Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Banh U Nuoc Tro (Lye Water Dumplings) and Banh Ba Trang (Bak Trang Dumplings (Meat Dumplings)) for Tet Nua Nam (Half-New Year)

Don't worry, the next post will finish off the pig-out from my food blogger meet up in Little Tokyo.

This break is because it's Tet Nua Nam (half-new year which falls on the fifth day of the fifth month on the lunar calendar). My oldest uncles wife gave me these dumplings. Don't know why we call them dumplings when they're really sticky rice cakes.

But anyway, aren't they lovely? They're wrapped in bamboo leaves. The one on the left is banh ba trang (the Vietnamese pronunciation and spelling of Chinese bak chang (meat dumplings)). The little one on the right is banh u nuoc tro (lye water dumplings).

The lye water makes the banh u nicely translucent.

The ba trang dumplings usually have pork in the middle and bits of shiitake mushrooms, Chinese sausage, lotus seeds, and chestnuts.
Both were yummy!

1 year ago today, two of my cousins graduated and we all dined at Zen Buffet in San Gabriel.


  1. We know this as Duan Wu festival and I did not know anything about half new year :O
    Do you know the story of QuYuan who was "behind" the Duan Wu history?
    How is the lye water dumplings eaten? Think it's the same as the sweet dumplings in which they are just dipped with sugar and eaten. but I always prefer the savory bak chang :)

  2. I like the savory bak chang too...I tried to find some here but no luck :-( I think I need to learn to make them!

  3. i dont like those or the ones my moher in law gave us. i opened it and it was just rice and i threw it away and gave th erest to my dad. i told him, if you dont like it, feed it to the trashcan heh


  4. Do you know how to make these? I'm hungry for them but have never made...

    -your pig-out buddy

  5. My bf's mom just made a ton of these. Last time I tried to make them I ended up with weird triangle patties. lol

  6. hooray for my rss reader for displaying me these beautiful dumplings!

    i love your reviews of places to eat in la. i work downtown and am always on the hunt. i have never seen anything like those spicy tuna stuffed peppers, DROOL :)

  7. Tigerfish,
    I don't know the story, can you tell me? I prefer the lye water dumplings without sugar, it's slightly sweet enough already. But I prefer the bak chang too. :)

    I need to learn how to make them too!

    Really, mine were so yum!

    So many things I don't know how to make. And my relatives keep giving me food so there's been little need to learn!

    Oooh, can you get the recipe? I'm sure mine will end up misshapen too.

    Downtown huh? Does that mean you eat in Little Tokyo a lot? I haven't explored it fully myself.

  8. The Taiwanese version is better. Hee hee! *runs away*


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