I’m super excited to release this recipe because it’s one of the best street-food inspired recipes I have ever made.
This recipe is inspired by a Vietnamese sweet called Bánh Cam, which is basically a donut that is crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and filled with a sweet mung bean paste. Instead of a sweet filling, I went with a savory, saucy, and spicy jackfruit filling. The shell is coated with sesame seeds, very crispy but also chewy thanks to the glutinous rice flour.
It’s portable, easy to eat, and addicting. Be aware this is not a quick or easy recipe, it requires some time and patience to shape the balls but it’s not that complicated. Let’s dive into the details!
The dough comes together very quickly, it is a mix of glutinous rice flour (also called sweet rice flour), white rice flour, water, mashed potatoes, and some sugar.
The mashed potatoes are essential as they make the dough not only easier to work with, but also chewier and moister on the inside. If you have leftover mashed potatoes, you know what to do with it now!
Next, we have the jackfruit filling that is spicy, sweet, and flavored with shallots, garlic, lemongrass, lime, and fresh herbs. For this recipe, I recommend you shred and cut the jackfruit very thinly to make it easier to wrap the dough around it.
Shaping the balls is the “hardest” part of the recipe. You want to form a ball, then flatten it and press the edges with your fingers to make them slightly thinner. Then place a teaspoon of the filling in the center, and carefully enclose it with the dough. It took me a few tries before making nice balls so don’t give up, it will be worth it in the end!
Once your balls are shaped, coat them with sesame seeds for an extra crunch and better look.
After frying for about 15 minutes, the balls will have puffed and will be larger with a slightly hollow inside, this is normal.
These balls, or buns, depending on how you call them, are super crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and filled with delicious pulled jackfruit.
I served these with a quite spicy sriracha dipping sauce that you can use as, well a dipping sauce, or this way: take a bite of the bun and then put some sauce inside. I can’t describe how good this is.
With a crunchy shell coated with sesame seeds and a flavorful jackfruit filling, these buns are beyond delicious and super addicting. You won’t just eat one.
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
- 1 and 3/4 cup glutinous rice flour
- 2 tbsp white rice flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 10 tbsp water
- 1/2 cup mashed potatoes
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp oil
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 stalk lemongrass, finely minced (optional)
- 2 mushrooms, finely diced (I used shiitakes)
- 1 20-ounce can young jackfruit
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1/2 tsp sriracha
- 1 tbsp chopped green onions
- 2 mint leaves, chopped
- 1 tsp lime zest (optional)
- oil for frying
- Start by preparing the dough. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the glutinous rice flour, white rice flour, and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, combine the water, mashed potatoes, sugar, and oil. Heat over medium heat until the mashed potatoes are completely dissolved in the water. Remove from heat as soon as it starts to boil. Let it cool for 5 minutes.
- Pour in the wet mixture into the rice flour bowl and knead until it forms a smooth dough. This step will take 3-5 minutes. The dough should be smooth but shouldn’t be wet or too sticky. If it is, add more glutinous rice flour. Cover the dough with a plastic film to touch and set aside while you prepare the filling.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the shallot, garlic, and lemongrass. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the shallots are soft. Next, add the mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Drain and rinse the jackfruit. Cut off the hard core part and discard. Use a fork to slightly mash the jackfruit to give it a “pulled pork” texture. Next, cut it into smaller pieces, you want the jackfruit to be finely cut otherwise it will be difficult to wrap the dough around it.
- Add the jackfruit to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes.
- In the meantime, mix the soy sauce, maple syrup, hoisin sauce and sriracha in a small bowl. Add the sauce to the skillet and stir to coat the jackfruit. Cook for another 3-5 minutes. Stir in the green onions, mint, and lime zest, and remove from heat. Let cool a few minutes.
- To assemble: Scoop about 3/4 of a tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball. Flatten it between the palm of your hands, trying to make the edges slightly thinner. Place about 1 tsp of the jackfruit filling in the center and carefully pinch the edges of the dough to enclose the filling. This step requires some practice. Place the sesame seeds in a small bowl. Roll the ball in the sesame seeds to coat it with seeds. If the ball appears too dry on the outside, you can slightly wet it so the sesame seeds stick to it more easily.
- Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, and place the balls on a plate. Cover with plastic film and set aside while you heat the oil.
- Fill a small and deep saucepan with vegetable oil. There should be enough oil so the balls can be fully submerged. Heat over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes, or until hot. To test if the oil is hot enough, dip a chopstick or wooden spatula in the oil. If small bubbles form the oil is hot enough.
- Fry 2-3 balls at a time in the oil. After a few minutes, they will start to rise. Use a slotted spoon or spatula to keep the balls in the oil. You want to fry the balls for 13-15 minutes.
- Carefully remove the balls from the oil and drain on a kitchen paper towel. Repeat with the remaining balls.
- Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce, or the one in the notes of this recipe!
- These balls are best eaten immediately as they will lose their crunchiness after a few hours.
To make the dipping sauce: combine 2 tbsp sriracha, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tbsp water, and 1 minced clove of garlic in a small bowl.
No nutritional information for this recipe since it’s hard to calculate calories for fried food. Just enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Vicky Pham.