Bánh Pía is well known cake in the South of Vietnam, it’s also called “bánh lột da” which means “peeling of skin cake”. In fact, Banh Pia is a version of Teochew Mooncake (and quite similar to Suzhou mooncake), however, it is not considered moon cake in Vietnam, they are sold all year round not only on Mid-Autumn festival. I guess because it’s tasty so people can wait to eat it once a year
Banh Pia has many paper thin and soft layers of crust which are easily be peeled off when we touch it. A traditional filling is mung bean paste and sugared pork fat. Nowadays, filling with others ingredients such as yam paste, durian , salted egg yolk, winter melon, dried sausage, etc. have been added to suit all tastes. And durian and mung bean paste with one or two salted egg yolks filling are one of the most popular sold
The process to make Banh Pia is quite long, it takes about 4-5 hours to finish, but trust me it’s really worth it.
Makes 12 ‘banh pia’ with salted egg yolks or 16 ‘banh pia’ without salted egg yolks.
- 50g pork fat +25g sugar (optional)
- 350g split mung beans (yellow one)
- A pinch of salt
- 200-240g sugar
- 90ml oil
- 300g durian flesh, blended
- 20g cooked glutinous rice flour
- 12 salted egg yolks + cooking wine or rice wine, vodka (optional)
Boil pork fat for 5 minutes then dice it. Mix with the sugar and let rest for 1 hour.
Rinse the mung beans until water run clear, soak the mung beans for 4 hours or overnight if possible. Place the mung beans and salt in a saucepan, cover with water with 2,5cm (1 inch) depth and bring the bean to boil. Then lower the heat and cook for about 30-40 minutes until very tender and you can easily smash it with your spoon. Stirring often to prevent burning and adding more hot water if necessary.
Put the cooked bean (without draining the cooking water) into a blender and blend until smooth. You may have to add more water into the blender. Strain through a strainer, discard the lumps.
Place the blended mung bean, sugar and 1 tablespoon oil in a nonstick pan/sauce pan, stir until combined. Stir fry over medium heat until the mixture thickens, about 20-30 minutes (the cooking time may vary depending on the bean cooking liquid), occasionally add the remaining oil to the bean mixture, I added 1 -2 tablespoons of oil after every few minutes.
Once the mixture thickens, turn the heat to low heat, add durian flesh and stir fry for another 10 minutes.
Add sugared pork fat (if using), cooked glutinous rice flour and keep stirring for another 5 minutes
The best filling for Banh Pia is wet, but you can’t shape it into a ball and your Banh Pia will hardly get its a round shape. If you prefer wet filling, reduce the cooking time for durian. My filling recipe is not too wet but also not too dry, it is little sticky while shaping it into ball.
Remove from the heat, transfer into a bowl, cover the filling surface with plastic wrap to keep it moist and let it cool down.
Break and discard the white, rinse and soak salted egg yolks with wine for 15 minutes then drain and steam for 10-15 minutes. Place in refrigerator for later use.
Divide the mung bean filling into 12 or 16 equal portions, roll each portion into a ball shape and poke a hole in the middle with your finger, place egg yolk inside then roll and shape it into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap, set aside.
- 300g plain flour/ all- purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 40g sugar
- 120g water
- 50g vegetable oil (không dùng dầu oliu)
- 50g lard, melted and cooled *
*Lard (pork fat) gives the cake a nice texture and flavor, if you couldn’t find it, you can substitute by oil.
Combine the flour and baking powder in a bowl.
In a big mixing bowl, add sugar, water, oil and lard, mix until dissolved. Sift flour into the oil mixture, mix and knead for 10-15 minutes. Cover and let it rest for 30 minutes.
Knead for another 1-2 minutes then divide into 12 or 16 portions and roll each portion into a ball shape.
- 100g plain flour/all purpose flour
- 100g tapioca starch*
- 35g vegetable oil
- 35g lard (or vegetable oil)
* If you couldn’t find tapioca starch, using plain flour instead.
Combine the plain flour and the tapioca starch.
Mix all the ingredient in a bowl with a spoon until well mixed and divide into 12 or 16 portions.
MAKING THE SKIN DOUGH
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Lightly floured a working surface and rolling pin.
Flatten one water dough ball, wrap one portion of oil dough with the water dough. Seal the edges and shape it into a ball. Do the same for others.
Coming back to the first dough. Let the sealed side face up, use a rolling pin to roll it into a long, thin rectangular shape. Roll it up like you are preparing Swiss roll.
Turn the “Swiss Roll” to 90 degrees, with the end side facing up. Then roll it again into a long and thin strip. Roll it up again like you are preparing Swiss roll. Repeat steps with others.
Coming back to the first dough, let the end face up, flatten the dough into round with rolling pin (the edges should be thinner than in the middle and just big enough), put a ball of filling on the center of the skin. Wrap the filling with the dough, pinch the edges and shape like a ball.
Place sealed side down on the prepared baking sheet. Slightly flatten it with your hand.
Dip your design stamp (mine is the point of chopstick, haha) into red food coloring and gently stamp on top of the cake. Make sure the stamp is not soaking wet as the layers of crust will stick together.
Repeat the process for the rest.
Preheat the oven 190C for 10-15 minutes.
Prepare the egg wash: Mix one egg yolk with 1 teaspoon of rice wine (or cooking wine, vodka).
Bake for 15 minutes in the center of the oven or until the pastry is puff and the top is slightly golden.
Remove from the oven and slightly brush the Banh Pia with egg wash, not so much or the pastry skin will crack open, and bake for another 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven, let it cool completely in the baking sheet.
Place in an airtight container, wait for around 10 hours to 24 hours before eating , Banh Pia will become soft and taste better.
Banh Pia can be stored in airtight container at room temperature for 5 days.
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