homemade bánh cướn chay – vegan rolled cake

Bánh Cuốn Chay

today marks 100 days
since gpa’s passing
as is tradition
dw & i went to temple on sunday

the 100 days milestone
is actually a celebration,
signifying the end of tears,
though mourning is up to 3 years.

from my limited knowledge
a vegetarian diet is typical
during the mourning period
i could be spreading rumors
i’m likely spreading rumors

either way,
i finally figured out
how to make bánh cướn,
meaning rolled cake,
and i veganized it
making a mushroom filling
and a spicy soy sauce to dress it

Bánh Cuốn Chay

homemade bánh cướn chay
adapted from luke nguyen

makes about 18 rolled cakes

note: i’ve tried the steam method, years ago, and my gpa laughed at my attempt. it convinced me that this is the kind of dish that is so much easier to purchase already made. however, i’m a stubborn fool. i made this about a month ago, with fairly good results. i used a huge ass heavy bottom pan that was difficult to handle so the crepe came out thicker than i liked. this 2nd time around i bought a 7 1/2″ non-stick pan which was much lighter and easier to maneuver with. the key is to pour the batter when the pan is hot and immediately lid. if you get into a rhythm, good for you, the process is quite pleasant, despite the tender fingertips. also: exact measurements for the filling and sauce are kinda lacking cus i was working on the fly. sorry about that.

spicy garlicy soy sauce – gluten free

1/2 cup gluten free soy sauce, i use tamari
1/4 cup water
2 generous TBL rice vinegar
2-3 tsp sugar
2 tsp fried garlic OR 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1 red chili, chopped finely, optional

mix everything together in a jar. this is a taste preference, add more of less of each ingredient and adjust according to taste.

filling
1 container of mushrooms (i used baby bella, though any will do), chopped
3 pieces of dried wood ear mushrooms, reconstituted in hot water, chopped
1 small white onion, diced
5-6 strands of chive blossoms, diced
salt/pepper to taste

in saute pan heat up some olive oil, just enough to coat the bottom. when hot add in the diced white onion and saute until fragrant. season with salt. allow the onions to get translucent. next add in the mushrooms and saute until the mixture has reduced a smidge, season with salt/pepper. i let it go for about 5 minutes on med-high heat. take pan off heat, add in about half the diced chive blossoms and mix. put mixture in bowl, set aside.

batter
200 g rice flour
60 g tapioca flour
1/2 tsp salt
600ml (approx. 2 1/2 cups) cold water
oil – veg or canola

add above ingredients in bowl, whisk until combined.

in the pan that you’re gonna use, drizzle some oil to coat the pan. i use a clean rag or paper towl to spread the oil evenly around the pan. the temp is around med-high.

pour a small ladleful of the batter (aim for 2-3 TBL), rotating the pan to cover the base with a thin layer of the batter. immediately cover with lid and allow to cook for about 30 seconds.

have a prepared well-oiled tray/cutting board/plate ready.

remove lid and flip the noodle sheet onto the oiled surface. set aside the pan on a cool burner (though if you’re working with a partner, you can keep on cranking out the sheets)

scoop a TBL or so of the mushroom filling on the sheet, fold the top over, fold the 2nd sides in and then fold top side again to shape a roll.

repeat process until everything is used up, make sure the pan is well oiled between takes. sometimes there’s more filling than the there’s batter, or vice versa. it happens.

top with fried scallions and fried garlic, garnish with the rest of the diced chive blossoms and dress with spicy soy sauce.

additional accompaniments: sliced cucumbers, cilantro, mint, lightly steamed bean sprouts.

BAM!

Bánh Cuốn Chay

my other vietnamese dishes:
vermicelli noodles (bún thịt nướng)
chicken noodle soup – phở gà
pickled carrots & daikon
beef stew – bò kho

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20 thoughts on “homemade bánh cướn chay – vegan rolled cake

  1. Ooo these look so perfect Lan! I have a recipe for the Cantonese version of these (cheung fun). Do you notice that the steaming pan (the one that you pour the rice batter into) gets slightly grimy after every 2 or 3 sheets you make? Perhaps I need to re-work my recipe a bit…these look so incredible, and the photos are simply amazing. 🙂

    1. yes! the first time i made it it was all sorts of gross, which is why i liked this method better, though the noodles/cakes don’t come out as flimsy and delicate.
      and i ADORE cheung fun, but i now wonder what the pans look like after the dim sum rush! 🙂

  2. You are so amazing! I love that you posted this. Ever since your IG photo of these I have been a leeeetle bit obsessed! I have another bag of the rice/tapioca mix so I can keep trying. I’ve GOT to try your soy-based sauce because I just used nuoc cham and I think your version would bring a real liveliness to the mix! Those wood ear mushrooms kick ass, too! I don’t know if I should buy a non-stick pan. But I had a little trouble with my carbon-steel. I felt like I needed so much oil for each cake. Any advice?

    1. sophie, i personally prefer the nuoc cham for this dish, i only went with soy-based because we were trying to keep it vegan/vegetarian. and yes, the woodear mushrooms add such great texture to the filling.
      sigh, i really grappled with having to buy the small non-stick. we have such limited space and we are partial to our stainless steel appliances. our BIG nonstick was too heavy for me to maneuver efficiently and i will say the ONE time i used the smaller stainless steel the crepe/cake/noodle came out lovely BUT required SO.MUCH.OIL. i’d recommend getting a smaller nonstick pan or attempting the steaming method, which i can’t help with cus i failed when i tried.

      1. I thought that might be the case. Yes. I have a small omelet pan I could try! But so far egg I’ve cooked adhered itself solidly to the thing. Non-stick, my butt. Hmmmm.

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