When I’m home, Little Mom pampers me with her food and sweeps me out of her kitchen, except when I open the fridge to snack, because her mind fixes on the idea that if she lets me touch the stove, I only make a mess. She’s right. Not to toot my own horn but when I’m home, I’m a lazy mess. So when I said Mom, let’s make bánh dầy đậu, she threw her hands up, said oh my sky there’s no more room in the fridge, made the bean paste herself, and only let me play with the dough.
The mung bean paste filling is really the most important part of the Vietnamese mochi (similar to the Japanese mochi, but it’s 100% Vietnamese): you want it slightly savory, slightly sweet, and mashed. Little Mom is the queen of seasoning, so that part was flawless. My job was to knead the dough and roll up them balls. At least I didn’t have to pound steamed sticky rice into oblivion. I was kneading while watching TV with Mom. I was kneading when she sectioned her bánh bao dough into balls. I was still kneading when she wrapped the pork and egg inside the bánh bao dough. More kneading makes the mochi skin softer. After kneading, the rest was a breeze.
(Make 12 mochi)
- 250 g dried split mung bean (~ 2 cups), soaked overnight and deshelled
- 2 cup sticky rice flour
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 cup sliced mushroom
- salt and sugar to taste
After soaking the mung bean overnight, wash away the green peel outside, we only want the yellow seed. Boil the mung bean until it’s tender. Mash the cooked bean.
Set aside 2 cup of mashed bean, let it dry and crumble to make mung bean powder.
Sautee mushroom, add the remaining mashed bean while sauteeing, add salt and sugar to taste. Let cool.
Make 12 small balls.
The mochi skin:
Pour water into the the rice flour while mixing with your hand. You should stop when the mix feels smooth but not liquidy. Add more water if the dough breaks.
Knead for at least 30 minutes.
Divide into 12 balls, flatten each into a small disk.
The complete mochi:
Put the mung bean ball into the middle of the skin, wrap it up, make sure that no bean leaks out. Drop the mochi in boiling water and cook until they float to the surface. Cook for another 2 minutes just to make sure.
Roll the still hot mochi balls in mung bean powder. Let them cool.
Enjoy with a cup of Buddha’s Hand oolong.