Makes about 1 1/2 cups
1/2 cup fish sauce
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 Thai chiles, stemmed and minced
In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, sugar, vinegar or lemon juice, and Â½ cup water and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the garlic and chiles and stir to combine. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 1 week if made with vinegar or up to 2 days if made with lemon juice.
Hue Rice Dumplings
Makes about 80 bite-size dumplings; serves 6 to 10 as a snack or appetizer
For the filling
6 Tbsp dried mung beans, soaked in cold water to cover overnight
1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 cup fried shallots, minced
1/4 cup shallot or canola oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp sugar
For the dough
2 cups tapioca starch, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup rice flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp shallot oil or canola oil
For the flavored soy sauce
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 to 2 Thai chiles stemmed and minced
Pour water into a wok or stockpot and set a two-tiered bamboo steamer in the wok or on the rim of the stockpot. Make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the steamer. Line the steamer with a round of parchment. Cover and bring to a boil over high. Drain the mung beans and spread in parchment-lined steamer. Cover and steam until pale yellow and soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate until cool.
Put the sesame seeds in a food processor and pulse until ground. Add the cooled mung beans, fried shallots, 1/4 cup shallot or canola oil, salt and sugar and pulse until well blended. Set the filling aside.
To make the dough, in a small saucepan or a kettle, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the tapioca starch, cornstarch, rice flour, sugar and salt. When the water is boiling, gradually add it to the flour mixture while stirring constantly. Then add the other 1/4 cup shallot or canola oil and knead it into the flour mixture with your hands until a smooth dough forms. The texture will be sticky and gooey, like taffy or melted mozzarella.
Dust a work surface with 1 tablespoon tapioca starch. Transfer the dough to the floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, until it is smooth and soft, dusting the surface with additional tapioca starch as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking. It will have the texture and appearance of modeling clay. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions and cover them with plastic wrap.
Remove 1 portion of the dough from under the plastic wrap, leaving the others covered. Dust your work surface with tapioca starch and, using your palms, roll the dough back and forth on the work surface into a log 13 inches long and 1 inch in diameter. Cut the log crosswise into 13 even pieces. Cover the pieces with plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining dough portions, making sure to cover all of the pieces as they are cut.
Lightly oil 2 rimmed baking sheets. To fill the dumplings, lightly flour your fingers with tapioca starch and, working with one piece of dough at a time (keeping the rest covered) roll the dough into a ball. Gently press the ball into a round about 2 inches wide.
Place 1/2 teaspoon of the filling in the center of the dough round, fold the round in half, and pinch the edges together to seal. Repeat with the remaining dough pieces and filling. As the dumplings are formed, place them on the prepared baking sheets and cover with plastic wrap.
Meanwhile, arrange as many dumplings as will fit in a single layer in each parchment-lined bamboo tier, spacing them so they don't touch. Return the water to a boil, then cover and steam. Cover and steam the dumplings for 6 to 8 minutes, until translucent and slightly shiny.
While the dumplings are steaming, make the dipping sauce. In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, 1/4 cup water, the vinegar, and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the garlic and chiles.