Clear Shrimp and Pork Dumplings - Banh Bot Loc Tran

By Helen Le Published: May 3, 2011

  • Prep: 45 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Ready In: 60 mins

  • Yield: 4 Servings

Chewy and savoury.

  • To make the filling, season the shrimp with salt, pepper, and minced garlic.
  • Season the pork with salt, pepper, paprika powder and minced shallot.
  • In a pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat, sautee some minced garlic/ shallot till fragrant.. Then add the pork and stir well for 1 minute. Add sugar, and keep stirring for 3 more minutes. Add the shrimps and season with fish sauce. Stir well and simmer on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes until the pork and shrimps are nicely caramelized.
  • To make the scallion oil, heat the vegetable oil in a pan on medium-high heat. Add the chopped spring onion. Stir quickly for 10 seconds and take off the heat. Alternatively, you can combine the vegetable oil and spring onion in a bowl and heat in a microwave for 15-20 seconds.
  • To make the dough, place one third of the tapioca starch (150g/ ~5 oz) in a small bowl and the rest (250g/ ~9 oz) in a large mixing bowl. Pour the boiling hot water into the small bowl. You will see the starch on the surface turn quite translucent. Stir well and you will get a half-cooked paste. Wait 1-2 minutes for it to cool down slightly. Transfer the paste to the large mixing bowl to combine with the rest of the tapioca starch. Knead well until a soft yet elastic piece of dough is formed. Place the dough in a plastic bag to prevent it from drying up.
  • Pinch a piece of dough, divide and shape into 1-inch size pearls. Flatten each pearl into a 3-inch disk. Place a teaspoon (or less) of the filling in the center and fold over to form a half-moon dumpling. Pinch the edges together to seal. Try not pinching on the filling as you don’t want to tear the “wrapper”. Repeat until all the dough and filling are used.
  • To cook the dumplings: Fill a large saucepan with at least 5 inches of water and bring to a boil. Gently slide the dumplings into the boiling water, one by one. Cook the dumplings until they float to the surface. Stir them around gently. Cook the dumplings in 2-3 batches to avoid overcrowding them. Then transfer them to a bowl of icing cold water, they will turn translucent. Drain well and mix with scallion oil. Garnish with chopped cilantro and chili. The dumplings might stick to each other but are easy to detach thanks to the scallion oil.
  • To serve, transfer some dumplings to serving plate, dizzle generously with the dipping sauce and enjoy


1. Why are my dumplings not translucent?

It could be that you did not shape the “wrapper” small and thin enough. It might be time-consuming but you should shape small dumplings. Large dumplings are hard to eat (too chewy and tough) and are not visually appealing

2. Can I freeze the dumplings?

Yes, after shaping the dumplings, you can spread them on a tray leaving a little space in between each dumpling. Freeze the uncooked dumplings until firm. Then you can stack them in a plastic bag to release more space for other stuffs in your freezer.

3. Why are my dumplings too chewy?

In case you have never tried this dish before, yes, they should be chewy. But if your jaw is getting tired after chewing just 1-2 pieces, they are overdone. Make sure you make the paste in the separate bowl and let cool slightly before combining with the rest of the tapioca starch.

4. Why is my dough so hard and not soft and elastic like yours?

Sometimes your measuring tool is not correct. The dough can hardly form if it is lack of water. Adding more water at a later stage can be tricky. Make sure you follow the recipe measurements closely.