Vietnamese Steamed Rice Rolls Banh Cuon
Deliciously soft and slightly chewy...
Ingredients for Crepe:
2 cups rice flour
2 cups tapioca flour
¼ cup potato flour
1 ts salt
2 tbsp rice bran oil
5 cups of water (depending on how thin/light you want them, I probably ended up adding an extra cup)
Ingredients for Filling:
1 cup of Wood Ear mushrooms (soaked overnight)
1 cup of dried shitake mushrooms (soaked overnight)
½ Firm Tofu
1 medium onion or shallot
Fresh cracked pepper (optional)
1. Soak wood ear mushrooms and shitake mushrooms overnight, so they will be soft by next morning. Rinse thoroughly and squeeze out excess water from mushrooms.
2. The wood ear mushrooms normally have dirt on their roots, which needs to be chopped off. Do this for each one.
3. Finely chop up all mushrooms and transfer to a large bowl
4. Crumble firm tofu into the bowl with the mushrooms
5. Wash leak thoroughly, one layer at a time to get rid of all the dirt stuck between. Slice leak thinly and add to the mixture.
6. Dice onion or shallot and add to mixture
7. Peel the carrots and julienne each one and add to the mixture.
8. Add 2 tbsp of peanut/other oil to a pan and add the whole mixture to the pan. Season with soy sauce, vegan chicken seasoning, 2 tsp coconut sugar, savoury yeast and cracked pepper (if using) according to taste. Should not be too salty as it will be eaten with sauce later. Pan fry for about 5-7mins, or until all softened and slightly caramelised.
9. Make the crepe mixture: if you are using your own grounded rice flour, chances are the flour may not be fine enough, so you will need to add this to a high speed blender with all the water, oil and salt and blend for 1-2mins until the mixture becomes completely smooth. Feel it between your fingers and if it still feels gritty keep blending until super smooth. Next add tapioca flour and potato flour and blend for another few seconds to mix well. But if you are using store bought rice flour, they are usually really fine so you won’t need to use a blender, just mix all crepe ingredients in a large bowl with a hand mixer until completely mixed and smooth.
10. Now here is where my method differs to the traditional way. Instead of steaming which this rice roll entails, I simply use a large shallow non-stick fry pan (the results are just as good as steaming). Heat the pan on Med heat, spray a bit of oil, and do a crepe test. Pour a half cup of batter and hold the pan to swirl batter all around, try to get it as thin as possible. Cover with lid and cook for 30secs. It is ready when the edges start to release and peel.
11. Now here comes the fun part: this is when you need to transfer the crepe from the pan to be filled and rolled, and again this is my way and I find it the easiest. First lightly spray the lid with a bit of oil, you’ll know why soon. With one hand hold the lid pressing tightly down on the pan, and with the other hand hold the pan and flip it over so that the crepe flips onto the lid. remove the pan with lid facing upwards and check to see if the crepe is the consistency you want it to be? Some like it chewier, softer, firmer, etc.. If you want it to be more thin add more water, more thick add more rice flour, more chewier add more tapioca flour, more dense and less chewy add more potato or corn flour. Make the adjustment if needed now.
12. Arrange a towel at your work bench, so that you can sit the lid with the crepe on top so the lid doesn't wobble or move. You will do the filling and rolling directly on the lid.
13. Before you beginning filling and rolling, return the pan back onto the heat, you may need to spray oil again (for me I found I only had to spray after every 4-5 crepes) and pour another half cup of batter, cover with another lid.
14. Now working very quickly (within 30sec), add a small amount of filling into the center of the crepe and spread it out thinly. Then fold over the sides and place in a serving tray. Once you finish this, the other crepe that is cooking should be done. Repeat the process until you've used up all your batter and filling. Remember you may need to spray your lid with a bit of oil to prevent your crepe from sticking onto it once a while.
15. If you have lightly sprayed or oiled your working surface or pan, you can stack them on top of one another and they won’t stick, but I preferred to separate mine, makes it easier for kids to grab.
Note: you should have your serving trays, towel to place lid on top for filling and rolling and the crepe filling all prepared and right next to you at your work bench, so you can work quickly.
God luck and enjoy!