Banh cuon is a crab rice noodle roll and is traditionally eaten at breakfast but can also be enjoyed throughout the day.
- 200 g (7 oz) rice flour
- 60 g (2 oz) glutinous rice flour
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for shallow‑frying and brushing
- pinch of sea salt
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 whole leek, sliced into half moons
- 1 tbsp white soy sauce or light soy sauce
- 1 tsp kombu extract powder (see Note) or 1 pinch of sea salt
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) fresh spanner crab meat or any good‑quality fresh crab meat
Nuoc mam dipping sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 brid's eye chillies, finely chopped or sliced
- 150 ml fish sauce
- 100 ml white vinegar
- 140 g caster (superfine) sugar
- 300 ml vegetable oil
- 4 shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 bird’s eye chillies, thinly sliced
- 180 g (6½ oz/2 cups) blanched bean sprouts
- 1 bunch mint
- 1 bunch Thai basil
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
This recipes needs to be started 1 day in advance.
1. Combine the rice flours, oil, salt and 600 ml (20½ fl oz) water in a large bowl and mix well. Set aside to rest overnight.
2. To make the filling, heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the ginger, garlic and leek and stir-fry for 2–3 minutes, until fragrant and soft. Season with the white soy and kombu extract, then add the crab meat and cook for a further 3 minutes, stirring to combine. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
3. Make the dipping sauce by combining the ingredients and 200 ml water in a bowl and stiring through until the sugar has dissolved. Makes 600 ml, the remainder can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
4. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a 15 cm (6 in) frying pan with a lid over low heat and pour in 3 tablespoons of the batter. Swirl to cover the base of the pan, then cover and cook for 3–5 minutes until cooked through. Flip the rice sheet onto a plate lightly brushed with oil, top with a little of the crab mixture and roll into a log. (It usually takes me a few goes to get these right; persevere as it does get easier with practice).
5. Repeat with the remaining batter and filling to make 20 crab rolls.
6. Place the filled banh cuon on plates and top with a little sliced chilli, some fried shallots and a drizzle of nuoc mam. Serve with the bean sprouts, mint and Thai basil on the side.
• Kombu extract powder can be purchased from Japanese grocers.
Recipe from Street Food Vietnam by Jerry Mai, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99