Great Balls of Sesame! Lily’s Bacon Banh Cam

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For anyone who has had Banh Cam (or Banh Ran if your family is from northern Vietnam), you know that it can have different fillings depending on the bakery you purchase it from. If you buy Banh Cam in a Chinese bakery, it is filled with red bean paste. If you buy it in a Vietnamese bakery, it can be filled with a sweet mung bean paste. Occasionally, you’ll even see it with a coconut mung bean mix inside.

I always felt that the sweetness of banh cam was too overwhelming, and consequently, when I decided to make Banh Cam in the Fierro house, I wanted to add a savory element to the mung bean filling I remembered eating as a kid. After a bit of thinking, I decided on one of my favorite pork products for flavor, bacon.

For my version of Banh Cam, I use a modified Banh It filling. The outcome is a crispy, chewy, sweet yet slightly salty, and creamy bite. Banh Cam requires a bit of patience and love when it comes to preparing the batches, but I promise you’ll enjoy the final treat. This recipe makes at least 10 Banh Cam, so be prepared to share them because they are quite rich! Enjoy!

Music: Claude Debussy: Chansons de Bilitis.

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