How can I justly translate “Bánh Cuốn” into an English? I have no idea. Bánh is a basic term equivalent of the English word, pastry. However, in Vietnamese bánh can be anything sweet or savory, from cookies to cakes and of course, pastries. Cuốn means to roll. With that said, this dish is called bánh cuốn because you take rice flour sheets aka “bánh”, you add filling and “cuốn”; roll it up. Bánh Cuốn is similar to Chinese rice rolls; the ones served at dim sum that are filled with either shrimp or pork and served with soy sauce. I must say this recipe is only for those truly into cooking. These rolls require time, lots of patience and endurance to hot steam. For those who want the easier road, just buy chinese rice ribbons (premade, the kind they cut up to make chow fun), add filling and roll. These rolls should be somewhat transparent, thin, and have a smooth silky texture.

Filling:
-1/4lb ground pork
-1/2 large onion
-100g chinese black fungus (woodear mushrooms)
-1 tbs fish sauce
-1 tsp pepper
-salt and sugar to taste

*Chop onion and fungus. Heat 1 tbs oil in a pan add meat and stir fry for a few mins, add onion, fungus, fish sauce, and pepper. Continue to stir fry on high heat until the onions are transparent. Add salt and sugar to taste.

For the “Wrappers”:
-150g rice flour
-100g tapioca starch
-4 cups water (960g/ml)
-1 tbs oil
-1 tsp salt

*Mix everything together, rest for 1/2 hour before making wrappers.

Making the Wrappers:
There are 2 ways to get this job done. The first is the easiest, but taste wise, the second method is the best.

1) Easiest, use a non stick frying pan, heat over medium heat pour in about 3 tbs batter. Tilt and the pan in a circular motion to cream a even round wrapper. Cover for 1 min, “flip” the wrapper out onto a serving try, add filling and roll. Roll and as you make the wrappers.

2) Fill a pot half full with water. Tightly tie a thin piece of cloth on top of the pot. Bring the water to a boil, ladle on some batter and spread it around (the batter will drip to the bottom). Steam for a few mins, now the real work begins. ;) Ladle on some batter and spread it thin, cover and steam for a minute or two. Add filling and roll (using a thin spatula dipped in water). Carefully transfer the rolls onto a plate.

To Serve:
Serve with cooked beans sprouts, fish sauce, chả lụa (Vietnamese ‘ham’), meat floss, and fried shallots.

Comments (26)

On 9:53 AM , keona said...

I want to say how lucky i am to come across this site. I soo love vietanmeses food but live soa far away from the restaurants. thank you for sharing

 
On 9:53 AM , keona said...

err. sorry typo :.... Vietnamese food

 
On 11:07 AM , linnish said...

TT, thanks for putting up this recipe! Banh Cuon is my favorite, especially good with the sauce, yum!

 
On 7:49 PM , Little Corner of Mine said...

Oh man! Yummy yummy!

 
On 1:08 AM , hoangtam/tt said...

keona,
glad you enjoyed my site :)

lin, ching,
this dish is where the hardwork really off in the taste...with intrest ;)

 
On 9:11 AM , lilyng said...

tt

these rice rolls are one of my favorite comfort food and i have been trying to get a recipe for the old fashion type which is thicker and eaten just with hoisin sauce. it is sometimes steamed with dried shrimp and chopped spring onions. the texture is very different from the hong kong type served in dim sum.

i have bought many vietnamese premixed but they are too starchy.

 
On 12:44 PM , hoangtam/tt said...

lily,

The chinese version uses potato starch and rice flour. You can try modifying the recipe by replacing the tapioca starch with potato starch and adding about 75-100g more rice flour. Then steam in a cake pan. ;)

 
On 3:30 PM , culinary said...

i think dian sum call it 'chee cheong fun' or 'fun cheong' for the rice roll

 
On 10:50 AM , lilyng said...

tt

why do you suggesting using a cake pan. Won't the cloth method be better?

 
On 12:21 AM , hoangtam/tt said...

