Vietnamese Banh Uot is a delicious, steamed and rolled crepe that is topped with fresh herbs, steamed pork roll slices, and fried shallots. They are also known as Vietnamese Stuffed Rice Pancakes. If you are craving some, the good news is that you can make it right at home!
This recipe post is all about introducing the wonderfully delicious Vietnamese dish called banh uot. It has many monikers and is referred to by many with various names, but the result is the same - a tasty steamed rolled cake topped with fried shallots topped with fresh vegetables and dressed with a sweet and sour Vietnamese FISH SAUCE that makes this dish a delight.
While it does take a little skill to master the craft of making these noodle sheets that are the foundation of the stuffed rice cake, the technique is a skill that you can quickly master right at home.
I'm going to share with you in this post some of the tips and tricks on making this dish a success the first time. First, I'm going to guide you through all the steps for making your first rice crepes.
Next, I'm going to take you from making the delicious filling all the way to how to serve it on a delicious bed of fresh herbs and vegetables. These rolled rice cakes are tasty, savory, and wonderfully delightful that you will absolutely love making.
What is Banh Uot?
Banh Uot is a dish made with Vietnamese steamed rice rolls, which are thin sheets of steamed rice batter. It is generally served accompanied with bean sprouts, chopped lettuce, sliced cucumber, fresh basil and mint, fried shallots and onions, Vietnamese sausage pork roll (Cha Gio) and finally drizzled with Vietnamese sweet and sour fish sauce dressing sauce - Nuoc Mam.
Is Banh Uot a crepe?
Banh Uot can be seen as both a crepe and a steamed rice roll. Soe recipes call for the sheets to just be topped on each other messily, topped with fresh herbs and steamed pork roll slices and other meats.
What's the difference between Banh Uot versus Banh Cuon?
Banh uot and Banh cuon are often confused with each other because the dishes are made with the same mixture for the crepe. Banh uot refers to the non-stuffed version while banh cuon refers to the crepes rolled with minced pork and wood ear.
In the image below, I've taken a photo where a local Asian grocer sells pre-made banh cuon and banh uot. The one on the left that has the darker middle is filled with minced meat and wood ear mushroom, which is banh cuon. The one one right is banh uot, which is not filled with anything (a great vegetarian option).
Banh uot translates to wet cakes. Banh cuon translates to rolled cakes because it has fillings that’s why they roll it. Banh uot has absolutely no filling whatsoever, so it’s more flexible and and softer with no filling which is why it was merited the name wet cakes.
What are some other names for Banh Uot?
Banh Uot is has many different names, especially as I go to search for it online. Here are some names for this dish you'll find across the web:
- Banh Uot
- Vietnamese Steamed Rice Rolls
- Vietnamese Steamed Rice Cakes
- Vietnamese Stuffed Pancake
- Rolled Rice Pancake
- Wet Rolled Rice Noodles
By breaking down the translation, you'll have a better understanding of WHY this dish has so many names. Below are each of the words in the various naming conventions and what they mean:
- banh - means cake or bread, but I generally would tell people it can refer to a variety of prepared Vietnamese food, not just cake or bread
- uot - means wet
- cuon - means rolled
- chay - vegetarian
- nong - means grilled
Banh cuon means rolled snack. Cuon means rolled, like Goi Cuon which means cold and fresh Vietnamese spring rolls.
What's the difference between Banh Uot and Banh Xeo?
Banh Uot and Banh Xeo are two very popular Vietnamese dishes. The difference is that Banh Uot is made with rolled rice noodles whereas Banh Xeo is made with a batter that has rice flour, turmeric and coconut cream. Banh Uot's has no filling whereas Banh Xeo includes filling of pork belly, bean sprouts and shrimps inside that makes it look like an omlette.
Why is Banh Uot so popular?
These delicious rolled crepes are soft, served with a ton of fresh garnishes as well as cold fish sauce, which makes it a refreshing dish or snack anytime.
For me, I love it because I feel like it is a really light dish that I can just have three bowls and still feel light!
Visitors to Vietnam and Vietnamese restaurants seek out this light crepe because it expresses cultural elements of the Vietnamese region through of its ingredients makeup. There is a beautiful marriage of yin and yang between its ingredients.
What's the history on Banh Uot?
Banh uot is an ancient dish and comes from North Vietnam. It is steamed rice sheets, with Banh uot (‘uot’ = wet) referring to non-filled rice noodles.
Garnished with delicious fresh herbs, Vietnamese pork sausage (Cha lua) and a dressing of sweet and sour fish dipping sauce.This dish is eaten as an appetizer or as a snack. Today, Asian groceries, and specialty stores also have fresh rice sheets that can be cut to the desired size and shape, but it is better to make it fresh!
