Banh Bot Loc Recipe: How Long To Steam Banh Bot Loc?

By Alex Au Yeung

5/5 - (8 votes)

As a lover of Vietnamese cuisine, I have always been fascinated by the delicate and flavorful banh bot loc. While it may seem daunting to create this dish at home, I found Yelo’s blog to be an excellent resource for learning about authentic banh bot loc recipes. 

Through her detailed instructions and personal experiences, I was able to craft this popular Vietnamese dish in my own kitchen. The combination of the chewy tapioca flour dough and the savory shrimp and pork filling is truly a culinary delight. I highly recommend exploring banh bot loc recipes and experiencing the rich flavors of Vietnam for yourself.

What is banh bot loc?

Banh Bot Loc Recipe: How Long To Steam Banh Bot Loc?
What is banh bot loc?

Banh bot loc is a popular Vietnamese dish made from tapioca starch and filled with a savory mixture of pork and shrimp. The name banh bot loc translates to “Tapioca dumplings” in English, referring to its translucent appearance.

What is banh bot loc? The origins of banh bot loc are not entirely clear, but it is believed to have originated in the central region of Vietnam, particularly in Hue city, which was once the imperial capital of the Nguyen dynasty. Banh bot loc was traditionally served to the royal court and upper-class families during special occasions and ceremonies.

Today, banh bot loc is widely enjoyed throughout Vietnam and has become a staple in Vietnamese cuisine. It is commonly found in street food stalls, markets, and restaurants, and is often served as a snack or appetizer.

In Vietnamese culture, banh bot loc holds a significant place as a symbol of the country’s rich culinary heritage. Its delicate texture and complex flavors are seen as a representation of the Vietnamese people’s attention to detail and appreciation for artistry. Banh bot loc is also a source of pride for many Vietnamese people, and it continues to be an essential part of the country’s food culture.

Why banh bot loc is popular in Vietnam?

Banh loc is popular in Vietnam for several reasons. Firstly, it is a delicious and satisfying dish that is enjoyed by people of all ages. The chewy texture of the tapioca dumpling combined with the savory filling of pork and shrimp creates a unique and tasty experience that is hard to resist.

Additionally, banh bot loc is widely available and affordable in Vietnam. It can be found in street food stalls, markets, and restaurants throughout the country, making it accessible to people from all walks of life. Its popularity has also led to a wide variety of regional variations and unique fillings, further contributing to its appeal.

Banh bot loc also holds a special place in Vietnamese culture and history. As mentioned earlier, it was traditionally served to the royal court and upper-class families during special occasions and ceremonies, and its significance has continued to endure. For many Vietnamese people, banh bot loc is a symbol of their cultural heritage and a source of national pride.

Banh bot loc recipe

Banh Bot Loc Recipe: How Long To Steam Banh Bot Loc?
Banh bot loc recipe

This banh bot loc recipe makes approximately 20 – 25 banh loc dumplings.

Cooking note

  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Course: Appetizer, Main Course
  • Cuisine: Vietnamese


  • Steamer basket
  • Mixing bowl
  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife

Banh bot loc ingredients

  • 1 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 pound pork belly
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup scallions, chopped
  • Dipping sauce (optional)

How to make banh bot loc?


  • Heat the vegetable oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and sauté until fragrant.
  • Add the pork belly, season with sugar, fish sauce, black pepper and cook until browned and caramelized. Then set it aside for cooling.
  • Add the shrimp to the pan, and season with fish sauce, salt, sugar, and black pepper. Mix well and cook for another 1-2 minutes until the shrimp are cooked through.
  • Remove from heat and let the filling cool down to room temperature before using it to fill the banh bot loc.

Traditional fillings are usually sweet, less salty, if you want to eat according to your personal taste, you can increase or decrease the seasoning as you like.

Next, we’ll move on to the molding part. There are 2 ways to make banh bot loc, you can follow any ways as you want:

Making banh bot loc tran

Banh bot loc tran (also called “banh bot loc vanh khuyen”) is made by mixing tapioca flour with water and then shaping the dough into small circles or squares. The dough is then filled with a mixture of fried pork belly, shrimp before being boiled until the dough turns translucent. 

