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Bánh Bôt Loc on a plate with dipping sauce in the center and chopsticks putting one in the sauce.
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5 from 1 vote

Bánh Bôt Loc (Vietnamese Shrimp and Pork Dumplings)

Bánh Bôt Loc are Vietnam's crystal shrimp and pork dumplings. Each dumpling is boiled until the skin's silky and springing with a satisfying chew!
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time40 mins
Marinating Time20 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Asian, Vietnamese
Servings: 6
Calories: 361kcal
Author: Jeannette

Equipment

  • Rolling Pin
  • slotted spoon
  • plastic bag or damp towel

Ingredients

For The Filling

  • 120 g / 0.3 lb pork belly (outermost skin removed, then cut into 0.5cm/0.2" pieces)
  • 120 g/ 0.3 lb shrimp (deshelled and cut into 0.5cm/0.2" pieces)
  • 1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 red shallot (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tbsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp chicken bouillon powder
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (or to taste)
  • 1 tbsp annatto seed oil

For The Dough

  • 400 g / 0.88 lb tapioca starch
  • 1 1/4 US cup hot water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp oil (we used the leftovers from our Scallion Oil Noodles)

For The Scallion Oil

  • 1 1/2 US cup scallion (or to preference)
  • 3/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 3/4 tsp chicken bouillon powder
  • 3/4 US cup oil

Instructions

For The Filling

  • Marinate the pork belly with 1/2 tbsp annatto seed oil, 1/2 clove chopped garlic, 1/2 chopped red shallot, 1/4 tbsp white pepper, 1/4 tbsp chicken bouillon powder, 1/4 tbsp fish sauce and 1 tsp paprika for 20 minutes.
  • Use the remaining seasoning to marinate the shrimp at the same time.
  • Heat up a pan with 3 tbsp cooking oil on high heat and stir fry the marinated pork belly for 5 minutes or until 80% cooked, then add the marinate shrimp in to cook for 5 minutes or until both are cooked through.
  • Let it cool as you work on the dough.

For The Dough

  • Combine the tapioca starch, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
  • Pour 1 cup of the hot water onto the starch mixture and mix it well. The dough will be crumbly at first, but keep kneading until it begins to form a dry dough.
  • Add the oil and knead through.
  • Slowly pour in the remaining hot water and knead it in until the starch has formed a smooth dough resembling the texture of playdough.

Wrapping The Dumplings

    Hand Pressed Method

    • Roll the dough into a long log and divide it into smaller portions. Use your hands to roll the segments into balls. Keep the balls in a plastic bag so they don't dry out.
      Note: The size of each ball depends on how big you want each Bánh Bôt Loc to be. Ours are roughly 1.5cm (0.6") thick.
    • Take one ball out and flatten it using your palms. Then use your thumb and index finger to press the flattened dough until it is 10cm (4") in diameter, or to preference.
    • Fill the dough with 1 tsp of the pork and shrimp filling.
    • Fold one end over to the other to make a semi-circle and seal the touching edges by pressing them tightly together.
    • Place each complete one on a plate as you work on the rest.
      Note: While foolproof, I find that using the hand pressed method yields a thicker wrap and you don't get to see the filling as well as you would with a thinner wrapper. See the next step for how to solve this.
    • To make the dough thinner, take each ball and roll it thin (roughly 2mm/0.08" thick) using a rolling pin. Keep the unrolled balls in a plastic bag to stay moist and work in this fashion: roll, fill, seal, then start a new one and roll, fill seal.

    Rolling Method

    • Use a rolling pin and roll the entire dough ball flat so that it's 2mm (0.08") thick.
    • Using a round cookie cutter or cup, cut out circles.
    • Transfer the circles to a plastic bag so they don't dry out. Fill and seal as you would for the hand pressed method.

    Cooking The Dumplings

    • Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the dumplings 5-10 at a time, depending on how big your pot is. Avoid overcrowding as this will reduce the cooking temperature. Cook for approximately 10 minutes or until the Bánh Bôt Loc has been floating for 5 minutes.
    • While the first batch is cooking, fill up a large bowl with cold water. As soon as the dumplings are cooked, use a slotted spoon to transfer them into the cold water. This will help them become translucent.

    Making The Scallion Oil

    • Mix the scallions with the salt and chicken bouillon powder, then heat up the oil until you start to see it smoking.
    • Pour the hot oil over the scallions to sizzle and stir until combined.

    How To Serve

    Notes

    • Roll the dough thin and evenly. This will help the dumplings cook faster and have a less chewy bite.
    • Don't overstuff. It will easily tear the dough, which means that when they start to cook, the filling will leak out.
    • Cut the filling ingredients finer. You'll be able to fit more inside, which means more flavor and texture.
    • Work quickly. The dough will dry out the longer you take, which runs the risk of tearing as you wrap. Make sure to keep the dough sealed in a plastic bag or in glad wrap when not being used.
    • The shrimp shell can be kept on or off, depending on what you like. If you're planning to keep the shells on for added texture, go for the small school prawns so they're easier to fill the dumplings with. Otherwise, just deshell the shrimp and finely chop them as we did.
    • You can find annatto seed oil from Asian supermarkets or make your own using our Bánh Canh Cua (Crab Tapioca Noodle Soup) recipe.
    • I've tried a few tapioca starch brands using the same recipe, but oddly enough, different brands will yield different results. The brand I had the most success with was from Erawan (its plastic bag has blue writing on it).

    Nutrition

    Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 886mg | Potassium: 67mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 31IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg