Vietnamese Steamed Rice Rolls (Banh Cuon)
Deliciously soft and slightly chewy...
This recipe is normally enough to feed a crowd
Ingredients for Crepe:
4.5 cups rice flour
4.5 cups tapioca flour
1/2 cup potato flour
2.25 tsp salt
3 tbsp rice bran oil
14 cups of water
Ingredients for Filling:
2 cup of Wood Ear mushrooms (soaked overnight)
1 cup of dried shitake mushrooms (soaked overnight)
1 block of Firm Tofu
1 leak, thinly sliced
2 carrots, grated
1 medium onion or shallot
Fresh cracked pepper (optional)
2-3 tbsp Vegan fish sauce
2 tbsp Vegan chicken Stock (I use Massel Plant Based Chicken stock powder)
2-3 tbsp Coconut sugar
2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast flakes
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. OR if you can find the ones that are already shredded and not in it's whole form, use them instead as they are already clean and ready to go, but you'll still need to soak them overnight.
3. Finely chop up all mushrooms (or pulse in food processor until roughly minced and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
4. Do the same for the wood ear mushrooms and firm tofu, but do them separately and transfer to the mixing bowl.
5. Wash leaks 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 grate them finely and add to the mixture.
8. Add 1tbsp of oil to a pan and add the whole mixture to the pan. Add all the filling seasonings, taste and add more or less according to taste. Should not be too salty as it will be eaten with sauce later. Pan fry until veggies are soft for about 5-7mins.
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.
Although to simplify the process, I prefer to use store bought rice flour, which is already super fine, so you won't need 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 traditional Vietnamese 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.
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 before you begin making the first crepe, so you can work quickly and spontaneously.
Serve with lightly cooked bean sprouts, lettuce, cucumbers, a lot of fresh Coriander, fried Shallots, vegan ham (or vegan tofu/fish ham or vegan meatballs) and most importantly, vegan sweet fish sauce. Here is the link to our Vegan Sweet Fish Sauce that pairs perfectly with this dish.
God luck and enjoy!