We had a team retreat at work, and the first question everyone asked was: Which hobby did you pick up during the pandemic?
Here is mine: showy yoga poses 😉
Coming up next: full split and handstand.
Vietnamese fried savory cake (bánh rán mặn)
(Adapted from Vanh Khuyen)
2 small potatoes
300 g glutenous rice flour
70 g rice flour
2/3 tsp baking powder
30 g sugar
1/2 tsp salt
300 ml hot water
1 tbs canola oil
1 lbs ground pork
1/2 carrot (peeled and finely chopped)
1/4 kohlrabi (peeled and finely chopped)
5 scallions (white and green separated, finely chopped)
3 dried wood ear mushrooms (soaked in warm water, finely chopped)
6 dried shiitake mushrooms (soaked in warm water, finely chopped)
1 small bunch of glass noodles (soaked in warm water for 3 minutes, drained and cut into 1″ length)
1 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs oyster sauce
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 small carrot (peeled and julienned)
1/4 kohlrabi (peeled, thinly sliced)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
3 tsp rice vinegar
6 tbs sparking water
1 tbs sugar
2 tbs fish sauce (or more to taste)
Fresh vegetables (lettuce, coriander, Vietnamese perilla, etc.)
To make the dough:
- In a small pot, boil potatoes with water.
- Peel and small cooked potatoes with a spoon. Take 220 g.
- In a large plastic bag, mix glutenous rice flour + rice flour + baking powder + sugar + salt + hot water.
- Knead the dough in the plastic bag for 3-4 minutes.
- Note: add 1-2 tbs hot water if necessarily.
- Add 1 tbs canola oil to the dough and knead for another minute.
- Note: the dough should be soft.
- Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
- Note: During this time, make the filling.
- Add 220 g smashed potatoes and knead the dough in the plastic bag for a minute.
- Turn to the countertop and knead by hand until soft and smooth.
- Note: The dough will be sticky, so add 2 tbs glutenous flour or more.
- Cover in plastic wrap.
- Let the dough rest for another 10 minutes.
To make the filling:
- In a nonstick skillet, heat 2 tbs canola oil over medium-high heat.
- Add chopped scallions (white parts only) and fry until fragrant.
- Add marinated ground pork and fry for a minute.
- Add chopped carrots + chopped kohlrabi and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add chopped wood ears + chopped shiitake and cook until the mixture is slightly cooked.
- Remove from the heat.
- Add 1 tbs fish sauce + 1 tbs oyster sauce. Mix well.
- Add chopped glass noodles + chopped scallions (green part).
- Add 1/2 tsp ground pepper.
- Let it cool completely.
To make the dipping sauce:
- In a small bowl, marinate carrot + kohlrabi + 1/4 tsp salt + 1 tsp sugar + 3 tsp vinegar.
- Set aside for 10 minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix 6 tbs sparking water + 1 tbs sugar + 2 tbs fish sauce.
- Add marinated carrots and kohlrabi to the dipping sauce.
To make the savory cakes:
- Take a piece of dough, the size of a golf ball, and flatten it thinly.
- Spoon the filling on to the center of the dough and seal the edges.
- Roll the cake between your palms to squeeze out all air bubbles.
- Set the cake aside and continue to finish the remaining dough and fillings.
- In a large skillet, fill canola oil to about 1″ depth.
- Heat under low-medium heat.
- Fry savory cakes until golden (about 25 minutes).
- Note 1: the cakes will expand so make sure not to put too many cakes into the skillet.
- Note 2: roll the cakes around so all sides are golden.
- Note 3: to achieve a crunchy outer crust, turn the heat to high during the last 4-5 minutes.
- Drain the fried cakes on a rack.
- Serve hot with dipping sauce and fresh vegetables.