Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bánh ướt - Wet cakes

Aside from having a strange name, Bánh ướt is special for being a less evolved version of Bánh Cuon which is  Bánh ướt full of meat. What's Bánh ướt though? They're super thin rice paper 'crepes' that are rolled/folded up. They're very soft, eaten with a bunch of garnishes and mixed fish sauce and come from the northern area of Vietnam. When my Mẹ makes these, they seem so light that I can down bowls upon bowls. Oh man.

A few duds presentation-wise on the side but they still taste the same!
I had to do a test run of the non-meat version first since you gotta walk before you can run.

Bánh ướt, no cake wetter!
Printable Recipe

1/2 cup tapioca flour
2 cup rice flour
4 cups water
A dash of salt

Oil for cooking

Fried Shallots (Purchase-able at Asian grocery stores)
Cucumbers, sliced into little sticks
Gio Lua or Cha Lua, sliced (Vietnamese ham)
Steamed bean sprouts, a little bit of water, a bit in the microwave
Healthy amounts of nuoc mam pha.


Mix the batter ingredients together in a bowl. Now prepare to make the Bánh; a process very similar to making Bánh Xeo. Put some oil in a bowl and get a brush. Brush some oil onto a pan on medium heat. With one hand on the handle of your pan, ladle in the batter and give it a quick swirl to coat the pan. Pour back any excess into the bowl and then cover the pan until the crepe becomes transparent. 

Nice new pan...
At this point, you have a few choices. 

1) On a plate brushed with oil, flip the entire crepe onto the plate, fold the ends and roll it up. 
2) Give it a couple quick shakes so it folds up on itself, turn onto a plate.
3) Fold/roll it up in the pan real quick and throw it on a plate.

I was a big fan of method #2. Sprinkle with fried shallots, the rest of the ingredients and serve.