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine tapioca starch, rice flour, and salt. Gradually add boiling water and mix well. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  2. Divide the dough into small portions and flatten each into a circle. 
  3. Place a spoonful of the filling in the center of each circle and fold the edges of the dough over the filling, forming an annular shape.
  4. Put the pot on the stove, add about 500ml of water and 1 tablespoon of cooking oil to boil. Then, gently drop each dumpling into boiling for about 5 – 10 minutes until the crust becomes translucent.
  5. Then remove the banh bot loc, put it in a bowl of cooling water for 2 minutes. Arrange it on a plate to serve, don’t forget to brush each layer of scallion oil on top of the banh bot loc to avoid sticking together.

Making banh bot loc la chuoi

Banh bot loc with banana leaf (Banh bot loc la chuoi) is made by wrapping the filling on a layer of dough and wrapping it in banana leaves, then tying and steaming until cooked. Banana leaves add a subtle aroma and flavor to the dumplings, while also giving it a unique look. 

  1. Mix tapioca starch, boiling water, 1 teaspoon salt for 15 – 20 minutes. You can use a dough mixer instead of using your hands.
  2. After the dough has been mixed quite well, put 2 tablespoons of cooking oil on your hands and continue to knead the dough for a while to make the dough softer.
  3. After kneading the dough, cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest for 2-3 hours.
  4. You brush a thin layer of oil on the banana leaf, use a spoon to take a sufficient amount of flour and spread it on a banana leaf, scoop out the shrimp and pork fillings, then wrap it, watch the video to know how to pack the banh loc properly.
  1. How long does it take to steam banh bot loc? Generally, banh bot loc should be steamed for 10 – 12 minutes, until the dough turns translucent, and the filling is cooked through.
  2. It’s important not to over-steam banh bot loc, as this can cause the dough to become rubbery and tough. To check if the dumplings are done, you can gently touch the surface of the dough with your finger – if it feels firm and springy, the dumplings are ready to be removed from the steamer. Or you can take a sample first and peel off the banana leaf to check it, if it’s not fully cooked, you can lightly wrap the foil and put it back in the steamer.

What to serve with banh bot loc?

Put the banh bot loc on a plate, cover with a little scallions oil, fried onions, then it can be enjoyed.

The filling has a soft, chewy crust, the fresh shrimp is crispy and sweet, the taste is just combined with sweet and sour sauce, spicy, super attractive.

Table nutrient facts of banh bot loc

Here is some banh bot loc nutrition facts based on a typical serving size of 4 dumplings (80g):

Total Fat2.1g
Saturated Fat0.5g
Total Carbs16.5g
Dietary Fiber0.3g

Banh bot loc calories one serving of banh bot loc (4 dumplings or 80g) containing approximately 105 calories. The calorie content of banh bot loc may vary depending on the fillings and method of preparation.

Tips for making perfect banh bot loc

Banh Bot Loc Recipe: How Long To Steam Banh Bot Loc?
Tips for making perfect banh bot loc

Here are some tips for making the perfect banh loc:

  • Use high-quality ingredients: Choose fresh and high-quality ingredients for the filling, such as fresh shrimp and lean ground pork, to ensure the best flavor and texture.
  • Knead the dough properly: Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic to create a chewy and delicate texture for the dumplings.
  • Use the right ratio of tapioca starch and rice flour: The ratio of tapioca starch and rice flour can affect the texture and translucency of the dumpling wrapper. Aim for a ratio of 4:1 or 5:1 to achieve the perfect balance.
  • Don’t overfill the dumplings: Overfilling the dumplings can cause them to burst or fall apart during steaming. Use a small spoonful of filling and fold the edges of the dough tightly over the filling.
  • Arrange the dumplings evenly in the steamer basket: Arrange the dumplings in a single layer, leaving some space between them for even circulation of steam.
  • Don’t over-steam the dumplings: Over-steaming can cause the dumplings to become tough and rubbery. Steam the dumplings for 10-12 minutes or until the dough turns translucent and the filling is cooked through.
  • Serve hot with dipping sauce: Banh bot loc is best served hot with a dipping sauce, such as nuoc cham or sweet chili sauce, to enhance the flavor.