How do you pronounce Banh Uot?
You pronounce Banh as in "bawn" and Uot is pronounced "ugh-k".
Is Banh Uot gluten-free and vegan?
If you leave out the fish sauce, this dish is gluten-free and vegan. It can be customized without impacting the essence of the recipe to be gluten-free and vegan.
Finding Ingredients for Banh Uot at the Asian Supermarket
As always, I prepare a list of the specific ingredients that you won't find in traditional grocery stores. You'll definitely want to make a separate trip to the Asian market to grab these ingredients:
Steamed and chilled Pork MEATLOAF
If you wanted to cheat the batter, you can always buy the batter premade.
Tips on Making Banh Uot at Home
Banh uot does require a little artisanship, but I'm sure that with a few tries, you will be able to master rice cake crepe mastering.
Just know that the first time you make it, it will NEVER turn out right. It is pretty easy to master AFTER trying a few times.
I know when I first started making them, often I cooked it to long so it made the rice cake way too thick. Even when it doesn't come out perfect, know that it will still taste just as delicious.
After you master the rice flour, if you wanted to level up your banh uot recipe, you can add grilled pork for more protein.
Ingredients to Make Authentic Vietnamese Banh Uot at Home
Ingredients for Banh Uot Batter
1 ½ cups of rice flour½ cup of tapioca flour½ teaspoon salt2 ½ cups cold water½ cup of vegetable oil
For the Accompaniments:
½ cup of fried shallots1 medium cucumber, sliced1 bunch of Thai basil, leaves plucked1 bunch of Vietnamese mint, leaves plucked10 ounces of mung bean sprouts, rinsednuoc mam (recipe here)
Instructions on How to Make Banh Out
Step 1 - Make the batter mixture
To make the batter, combine rice flour, tapioca flour and salt with the cold water. Whisk until the flour dissolves and forms a smooth batter and it's completely combined.
Let the batter sit for at least 30 minutes (you can also prep it overnight).
Step 2 - Prepare Your Station
Have a prepared well-oiled tray/cutting board/plate ready. Get your herbs and accompaniments ready for serving.
Step 3 - Cook the Batter
In a sauté pan, add a drizzle of oil to coat the pan and heat over medium-high.
Pour a small ladleful (¼ cup) batter into the pan, turning the pan in a circular motion to cover the base with a thin layer of batter.
Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 30 seconds. Remove the lid and slide the thin noodle sheet onto your oiled tray.
Immediately cover with lid and allow it to cook for about 30 seconds.
Remove the lid and flip the noodle sheet onto the oiled surface. Once you lift the lid, the noodle should be wet, opaque and almost see through.
Set the pan aside on a burner to cool until you make the next batch.
If you’re working with a partner, you can keep on cranking out the sheets.
Step 4 - Roll (Optional)
If you want a clean presentation, you can fold over the sides and then roll-up the cake. Transfer onto a clean plate. Continue making the cakes until you run out of the batter.
Repeat these steps using the remaining batter and pork filling, adding oil to the pan as necessary. Make sure the pan is well oiled between takes.
Step 5 - Serve with Accompaniments
To serve, place the banh uot rolls on a plate. Top with the bean sprouts, cucumbers, fresh herbs and steamed pork roll. Sprinkle with fried onions and serve with a generous side of sweet and sour fish sauce dipping sauce.
What do you eat with Banh Uot?
Since the dish has a lot of accompaniments like bean sprout, cucumber, fresh herbs, and pork rolls, you really don't need anything else. If you wanted to level up your Banh Uot recipe, you could add in grilled pork as a side dish or even as a topper.
Conclusion for Making Banh Uot
Banh Uot's deliciousness cannot be compared to any other dish. It is absolutely divine, and you'll have to try it for yourself because I can't do the dish the justice that it deserves in words.
It's a delicate dish that is moist with a satisfying and fresh taste with all of its accompaniments.
More Easy Vietnamese Recipes You’ll Love
- Banh Cuon - Vietnamese Filled Steamed Rice Rolls
- Banh Uot Recipe with Premade Fresh Rice Noodle Sheets
- Banh Xeo - Vietnamese Yellow Pancakes
- Goi Cuon - Vietnamese Cold Spring Rolls
- Chai Goi - Vietnamese Fried Egg Rolls
If you love this Vietnamese steamed rice sheet recipe (banh uot) as much as our family does, please write a five star review and help me share on Facebook and Pinterest!