Hue is very popular and well known for little rice cakes, there are many different versions using different flours. I have chosen a simple version here. It's just a daytime snack, you don't eat it these to get full. In Vietnam people just graze all day, that's why I love it here! You will need 20 small shallow ramekins for this dish.
- 100 g rice flour
- 15 g tapioca flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 tbsp finely diced red shallots
- 1 tbsp finely diced garlic
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 400 g small tiger prawn
- 4 tsp vegetable oil for batter
- 1 cup pork crackling, crushed
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp vinegar
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- ½ cup prawn broth
- 2 chillies, chopped
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time 15 minutes
In a large bowl combine rice flour, tapoica flour and salt. Make a well in the centre and pour in half of the warm water.
Using your hands stir the ingredients together kneading the dough until it has all combined well. Now add the rest of the water, use a wooden spoon to stir it all together until you achieve a fine liquid batter.
Add 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil and allow the batter to rest for 15 minutes.
Bring a pot of water to the boil, add prawns and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the prawns, peel and reserve the prawn broth.
For the dipping sauce, add sugar, vinegar, fish sauce and prawn broth to a bowl. Mix until sugar is dissolved. Now add chilli. Set aside.
Bring a steamer pot to rapid boil, place as many ramekins to the steamer tray as you can. Now fill each ramekin with the batter two-thirds full. Cover and steam for 5-10 minutes or until firm. Repeat this process until batter is finished.
Meanwhile, pound the cooked prawns in a mortar and pestle until crushed. Put a fry pan on low heat, add the crushed prawns, garlic and shallots, stir fry for 5 minutes or until prawns are completely dry and floss like texture.
Turn off heat, add pepper and continue to stir fry for a further 3 minutes. Add some oil to each rice cake and top with prawns, pork crackling and a little of the dipping sauce.