Bánh cuốn, or Vietnamese steamed rice rolls, pack platefuls of flavor into every bite. The dish originated in northern Vietnam, utilizing a batter that forms a delicate rice sheet, which gets rolled around a mixture of pork and wood ear mushrooms. Bánh cuốn’s accompaniments generally include bean sprouts, fried shallots, herbs and chả lụa (Vietnamese pork sausage), along with a dipping sauce of nước chấm. Though the dish has a number of ingredients, its preparation consists of simple steps; give yourself ample time to prepare and the cooking process will be seamless. This meal is best eaten immediately, but it can hold in the refrigerator for a day or two.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 2cups white rice flour
- 1cup potato starch
- 1cup tapioca starch
- 1teaspoon kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal)
- 3tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1tablespoon fish sauce
- 1tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
- 1teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½teaspoon kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal)
- ½pound ground or minced pork
- 2tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1onion, diced
- 3garlic cloves, minced
- ¾ounce dried wood ear mushrooms (about 22), rehydrated and minced (see Tip)
- ¼medium jicama (about 1 pound), peeled with a knife then chopped
- Bean sprouts, fried shallots and fresh herbs (such as cilantro), for serving
- Vietnamese pork sausage (chả lụa), sliced (optional)
- Nước chấm, for serving
Step 1Make the batter: In a large bowl, stir together the rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, salt, oil and 4 cups water until there are very few lumps. Allow mixture to set at room temperature for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours (or overnight, covered).
Step 2While the batter is setting, make the filling: Mix the fish sauce, oyster sauce, bouillon powder, sugar, black pepper and salt into the pork. Cover and refrigerate mixture for 1 hour.
Step 3Over medium heat, add the vegetable oil to a medium pan. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add the minced wood ear mushrooms and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Step 4Add the jicama to the mixture and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the marinated pork and cook, stirring and breaking it up into smaller pieces, until it’s cooked through and beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
Step 5Heat a medium (10-inch) nonstick pan with a lid over medium. Stir the batter to blend it evenly (the flours will have sunk to the bottom), then add a thin layer to the pan, about a scant ¼ cup batter, depending on the size of your pan. Allow the batter to spread across the pan and form a round, tilting the pan as necessary, then cover to steam for 30 to 45 seconds until the batter is cooked through and the edges begin to separate from the surface.
Step 6Carefully flip the pan over to release the cooked batter onto a cutting board. Add 2 tablespoons of filling to the middle in a horizontal line and using a spatula or your hands, roll the cooked batter to encase the filling. Transfer to a platter or to serving plates. Repeat with the remaining batter and filling.
Step 7Serve immediately with bean sprouts, fried shallots, herbs and sausage, if you’d like. Eat with nước chấm.