vietnamese wrap

Banh Khot, Ho Chi Minh City

Banh khot is a Vietnamese dish I’d never seen or heard of before arriving in Ho Chi Minh City. Not on any menu I’ve come across in my travels before. Turns out it’s a quite popular snack in the country where it was created though. We stumbled upon banh khot by chance as we were leaving Ben Thanh Market, just outside of this shop…

The store was closed, but its entrance was where these women had set up shop…

Banh khot are Vietnamese mini pancakes… savory, not sweet… made from rice flour, corn starch, tumeric powder, coconut milk and scallion, cooked in what looks like a takoyaki pan, or “aebleskiver” as it’s known in Europe…

The woman in pink ladeled in the batter and grilled the “pancakes”…

The woman in black made the toppings, either fried shrimp or minced pork with vegetables…

For about $2.75 US, you’re delivered a tray of 12 banh knot with lettuce, fresh herbs and dipping sauce…

You then use the lettuce as your base and make your own pancake wraps, like so…

I enjoyed a few as wraps but actually preferred eating the small, savory pancakes as is, with just a touch of the vinegar and chilli sauce along with some mint, to be honest.

Yet another common Vietnamese cuisine I wish we had back home.

Oh, and if you do go to Ben Thanh Market to look for these banh khot, go early in the day. These ladies set up here around noon and sell out by around 4pm every day!

Vietnamese-style Veggie Rice Paper Wraps

Vietnamese-style Veggie Rice Paper Wraps - a no-cook recipe!

These are so easy to make, yo. And very very cheap. The most exotic ingredient is the rice paper wraps, which can be bought for like 1-3 dollars - and you gets tons in one package. You can get ‘em from a store in Chinatown. If not, try online. 

This is a flexible recipe and you can put many different things in these wraps, up to you. It is great when you have random veggies you need to use up. 

Otherwise, you will need: 

  • (aforementioned) Rice paper wraps (they are circular and come dried…look like frisbees)
  • A green of choice (e.g. romaine lettuce) 
  • Herbs of choice (e.g. basil or cilantro, if you like them, but can be omitted) 
  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots (getting the packaged match-stick ones are convenient but pricier) 
  • Green onions 
  • Protein of choice (I like to fry up tofu strips but not necessary, especially if you don’t wanna cook) 
  • Avocado (also optional but really really good)
  • Other adventurous and delicious fillings include: cabbage, pineapple, MANGO, mushrooms or fried vermicelli noodles/leftover rice
  • If you want a sauce, they are good dipped in: soy sauce or hot/chili sauce OR make a little peanut butter sauce if you want (peanut butter or nut butter substitute, bit of sugar, bit of soy sauce, maybe vinegar, bit of hot sauce…mix together! Instant delicious sauce)

Instructions: 

This is so easy…

  1. Get a large bowl (sometimes I use a pie plate actually) and fill with hot water; you will be using it to rehydrate your rice paper! It’s fun!!!
  2. Cut up all the veggies you want to use…it doesn’t have to be exact or even pretty. Length-wise/julienned veggies will work best but it’s gonna taste good no matter what, so whatevs. 
  3. Let your rice paper wraps re-hydrate…this does NOT take long. 30 seconds? Once they start to feel pliable (and I like to do them one-by-one so I get ‘em just how I like them) just grab it and place on a paper towel (takes out the excess moisture). Don’t leave too long - they will get too mushy. 
  4. Start filling them rice wraps like burritos :) 
  5. I like to place things roughly in the middle of the circle, usually I start with the lettuce leaves so things don’t get soggy, but you can really do it however you like… 
  6. Wrapping these is not that hard, though might take practice. Just start rolling from the ends and tuck in the bottom and top… I am sure you could find a youtube video if you’re worried about this step! 
  7. Cut in half if you want to make eating them easier, or just mow down…serve with a dipping sauce too. Makes very good leftovers for the next day, too. 

OM NOM NOM.