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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Banh Ran - fried dough with mung bean and coconut filling

    Chewy and Crispy in every mouthball

    This Vietnamese  street snack , Banh Ran,  is a close cousin to the Cantonese 煎堆 ( fried ball ).  The China folks in People's Park christian  it 黄豆球 , aka mungbean balls.

    Whatever name it takes, it suggests a chewy, crispy deep fried glutinous rice ball pockmarked with sesame seeds encasing the goodness of mung bean and sometimes, coconut.

    Vietnamese versions come with a bit of potato in the dough to break the toughness of an otherwise 00%  glutinous ball. I have taken the artistic license to add purple sweet potato instead and substituted coconut cream for the grated version. To match the purple tinge, I rolled the ball in black sesame seeds instead of the usual white ones before frying.  Frankly speaking, I have yet to try authentic Banh Ran in Vietnam but I dare say this version grows on me pretty quickly!

    I have  tweaked down the sugar by half but should you wish for a sugar rush, push up the amount of sugar by 100%.

    Makes 11 balls.

    Mung bean paste ingredients:
    100g mung bean , 50g sugar, 1 tsp oil,50g coconut pulp ( I use 40g coconut cream )

    Method :
  1. To make mung bean paste, steam beans , transfer to a plastic bag.
  2. Mash beans by rolling over the bag with a rolling pin.
  3. Add sugar and coconut.
  4. Fry beans, sugar and coconut mixture to melt sugar. Cool.
  5. Portion out 11 equal balls, roll in rice flour and chill , covered.

  6. Main dough ingredients:
    40g potato, steamed,mashed,pureed ( I use purple sweet potato )
    225g glutinous rice flr
    50g rice flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    200ml water
    100g sugar
    1 Tsp oil
    Black Sesame seeds, toasted

  7. In a big mixing bowl, combine flours, baking powder. Set aside.
  8. Make sugar syrup with water and sugar. Cool.
  9. Add syrup to dough, stirring to incorporate flours and syrup.
  10. Add potato pulp, oil  to  flour batter. Knead till smooth. It should end up with  playdough like texture.
  11. Portion out 11 balls of dough.
  12. On a lightly floured worktop, lightly dust with flour. Make discs from the balls by flattening it with the palm.
  13. Fill dough balls with mung bean paste. Seal to encase paste.
  14. Roll ball in sesame seeds.
  15. Fry for 10minutes, about  175 C, until it floats.
  16. Eat fresh.


  1. Have fun with your Viet trip. Have a chance, buy their cashew.

  2. I think I like these Banh Ran very much! I love mung bean filling and the chewy dough and crunchy sesame seeds really make for a good contrasting texture.