Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cooking with the Fam: Bánh Cuốn

I suppose this is a bit out of order now, as this was meant to come after our experimental takoyaki.

Mai Vy wanted to make some Bánh Cuon and that was all the motivation I needed. If you recall my attempt at Bánh Uot`, then it's basically the same thing except we put some ground pork inside them. I wanted to do it without filling the first time, because I wanted to make sure I was doing the batter right...(which I wasn't!)

In any case, I love this dish, as it feels so light and makes for a great breakfast. I'm always amazed at how many of them I can eat when my mom makes them. Obviously it is eaten with fish sauce, which makes it the yum.

As for pictures, we had made all these pretty looking ones after many failed attempts and captured them all onto the magic of digital film. Unfortunately, I forgot the memory card wasn't in the camera. I am not amused at our camera's inability to tell us when there is no memory card in it, (Oh, turns out the pictures were on the internal memory after all. Yay!) so I ended up taking a picture of some leftovers the next day. *sad face*

Bánh Cuốn, modified from gastronomyblog
Printable Recipe

Meat Filling
1 lb ground pork
1 cup wood ear mushrooms, soaked and chopped ahead of time
1 onion
Fish sauce

1/2 cup tapioca flour
2 cup rice flour
4 cups water
A dash of salt
3 tbsps oil in the batter
 Oil for cooking

Fried Shallots (Find at any Asian grocery store)
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 
Nuoc Mam Pha

Mix the batter ingredients together in a bowl. Let rest. Prepare the meat filling first. Put a little bit of oil in a hot pan, add the pork and onions. Cook until the pork is fully cooked. Stir in the mushrooms. Season with fish sauce, pepper and sugar. Remove from heat.
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, should take 15-30 seconds.

Have a plate brushed with oil ready. Flip the entire crepe onto the plate, add meat filling, fold the ends and roll it up.

Make a few for each serving. Sprinkle with fried shallots, the rest of the ingredients and serve.

My cousin and I thought they tasted like the real deal despite some of them not looking super pretty and neatly rolled. In the end, she rolled some real nice ones and figured out the right amount of batter to pour in to get a nice crepe. We were definitely proud of our end product and the amount of cooking we accomplished over those couple of days. Soon enough all twenty odd of my cousins will teach me how to cook something!