Vietnamese Banh Nhan or mini sugar-coated fried dough balls are very similar to donut balls in the way they are made but in an even smaller size – about the size of a longan as the Vietnamese name suggests – and a more airy and crunchy texture. Because of their cute size, ginger-sweet flavor and puffy-crispy texture, these mini sugar-coated fried dough balls can be a great treat for the children in your family or a great donation when you are invited to a friend’s party.
You should know that making Banh Nhan is not difficult but a bit time-consuming due to the mini size of the balls. However, the end result is worth it. Why don’t you give it a try?
If you are also interested in making donuts at home, have a look at our easy and tasty donut recipe.
Vietnamese Banh Nhan or Mini Sugar-coated Fried Dough Ball Recipe
- Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours
- Category: How to Cake
- Method: Frying
- Cuisine: Vietnamese
- 130g glutinous rice flour
- 120g white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 30g ginger or cinnamon powder
- 1 cup of water
1. Making dough
For this mini sugar-coated fried dough ball recipe, we will use 2 whole eggs to obtain the crunchy and airy texture of the balls. If you want a denser texture, use the egg yolks only and increase the number of egg yolks to 3 or 4.
- Crack open 2 eggs into a mixing bowl and beat the eggs well.
- Mix the flour with the beaten eggs, bit by bit, stir well until the flour and eggs are combined. If the mixture is dry, you can put in some water or reduce the amount of flour a bit.
- Next, use your hands to knead the dough in the mixing bowl until it no longer sticks to your hands.
- The good dough should be smooth and supple to your touch.
2. Shaping mini dough balls
- First, on a flat surface, press and flatten the dough a bit with your palms, then cut the dough into smaller pieces.
- Next, use your palms to roll these dough pieces into thin, long and even strips.
- Align the strips parallel to one another, then cut them into even mini pieces. In my experience, this is the fastest way to produce even mini dough pieces for this recipe.
- Finally, round each mini dough piece in your hands to form mini balls. Under frying, these mini dough balls will puff up 2 to 3 times of their uncooked size; therefore, don’t make the balls big. Remember that the final size of your fried dough balls is about the size of a longan.
- Don’t place the balls touching one another while you are shaping the others as you don’t want them to stick together.
3. Frying mini dough balls
- Warm a substantial amount of cooking oil in a pot under low heat.
- Put all mini dough balls into the warm oil so that they will be cooked through and get crispy evenly. If the oil is too hot from the beginning, the dough balls will get golden outside but still soggy inside.
- Stir the dough balls gently to prevent them from sticking together or sticking to the pot.
- Keep stirring constantly until all the mini balls turn golden.
- Turn off the heat and keep stirring the balls in the oil for a little while for the color of the balls to get more beautifully golden brown.
- Take the mini fried dough balls out of the oil to a plate and let them cool completely before you go to the final step – sugar coating.
Note: If you happen to make more mini dough balls which cannot be fried all in one time, do the frying in batches but remember to bring the oil temperature to warm when you fry the next batch.
4. Coating the mini fried dough balls with sugar
- Wash and grind the ginger, then put it in a cup of boiled water for 15 minutes like making tea. If you use cinnamon powder, also do the same. You may want to do this before you make the dough so as the ginger water is available when you do sugar coating.
- Remove all the ginger pieces from the water.
- Place the ginger water into a non-stick frying pan together with the sugar. The purpose is to bring a ginger-sweet flavor to your dough balls.
- Cook the mixture under low heat until all the sugar dissolves.
- When the sugar is thicken but still in white color, put all the mini fried dough balls into the pan and stir constantly.
- Turn the heat to medium for the sugar sticking around the balls to get dry. At first the balls are sticky with sugar, but then the sugar gets dry and the balls will be coated in a dry and white layer of sugar.
- Turn off the heat and keep stirring the balls in the pan for a little more for the ball to get completely dry.
Being cooled thoroughly and stored in an airtight container at room temperature, these mini sugar-coated fried dough balls can last for 1 to 2 weeks.
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