Homemade Vietnamese food
Homemade Vietnamese food
1. Cold comfort (Banh troi, banh chay)
The Vietnamese often make two kinds of cakes: banh troi (floating cake) and banh chay (lean cake) on the third day of the third month of the Lunar year. This is known as the “Cold Food Festival”. In Vietnam, most people may have forgotten its origins but it’s still considered an important occasion for ancestral offerings. The cakes are popular desserts in both rural and urban areas.
Banh troi are small white balls made of brown sugar, wrapped in glutinous rice flour. The name floating cakes came about from the way it is actually cooked. Banh chay are also made of glutinous flour, however, they resemble boiled dumplings and are filled with mung bean paste, sprinkled with sesame seeds and served in bowls with syrups floured with grapefrui blossom.
2. Hanoi Fried Spring Rolls
Hanoi fried spring rolls are very popular and appear on almost every restaurant menu. Hanoians are very proud of their spring rolls. It''''''''s a perfect starter for whoever loves fried spring rolls. There are quite a few different recipes for fried spring rolls but I would like to give you the following recipe which includes pork rather than fish or something else.
How to make: Soak dry vermicelli, earwood, black mushroom in water for 20 minutes. Then dry & finely chop. Put all the prepared ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix them well. Place some of the above prepared ingredients on a sheet of rice paper before rolling it into rolls. Put cooking oil into a pan, bring to a high heat, put spring rolls in & turn occasionally until the color of the “nem” turns light brown. Serve hot with herbs & dipping sauce.
Dipping Sauce: Lemon: squeeze for juice. Put fish sauce, sugar, lemon juice, garlic and chili in a large mixing bowl; add 2 spoonfuls of water in, then stir well.
If you follow this recipe, which is enough for four people, you will be enjoying the spring rolls we serve at WildRice.
3. Banh Cuon (Vietnamese Steamed Rice Rolls/Crepes)
Banh Cuon (Vietnamese Steamed Rice Rolls/Crepes) is the perfect holiday detox food. After the last Thanksgiving holiday back in Detroit, Michigan we needed something light, delicate, and yet flavorful to detox after our feast. So when my mom asked us what wanted to eat the weekend after thanksgiving dinner, we immediately requested some banh cuon. Banh cuon is a very light crepe often with ground pork, minced wood ear mushroom, and onions and eaten with Vietnamese ham (cha lua), steamed beansprouts, and cucumbers. Another variation arising from a village in Northern Vietnam famous for their banh cuon is called banh cuon “Thanh Tri” a style where the crepe is not rolled but kept in sheets without any filling, and sprinkled with fried onions.
Vietnamese banh cuon is different from the rice rolls found at Chinese dim sum, cheong fun, because the banh cuon crepe is extremely thin and delicate and not topped with sweet soy sauce. The reason for this thinness is the process of how it’s made. Banh cuon can be made extremely thin because it’s steamed over a fabric covered pot which can quickly cook the rice flour, keeping it moist and workable. My mom bought these pots that are specially outfitted with a metal ring where a fine nylon/cotton cloth is tautly stretched across and placed on top of the pot. A very thin layer of batter is poured on to the cloth and evenly spread and steams paper thin, and in less than a minute, a flat and flexible bamboo stick is used to lift off the delicate rice crepe.\
This is my mom with the freshly steamed banh cuon. See how extremely thin and translucent the steamed rice roll is? We both tried our hands on lifting off the crepe from the steamer and messed up a few, but after a while, with plenty of practice we were able to do it. Occasionally, when some of her friends have parties, they ask my mom to cater this dish and my mom would have 2 pots steaming the banh cuon at once working at an amazingly efficient and brisk pace that comes with years of experience. One time, my mom and her bestfriend had 5 steaming pots at the same time!
This recipe is written for making banh cuon with a nonstick pan since we realize that it’s not practical to make this with the specialized pot and fabric which she brought back from Vietnam (although we’ve actually seen these pots occasionally in Chinatown in LA). It won’t be as thin as steaming it on fabric, but the result will still be satisfactory, and we hope satisfying.
Home made Vietnamese food, Homemade Vietnamese food, Homemade Vietnamesefood