With these tips, you can make perfect banh bot loc that is chewy, delicate, and bursting with flavor.

What is the best way to store banh bot loc?

The best way to store banh bot loc is to keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also wrap them in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent them from drying out. Properly stored, banh bot loc can last for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

If you need to store banh bot loc for a longer period of time, you can freeze them. Simply place the dumplings in an airtight container or a freezer bag and store them in the freezer. Frozen banh bot loc can last for up to 3 months.

It’s important to note that the texture and flavor of banh bot loc may change after being stored in the refrigerator or freezer, so it’s best to consume them as soon as possible for the best taste and quality.

How to reheat banh bot loc?

  • With banh bot loc tran, you should boil it in boiling water for 5-10 minutes.
  • With banh bot loc la chuoi, put it in the steamer for about 10-15 minutes.

Alternatively, you can reheat banh loc in the microwave, simply place the dumplings on a microwave-safe plate and heat for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through.

Variations of banh bot loc

Banh bot loc is a versatile dish that can be made with various fillings and flavors. Here are some common variations of banh bot loc:

Banh bot loc tran chay

Banh bot loc tran chay is a vegetarian version of banh bot loc that is filled with mushrooms, tofu, and other vegetables. It is a popular option for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Banh bot loc chien

Fried tapioca dumplings, also known as “bánh bột lọc chiên” in Vietnamese, are a popular variation of the traditional steamed tapioca dumplings. They are typically filled with a mixture of pork and shrimp, similar to the steamed version, but are coated in a crispy, golden-brown shell after being fried.

Where to buy banh bot loc in the US?

If you’re looking to buy banh bot loc in the US, here are some options you can try:

  • Banh Bot Loc Westminster: Westminster, California is known for its large Vietnamese population and many Vietnamese restaurants and grocery stores. There are several places in Westminster where you can buy banh bot loc, including Huong Hue Food To Go and Restaurant, Kim Huong, Lam Van,….
  • Banh Bot Loc Philadelphia: You can try visiting store such as Ba Le Bakery to find banh bot loc.
  • Banh Bot Loc Las Vegas: Saigon Baguette, Muốn Las Vegas,…
  • Banh Bot Loc Houston: Dong Ba restaurant, Nam Giao, Thien Thanh, Pho Luc Lac,….

To find a store that sells banh bot loc near you, try using online search engines or food delivery apps with the keyword “banh bot loc near me” to find a location close to you.

Where to eat banh bot loc in Vietnam?

Banh Bot Loc Recipe: How Long To Steam Banh Bot Loc?
Where to eat banh bot loc in Vietnam?

If you have the opportunity to come to Vietnam, visit Hue, this is the cradle of the famous banh bot loc with many traditional restaurants.

Banh bot loc Quan O Giau

Address: No. 109 Le Huan – Hue City

Opening hours: 13:30 – 19:00

Banh bot loc quan Ba Cu

Address: No. 23/117 Phan Dinh Phung – Hue City

Opening hours: 8:00 – 20:00

Banh bot loc Ba Do

Address: No. 8 Nguyen Binh Khiem – Phu Cat Ward – Hue City

Opening hours: 8:00 – 21:30

What prices of banh bot loc?

The price of banh bot loc can vary depending on several factors such as the location, ingredients, and vendor. In Vietnam, banh bot loc is generally considered a cheap and affordable street food, with prices typically ranging from 10,000 to 20,000 Vietnamese dong per serving (which is around $0.50 to $1 USD).

In the US, prices for banh bot loc may be higher due to the cost of importing ingredients and the overhead costs of running a business. Prices may also vary depending on the location and the vendor, with some restaurants and food trucks offering banh bot loc as a specialty item or part of a larger menu.

The price of banh bot loc can vary widely depending on the location and the vendor, but it is generally considered an affordable and delicious option for those looking for a quick and satisfying snack or meal.


How to pronounce banh bot loc?

“How to pronounce banh bot loc”, break the word down into its syllables:

  • Banh: pronounced like “bun” with a rising tone
  • Bot: pronounced like “boat” with a level tone
  • Loc: pronounced like “lock” with a falling tone

So the full pronunciation would be something like “bun boat lock” with rising, level, and falling tones respectively.

