and Enjoy!
Banh Gio Recipe
To make these delicious pyramid dumplings, you need to boil banana leaves until they get soft enough to wrap them around the rice flour batter and filling. Rice flour mixture is prepared by cooking rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch (if you wish), chicken/ pork broth, oil, and some salt. Chopped onions, minced pork, mushrooms, quail eggs (depending on preference), and some seasoning like salt, black pepper, and sugar are used for filling. It is then wrapped in banana leaves which give a special aroma to the snack. Aluminum foil can also be used to provide a unique pyramid shape to this mouth-watering dish.
To make the crust
- Rice flour
- Tapioca flour
- Pork bone broth
- Stock powder
- Cooking oil
To make the filling
- Pork (it should be ground)
- Red shallots
- Mushrooms (wood ear mushroom specifically)
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Fish sauce
- Chili sauce
- Seasoning powder, pepper (it should be ground)
- Banana leaves
The method for the recipe of Vietnamese Banh Gio includes three parts, each consisting of several steps. Don’t worry, you’ll get it all super quick!
Preparing the Crust
- First of all, take the banana leaves and wash them clean. Next, to make them soft and easy to wrap for the recipe later, pour them into boiling water. Then, take the leaves out to let them dry.
- Now, take a clean container and mix rice flour, tapioca flour, cooking oil, seasoning powder, and pork bone broth all together into it. Mix them properly and keep stirring until the flour melts. After that, leave it at that for approximately 30 minutes.
- Thirty minutes later, take the mixture and put it on a stove to be cooked. Do not stop stirring until it becomes smooth enough. Once smooth, turn the stove off and let the batter rest.
Preparation of the Batter
- Take the wood ear mushroom and shiitake mushroom and clean them properly. To make them soft, put them in water for at least 15 minutes. After soaking them, cut the mushrooms along with red shallots.
- Now, take out some large-sized bowl and put the already ground pork, salt, ground pepper, and seasoning powder into it altogether. Mix all of these well, and marinate them for 15 to 20 minutes, so that the seasoning is absorbed.
- For the final step of making the filling, take a pan and put the needed amount of cooking oil into it. Next, turn on the stove at medium heat and put the pan over it. After that, take the red shallots that you chopped and put them into the oil. Keep frying them until there is a delicious aroma all around. Now, add the ground pork to the pan and keep stirring it to mix well.
- After the pork is adequately dissolved, add all the mushrooms to it. You can also pour some fish sauce or other sauces according to your taste.
- Now, all that’s left is stirring so that it can cook properly.
Wrap the Dumplings
- For the final step of wrapping, use cling film. Put it on a table, and place the banana leaf (square in shape). Fold it in a way that both of its opposite ends meet, and then give it a funnel shape. Next, use a spoon to spread out the batter on the leaf, fill the tunnel shape space properly with the batter, and cover up the filling at the end too.
- Keep doing the same with all the batter and banana leaves that you have until the ingredients run out, of course.
- After you are done with wrapping, place the leafed banana batters into a steamer. Next, turn on the stove and put that steamer on it for 30 minutes to steam your savor dumplings.
Thirty minutes later, take out the dumplings and peel off the banana leaves. Now, place your dumplings on a plate and serve them with chili sauce because who won’t like chili sauce?
Banh Gio Calories and Nutrition
Pork and rice flour are the main ingredients that can make your Banh Gio a heavy meal. The calories rate of these dumplings can go up to 300 per serving. However, it’s not A LOT because we do keep eating meals that have much more calories as compared to this.
As the dumplings do not contain high fiber or risky components (sodium, added fats, high cholesterol, etc.), they are completely safe. Thus, you may enjoy them whenever you feel like it, without worrying about your health. The steamy taste mixed up with the banana leaves aroma, what can go wrong with these?
Plus, the meat present in Banh Gio is always good and preferable for health. If you have a hectic routine where you need lots of energy to keep going, having meat in any of your meals is always recommended. Then why not have Banh Gio when it benefits you in so many ways?
However, if you’re avoiding fat or fatty foods, these pyramid dumplings may not be for you. The people following a strict diet plan must have a look at their plans before opting for this mouth-watering savor. You can also skip the high-calorie ingredients (i.e., cheese, excessive pork, added starch, etc.) from the recipe if you badly want to try them even while you’re on a diet. (Believe us, we know how hard it is to skip on these yummy cute pyramids!)
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