Vietnam – Banh Cuon

by Fauzan Anandika

An action movie lover must already know with Rambo film, an action movie cast and directed by Sylvester Stallone. Rambo is a fictional character, a US army assigned in the Vietnam war. With his military skill, he was able to win the war. In The Rambo movie, we can see Vietnam as an uncivilized country in 1969. But now Vietnam turns into a beautiful nation with many tourist destinations. They use their beautiful panoramic and delicious culinary to attract the tourist. Vietnamese culinary use various vegetable and oily texture. Vietnamese use sugar, serrano peppers, fish sauce, and lime as their main spice. 

Vietnamese people eat rice as their main staple, so when visiting Vietnam, you will taste various kinds of rice noodles, rice paper, or dumplings. One of the best rice dumplings in Vietnam is Banh Cuon, a fermented rice mixture dumpling filled with grounded pork, mushroom, and minced shallot. Banh Cuon served with a side of cha lua (Vietnamese pork sausage), bean sprout, and sliced cucumber. The rice sheet used to cook Banh Cuon is made thin and smooth, made from steamed rice fermented mixture, then place in a stretched cloth above boiling water.

Banh Cuon serves as a breakfast or as a snack. It has a fresh and chewy taste. Before making Banh Cuon, several things need to prepare like rice paper, fish sauce, and peanut sauce. For some of the ingredients, you can buy preserved ones, but if you can’t find some of them, you can use this complete recipe as a reference. Go, get your cookware, and make some Banh Cuon.

Filling ingredient

  • 9 pieces medium shrimp
  • 2 sheets smoked ham, slice into four-part
  • 1 piece green paprika
  • 3 mint leaf
  • 3 cilantro leaf
  • 2 romaine lettuce
  • 1 pack corn noodle soak with hot water
  • 1 cucumber, long sliced
  • 1 piece of carrot, shredded

Fish Sauce ingredient 

  • 2 tablespoon fish soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 lime juice
  • 5 cayenne pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup of water

Peanut Sauce Ingredient

  • 2 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 clove garlic, minced

Rice paper ingredient

  • 50-gram tapioca flour
  • 1/3 teaspoon plain gelatin
  • 150 ml of water

How to make rice paper 

  1. Finely mix tapioca flour with 50 ml of water.
  2. Dissolve gelatin with 100 ml of water, heat until boiling. Turn off the heat immediately after the water boiling.
  3. Pour the gelatin into tapioca flour slowly while stirring until finely mixed.
  4. Rub a Teflon pan with oiled tissue, heat with a small fire, pour six tablespoons of the mixture into the Teflon pan. Flatten into a thin shape layer.
  5. Cook until not sticky to the pan, remove from the heat, and wait until the rice paper cold.
  6. Remove the rice paper after cold enough, repeat the process for all the mixture.

Filling preparation

  1. Prepare carrot and cucumber. Soak in salty water.
  2. Boil the shrimp until turning red. 
  3. Remove the shrimp, peel the skin, and slice into two-part. 
  4. Boil the shrimp head and skin to make shrimp broth.
  5. Cook the corn noodle, strain, and drain.
  6. Cut the corn noodle into bite-size, around 6 cm.

Fish sauce preparation

  1. Mix sugar, fish soy sauce, garlic, and ten tablespoon shrimp broth. Stir until the sugar dissolve.
  2. Add cayenne peppers, and lime juice
  3. Place it in a small bowl.

Peanut butter sauce preparation

  1. Stir garlic until it smells good.
  2. Add hoisin sauce, peanut butter, sugar stir until the sugar dissolve.
  3. Add milk slowly until finely mixed.
  4. Turn off the heat. 
  5. Remove peanut sauce into a bowl.

How to make 

  1. Place the rice paper in a flat place.
  2. Add corn noodle, carrot, cucumber, cilantro, mint, shrimp, and smoked ham.
  3. Fold and press into a roll shape.
  4. Banh Cuon ready to be served with a side of fish sauce and peanut butter sauce.
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