Banh Khoai Mon: Fried Taro Cake Recipe
To recreate this recipe at home, I pan-fried cubed bánh bột khoai môn (taro cake), then sautéed the taro pieces with dried shrimp, mushrooms, coarse sea salt and parsley. How easy is that?
Yields: 8 servings4 cups taro rice cake, cubed into 1" pieces
2 teaspoons rice flour (or all-purpose flour)
4 tablespoons canola oil (or any neutral oil)
1 shallot, sliced
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt (or regular salt)
¼ cup dried shrimp
1 ounce dried black mushrooms
2 red Thai bird chiles, seeded and finely diced
2 tablespoons red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 tablespoon green onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons roasted salted peanuts, chopped
¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked
4 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
Place the black mushrooms in a small bowl, soak in boiling water for 2-3 minutes then drain. Chop finely. Set aside.
Lightly coat all the cubes of taro rice cake with flour using a mesh sifter / strainer.
In a wok, heat the oil. Pan-fry the taro (do not over-crowd the wok; work in batches for crispy results). Do not stir. Make sure the taro pieces don't touch each other. Jiggle the wok a little to make sure the pieces don't stick to the bottom of the wok and are completely coated with oil. Wait for at least 2-3 minutes until one side is nicely fried, crisp and golden. Flip each cube (I use chopsticks which I find easier to manage) and cook the other side for another 2-3 minutes until crisp and lightly golden. Continue until all the taro is fried.
When the taro pieces are nicely fried and golden, delicately transfer to a platter lined with paper towels without applying any pressure so they remain crispy and don't get smashed (make sure to leave as much oil as possible in the wok). Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
In the same wok, add the shallots and cook until golden. Add the garlic and green onions. Cook until fragrant. Add the red chiles, red bell pepper, soaked mushrooms and dried shrimp. Toss frequently, as soon as the mixture is nicely fried, crisp and slightly golden brown. Add the crispy taro, peanuts and 3 tablespoons of parsley leaves. Toss for another minute.
Serve immediately. Garnish with more parsley.
You could also add scrambled eggs or grated dried coconut along with the dried shrimp. It's delicious.
You can find ready-made taro rice cake in most Asian markets. It's usually made of shredded taro, rice flour, tapioca starch, sometimes shrimp paste, coconut milk and water.
Dried shrimp (tôm khô in Vietnamese) add a unique, salty taste to the taro dish. This ingredient is very common in Vietnamese cuisine. I sometimes add some to fried rice and soup or mix them in stuffing; when cooked, the taste is very different.
You can find dried black mushrooms in any Asian market. They are very common in Vietnamese cooking. The mushrooms are sun-dried and are very fragrant.Published By: on June 8, 2011.