Is banh bot loc gluten-free?

Whether banh bot loc is gluten-free, it depends on the specific recipe and ingredients used. Traditional banh bot loc is made with tapioca flour and rice flour, which are both gluten-free. 

However, some recipes may include additional ingredients that contain gluten, such as wheat flour or soy sauce. If you are gluten-sensitive or have celiac disease, it’s important to check the ingredients list or ask the vendor or restaurant about the specific recipe used to ensure that it is gluten-free.

Can I eat cold banh bot loc?

As for whether you can eat cold banh bot loc balls, while it is possible to eat them cold, they are traditionally served hot and steamed. The texture of the dumplings may change when they are cold, and they may become harder and less flavorful. It’s recommended to reheat them before eating, or to eat them fresh and hot.

How to make banh bot loc faster?

There are a few shortcuts you can take to make banh bot loc faster, such as:

  • Use store-bought tapioca starch and rice flour instead of making your own from scratch.
  • Skip the traditional filling ingredients and use pre-cooked, ready-to-eat ingredients such as frozen cooked shrimp.
  • Use a food processor or blender to mix the dough instead of mixing it by hand.
  • Use a steamer or rice cooker with a steaming basket instead of a traditional steaming pot.

Is banh bot loc a fast food?

Banh bot loc can be considered a type of fast food in Vietnam, as it is a popular street food that is often sold from small stalls and vendors. Banh bot loc can be made relatively quickly and easily, and it is often served in small portions that can be eaten on the go. 

However, it is important to note that banh bot loc is also a traditional dish that has been enjoyed in Vietnam for many years, and it is often made by home cooks as well as street vendors.

Can you keep banh bot loc overnight?

While it is possible to keep banh bot loc overnight, it is not recommended as the dumplings can become hard and lose their flavor and texture. Banh bot loc is best enjoyed fresh and hot, so it’s recommended to eat them as soon as they are cooked. 

If you do have leftovers, it’s best to store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a day. When you’re ready to eat them, you can reheat them by steaming them again until they are hot and tender. However, be aware that the texture and flavor may not be as good as when they are fresh.

How do you know when banh bot loc is fully cooked?

To know when banh bot loc is fully cooked, you can check for a few signs:

  • Translucency: Banh bot loc should be translucent when fully cooked. This means that you should be able to see the filling inside the dumpling.
  • Firmness: Banh bot loc should be firm but still tender when fully cooked. You can check for firmness by gently pressing on the dumpling with a spoon or chopstick. If it feels too soft or mushy, it may need more time to cook.
  • Floating: Banh bot loc should float to the surface of the steaming basket or pot when fully cooked. This can be a good indicator that they are done, although it’s not always foolproof.
  • Internal temperature: If you have a thermometer, you can check the internal temperature of the banh bot loc. It should reach at least 165°F (74 °C) to ensure that it is fully cooked and safe to eat.

A combination of these signs can help you determine if your banh bot loc is fully cooked. It’s important not to overcook them, as they can become tough and rubbery if cooked for too long.

What is the texture of banh bot loc like?

The texture of banh bot loc is soft, chewy, and slightly sticky. The outside of the dumpling is thin and translucent, while the filling inside is tender and flavorful. 

The texture of the dough comes from the combination of tapioca starch and rice flour, which creates a smooth and pliable dough that is then shaped into dumplings. When cooked, banh bot loc has a slightly gummy texture that is satisfying to bite into, and the filling adds additional texture and flavor. Overall, the texture of banh bot loc is one of its defining features, and it is a unique and enjoyable dish to eat.


With this in mind, banh bot loc is a quintessential dish of Vietnamese cuisine that has gained popularity around the world. Its chewy and delicate texture, combined with a variety of flavorful fillings, makes it a favorite among food lovers. From the history and regional variations to the health benefits and serving suggestions, we have explored the many facets of this iconic tapioca dumpling. 

Whether you’re enjoying it at a street vendor in Vietnam or making it in your own kitchen, banh loc is a dish that brings people together and connects them to the rich cultural heritage of Vietnam. So next time you have a chance to try banh bot loc, don’t hesitate to indulge in this delicious and satisfying dish.

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