Growing up, one of my favorite breakfasts was Vietnamese rice rolls (banh cuon): steamed rice papers stuffed with ground pork, wood ear fungus (type of mushroom), and served with fish sauce on the side.
I still remembered my mom bought these tasty rolls from a small street shop almost every other day. Back then, I was very picky of my food. I would only ate from certain ‘street vendors’ which cooked certain food over and over again.Jump to Recipe
The secret that make these rice rolls taste delicious, besides making a good batter, is to gently steam them on the special cooking equipment which I call “the steamed table“. It has a layer looks like a thick cheese cloth on top, and of course hot water in the bottom. As for me, I am unable to find that kind of cookware here so I use a non-stick pan instead. Another thing to remember is these Vietnamese rice rolls need to be steamed on medium-high heat. Your non-stick pan (prefer: 9 inch, thin bottom) should be well coated with oil too. Cooking on low heat and with less oil will make the batter become under-cooked and easily broken.
Another important note in making the batter is to let it rest briefly before cooking, at least 4 hours. During this resting period, starch molecules in the batter are absorbing more liquid in the batter. Any gluten formed during the mixing process is also having time to relax, and air bubbles are slowly working their way out. When the gluten has time to relax, the texture is incredibly delicate instead of super chewy. This also ensures a thin and uniform structure to the finished rice rolls.
If you’re in a rush, you can shorten or skip this resting period, but the rice rolls will not taste as good as they are supposed to.Jump to Recipe
Also, this Vietnamese Rice Rolls is always served with chili garlic fish sauce dipping sauce which you can find the recipe HERE.
Vietnamese Rice Rolls (Banh Cuon)
- 9" non stick pan OR
- Asian style steamer for Banh Cuon
- Cutting board
- Heavy duty foil
- 8 oz rice flour
- 1 oz tapioca flour
- 2 oz corn starch
- 32 oz water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp oil
- 13 oz ground pork
- 5 oz good ear fungus minced
- 1 oz shallot minced
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
On the side:
- chili garlic fish sauce dipping sauce see note above
- mixed herb shiso leaves, mint, beansprout
- Vietnamese ham cha lua
- fried shallot as needed
- Ina large mixing bowl, put all ingredients for batter (except oil) together and mix well. Let the batter rest in chilling environment at least 4 hours. Add oil right before cooking process.
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix all ingredients and let themmarinade for 30 minutes. Before steaming rice batter, in a small saute pan, add1 tbsp of vegetable oil and saute ground pork mixture until well cooked.
Steaming and rolling process:
- Cover your cutting board with heavy duty foil to make anon-stick surface for rolling process. Coat it with 1 thin layer of vegetable oil. (You can pour oil in a small bowl, use a tongs and folded paper towel to spread oil evenly on rolling surface as well as the pan).
- Heat a thin bottom non-stick pan on medium high heat. Coat it with a layer of oil. Pour about 2 oz of batter into a pan,cover with lid. Let it cook for 30 – 45 seconds. Upside down the whole pan on rolling surface, a well-cooked batter will fall out easily.
- Spoon about 2 tbsp of ground pork mixture, and carefully roll the steamed rice paper.Keep doing the process until you're done.
- Top rice rolls with fried shallot. Serve with assorted herbs, Vietnamese ham and chili garlic fish sauce on the side