Banh Cam – Bánh cam, bánh rán (Vietnamese sesame balls) is a traditional Vietnamese dessert known for its crispy exterior and soft, chewy interior. It consists of a sweet mung bean filling enclosed in a glutinous rice flour dough. The dessert is then deep-fried to perfection, resulting in a golden brown and irresistible treat. Here’s the recipe!
Why you should try Vietnamese banh cam?
Crispy and chewy texture
Banh Cam is known for its contrasting textures, making it a joy to bite into. The outer shell of the dessert is deep-fried to perfection, resulting in a crispy and golden-brown exterior. As you take a bite, you’ll encounter a soft and chewy glutinous rice flour dough, which adds a delightful mouthfeel to the overall experience. The combination of crispy and chewy textures makes Banh Cam a truly satisfying treat.
Sweet and fragrant filling
At the heart of Banh Cam lies a delectable filling that adds a burst of sweetness and fragrance. Traditionally, Banh Cam is filled with a mixture of mung beans, ginger, palm sugar, and shredded coconut. This combination creates a luscious and aromatic filling that perfectly complements the crispy dough. Each bite offers a harmonious blend of flavors, with the sweetness of the filling beautifully balancing the mild saltiness of the dough.
Simple ingredients, complex flavors
One of the remarkable aspects of Banh Cam is the incredible flavor complexity achieved with relatively simple ingredients. The combination of mung beans, ginger, palm sugar, and coconut creates a symphony of tastes that are both comforting and indulgent. The dessert strikes a balance between being subtly sweet and rich in flavors, making it a delightful treat for those with a discerning palate.
Banh Cam holds a special place in Vietnamese culture, particularly during festive occasions and celebrations. It is often served during Lunar New Year (Tet) and other significant events as a symbol of luck, prosperity, and unity. By trying Banh Cam, you get the opportunity to immerse yourself in Vietnamese culinary traditions and appreciate the cultural significance behind this beloved dessert.
Versatility and adaptability
While Banh Cam traditionally features a mung bean filling, it has also evolved to accommodate various flavors and fillings. Modern interpretations may include alternatives such as lotus seed paste, red bean paste, or even chocolate. This versatility allows for endless possibilities and ensures that there is a Banh Cam variation to suit every taste preference.
Banh Cam recipe
Banh Cam ingredients
To make Banh Cam, you will need the following ingredients:
- 100g mung bean (1/3 cup)
- 400ml water
- 4g salt (2/3 tsp)
- 20g ginger
- 100g palm sugar
- 100ml water
- 200g shredded or crushed coconut
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 200g glutinous rice flour
- 20g rice flour
- 80g caster sugar
- 3g baking powder
- 40g cooked potato
- 120g water
- 20 – 30g water
- 100g sugar
- 50ml water
- 10g roasted sesame
How to make Banh Cam?
Preparing the filling
To start, let’s prepare the delicious mung bean filling:
- Rinse the mung beans thoroughly and soak them in water for about 2 hours.
- Drain the soaked beans and transfer them to a saucepan.
- Add 400ml of water and bring it to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and let the beans simmer for about 20 minutes or until they become soft and easily mashable.
- While the beans are cooking, grate the ginger and set it aside.
- In a separate saucepan, combine the palm sugar, 100ml of water, and grated ginger.
- Cook the mixture over low heat until the palm sugar dissolves completely.
- Add the shredded or crushed coconut to the palm sugar mixture and stir well.
- Drain the cooked mung beans and transfer them to the coconut mixture.
- Stir everything together until well combined.
- Let the filling cool completely before shaping it into small balls.
Making the dough
Now that the filling is ready, it’s time to prepare the dough for the Banh Cam:
- In a mixing bowl, combine the glutinous rice flour, rice flour, caster sugar, and baking powder.
- Mash the cooked potato and add it to the dry ingredients.
- Gradually add 120g of water while mixing the dough.
- Knead the dough until it becomes smooth and pliable. If the dough feels too dry, add 20-30g of water gradually until you achieve the desired consistency.
- Divide the dough into small portions and shape them into balls.
Assembling and frying Banh Cam
With the filling and dough ready, let’s assemble and fry the Banh Cam:
- Take one dough ball and flatten it with your palms.
- Place a mung bean filling ball in the center of the flattened dough.
- Carefully seal the dough around the filling, ensuring there are no gaps.
- Repeat this process for the remaining dough and filling.
- Heat vegetable oil in a deep saucepan or frying pan over medium heat.
- Once the oil is hot, carefully drop a few Banh Cam into the oil.
- Fry the Banh Cam until they turn golden brown, flipping them occasionally to ensure even cooking.
- Once cooked, remove the Banh Cam from the oil and let them drain on a paper towel to remove any excess oil.
How to make the sugar layer crispy, not sticky for decorating?
To enhance the presentation and flavor of your Banh Cam, follow these simple decoration steps:
- In a saucepan, combine sugar and water and heat over medium heat.
- Stir continuously until the sugar dissolves completely and the mixture thickens slightly.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the syrup cool.
- Dip each Banh Cam into the syrup, coating them evenly.
- Sprinkle roasted sesame seeds over the syrup-coated Banh Cam for an added crunch.
Serving and enjoy Vietnamese sesame ball
Your homemade Banh Cam is now ready to be enjoyed. Serve them as a delightful snack or a sweet ending to a Vietnamese meal. The crispy exterior, soft filling, and subtle sweetness make Banh Cam a crowd-pleaser at any gathering. Enjoy the delightful textures and flavors of this classic Vietnamese dessert.
Banh Cam calories
- Calories: 210
- Fat: 90 g (42.9%)
- Carbohydrates: 80 g (36.4%)
- Protein: 20 g (8.7%)
Bánh cam is a high-calorie food, so it is important to be mindful of your intake if you are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. However, it is also a delicious and nutritious food, so it can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Try other sesame balls recipes
Sesame balls recipe (Chinese Dessert Jian Dui / Goma Dango)
This delightful treat combines the irresistible flavors of fried mochi and sweet anko (red bean paste) to create a harmonious and addictive experience. If you have a weakness for delectable sweets, be prepared to indulge in the delightful world of Sesame Balls!
Chinese fried sesame balls
Chinese fried sesame balls, also known as Jian Dui, are delightful and mouthwatering treats that have become a beloved part of Lunar New Year celebrations in Chinese culture. These small, round pastries are made from a glutinous rice flour dough, which is filled with a sweet and aromatic mixture, and then deep-fried to perfection.
Can I use different fillings for Banh Cam?
Absolutely! While mung bean filling is traditional, you can experiment with other sweet fillings like sweetened lotus seed paste or red bean paste.
Can I bake Banh Cam instead of frying them?
Although Banh Cam is traditionally deep-fried, you can try baking them in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for approximately 15-20 minutes until they turn golden brown.
How long can I store Banh Cam?
It’s best to consume Banh Cam on the day they are made for optimal taste and texture. However, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Are there any vegan alternatives for the filling?
Yes, you can substitute the palm sugar with other vegan sweeteners like coconut sugar or brown sugar to make the filling vegan-friendly.
Can I freeze the dough and filling for later use?
Yes, you can freeze the dough and filling separately in airtight containers for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator before using.
Banh Cam is a beloved Vietnamese dessert that combines crispy and chewy textures with delightful flavors. By following this recipe, you can create these delectable treats in the comfort of your own kitchen. With a simple mung bean filling and a glutinous rice flour dough, Banh Cam is a dessert that will impress your taste buds and those of your guests. So why wait? Try making Banh Cam today and indulge in the flavors of Vietnam.