Recipe: Sesame Balls – Bánh rán / Bánh cam

Sesame Balls - Bánh rán / Bánh cam

By Helen Le Published: April 4, 2014

  • Prep: 60 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Ready In: 2 hrs 30 mins

  • Yield: 10-12 balls

This is a Chinese influenced snack that is very popular in many Asian countries including Vietnam. In northern Vietnam, it's called Banh Ran and in southern Vietnam, it's called Banh Cam.

  • To make the filling, cook mung bean in a rice cooker with ½ cup water (or just enough water to barely cover the beans). Alternatively, you can steam the beans for 15 minutes or until soft. Then process the cooked mung bean in a food processor into a fine paste (or mash by hand using mortar and pestle or other mashing tools). Mix with sugar, shredded coconut, and vegetable oil. Divide and form into 10-12 balls.
  • To make the dough, in a large mixing bowl, combine glutinous rice flour, rice flour, mashed potato, sugar, and salt. Gradually add in the warm water and knead well. You may need to use a little more or less than 200ml , depending on the quality of the flour used. Cover and let the dough rest 30 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into 10-12 portions like the fillings. Take one portion and shape into a ball. Then flatten it out into a disk (1/8 in or 1cm thick). Place a filling ball in the center and pinch the edges together, avoid any air between the filling and the dough. Shape into a ball and roll in the sesame seeds. Press as much sesame seeds to stick to the ball as possible. Then roll again between your balms to adhere the seeds well. Repeat with the rest of the dough
  • Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil till 180°C/360°F (or until small bubbles appear around the chopstick stand in it). Deep-fry till golden brown, occasionally rotate the balls so they are brown evenly. Then remove and let them rest on a rack or paper towel to drain off the excess oil. Best served hot.


– To get 1/4 cup mashes potato, cook/boil/steam a small potato 20 minutes, OR cover it with wet paper towel and microwave 5 minutes. Then peel and mash into a paste. Alternatively, mix 2 tbsp potato flakes with 4 tbsp hot water.

– Shredded young coconut (for the filling) can be found frozen at Asian store.

(Phần bột cần 50g khoai tây nghiền. Luộc/hấp (15 phút) hoặc quay trong lò vi sóng (5 phút) 1 củ khoai tây cho chín mềm, rồi nghiền nhuyễn. Nếu mua bột khoai tây nghiền ăn liền ở siêu thị, trộn 2ms bột khoai tây nghiền với 4 ms nước sôi.)

Readers’ attempts
by Tung Trang Do
Banh cam - TungTrang Do

by Kimmeang-Ung-Freimuth
Kimmeang Ung-Freimuth - Sesame Balls

Post By Helen Le (291 Posts)

Since 2011 Helen has shared her Vietnamese home cooking video recipes on Youtube, helping viewers cook Vietnamese Food in the easiest, fastest and most authentic way possible. Subscribe to receive her newest videos for FREE:

Website: → Danang Cuisine


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3 comments on “Recipe: Sesame Balls – Bánh rán / Bánh cam

Disappointed recipe follower

My mom and I liked the ease of your video recipe. However after making them your way…we found a few things that seemed incorrect. In your video you said to fry them for 20 to 30 minutes. We tried our best to keep them in the oil for 15 minutes without getting so brown…even at w low medium heat. After reading other recipes, they just say fry til browned. We pretty much ended up with mushy, overbrown, and oily banh cams. After finding another recipe and gathering more ingredients, we found that the overall recipe needed baking powder, more sugar, less frying time. Yours looked beautiful…but ours totally didn’t following it.

    Helen Le

    Oh no! Sorry to hear that. What I meant was that, you need 30 minutes to fry the ALL the sesame balls (I fry in a few batches) You should take them out when they turn golden like shown, DO NOT fry EACH for 20-30 minutes! that’s too long. Sorry if I was misleading. Hope your next try turns out great 🙂


J’aime beaucoup le petit résumé avant que vous montrez la recette, de plus c’est cour et bien filmé, continué super

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