Lily,

Using a cake pan is much much easier than using the cloth. The cloth takes some "getting used to”. Also with the cake pan you get perfect size sheets each time.

 
On 11:47 PM , foodaholic said...

Hi, I LOVE Banh Cuon!!! But I always have trouble with making it....I havent tried the steam method but I have tried the pan method and somehow it always comes out not clear and powdery....it tastes good but it doesnt look anything like the picture....and another thing....what kind of cloth do you use for the steamer??

 
On 12:41 AM , hoangtam/tt said...

foodaholic,

try reducing the heat >> will make it less powdery

make them thinner or brush with alittle oil >> to make them "clear"

The fabric I used for the steam method is a cotton and polyester blend.

 
On 2:38 PM , Elizabeth said...

Hi:

I love to eat the Vietnamese rice rolls and Tay Ho restaurant in San Jose, CA makes the best! I was glad to find your recipe, so I tried making it myself but unfortunately, it was a disaster as I think 4 cups of water is too much for so little flour right? It was too soft and wet, so could not even be rolled after steaming. So, please advice as to what went wrong as I followed your recipe exactly. Any tips as to how you can make the rice rolls look so nice as in your picture? Thanks...Elizabeth.

 
On 3:52 PM , hoangtam/tt said...

if you think the water is too much than reduce it next time. Play with your food!

 
On 2:23 PM , Tracy said...

I've been searching for these specific type of rice rolls all over Seattle, but to no avail. Are there any restaurants that serve banh cuon in the Seattle area? Or any really really good Vietnamese restaurants in the Seattle area? They are a rarity. Thanks! XD

 
On 5:40 PM , hoangtam/tt said...

Try Banh Cuon Tan Dinh located right off of 12th ave a block up from 12th and Jackson.

 
On 7:07 PM , Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with this recipe. I am searching for another recipe. It is a chive type savoury. It is wrapped in what I think is rice flour. You stuff it with chives (with a bit of oil) and you close the rice flour around it and make it into a disc shape bun. The chive bun is then steamed and it becomes sort of translucent. You eat it with vietnamese sauce. Does anyone now how to make it?

 
On 7:51 AM , Anonymous said...

I've tried making this twice now and each time, the batter keeps sticking like glue to the cloth and I can't get it off. Either that or it has a tendency to crack. Any thoughts???

 
On 1:38 PM , hoangtam/tt said...

try using a poly-cotton blend fabric

 
On 6:53 AM , Thy Thy Kathy said...

hi, thanks for the recipe, i am looking for this!

 
On 1:52 PM , roliva said...

the recipe is way off. too much water, too much tapioca - will be just a sticky gel.

use three cups water, 2 teaspoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 cup rice flour, 1/4 cup tapioca flour, and 1/2 cup corn starch

 
On 7:45 AM , Artur said...

Thanks for the recipe I'll try it today.
One question - does anyone has idea how to make the soup that it is usually served (usually=the way I tried it many times in Hanoi and round)
I'm talking about a clear sour soup that sometimes has a slice of chilly or sausage thrown in. Thanks!

 
On 5:25 PM , Anonymous said...

What about "Ca Cuong"?

 
On 8:58 PM , Anonymous said...

hello Hoang Tam, love your banh cuon' recipe, however, one little problem: I tried the steam method and somehow the mixture so sticky, it stick right there on the cloth, I couldn't get the wrap out of the cloth once it's done. I ended up with a sticky cloth and I had to wash really hard to get all of the batter out. Please help! Kim Nguyen

 
On 9:38 AM , hoangtam/tt said...

kim,

it could be you weren't using the right kind of cloth or your steamer wasn't hot enough.

 
On 12:16 PM , Anonymous said...

1, you have to use 50/50 cotton/poly fabric.
2. make sure the water is boiling really good.
3. do not put too much tapioca flour, I would say about 70% rice flour and 30% tapioca flour.
4. let the mixed batter rest the night before or at least 4 hours before use it.
5. always keep the bamboo stick in water
6. Try to spread the batter evenly onto the cloth to prevent breakage.
7. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!!!