Luke Nguyen makes an impression on the locals when cooking this street food ‘Banh Goi’ - he’s even offered money from a curious local to try the crispy pork pillow cakes!
- 10 gyoza wrappers
- 10 quail eggs, hard-boiled and peeled
- vegetable oil, for deep frying
- 12 green oak lettuce leaves
- handful each perilla, mint and coriander leaves, to serve
Nuoc mam cham
- 1½ tbsp fish sauce
- 1½ tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- ½ red bird’s eye chilli, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 300 g semi-lean minced pork
- 30 g piece carrot, shredded
- 50 g dried glass noodles, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes, drained and chopped
- 5 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, drained and thinly sliced
- 10 g dried wood ear mushroom, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, drained and thinly sliced
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 egg yolk (reserve the egg white for brushing)
- 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp finely ground white pepper
- ½ tsp sugar
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.
1. For the nuoc mam cham, place the fish sauce, vinegar, sugar and 60 ml (¼ cup) water in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir to combine. Bring mixture to just below boiling point, then set aside to cool. Add the garlic, chilli and lime juice and stir to combine. Set aside.
2. For the filling, place all the ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands, combine well, making sure you squeeze all the ingredients together, as it needs to be smooth.
3. Place a gyoza wrapper on a dry work surface, then place a heaped tablespoon of the filling onto the centre. Add a cooked quail egg on top of the filling, brush the edges of the wrapper with the reserved egg white, then fold it over to seal. Use your fingers to pleat the edges to secure well.
4. Place the oil for deep-frying into a wok or large saucepan to 180ºC. Working in batches, deep fry the pillow cakes for 4-6 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towel, then transfer to a platter and serve with the lettuce, herbs and nuoc mam cham for dipping.
Catch Luke Nguyen on the tracks dishing up Vietnamese fare in the brand-new series, Luke Nguyen's Railway Vietnam.