So much for my adventures in Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi. Now it is time to turn the attention to my culinary experiences in Vietnam!
This has got to be one of my favourite dishes that I got to taste in Vietnam. All thanks to that fateful night in Hanoi when both of us went back late to the hotel after a day trip out. We were searching tiredly for food along the roadside stalls. A nearby hawker who was preparing this food caught my attention. I decided that was going to be my dinner – whatever that was.
It was only later on that I uncovered the name of this dish – Bánh Tráng Trộn. It is a Vietnamese Rice Paper Salad prepared with authentically local ingredients, including dried beef jerky strips, julienned green mango, fresh mint and basil, rice paper strips as well as chilli powder. Mix in the sweet, sour and spicy fish sauce mixture and there you have it – an explosion of Vietnamese flavours right at home!
Ingredients (Sauce): Vietnamese Rice Paper Salad
- Chilli oil: 1 tbsp
- Chilli paste (I used 老干妈): 1 tbsp
- Fish sauce: 8 tbsp
- Sugar: 5 tsp
- Water: 1/2 cup
- Vietnamese rice paper: 200g, cut into strips
- Thai green mango: 2, peeled and julienned
- Grilled dried squid: 1/2 cup, shredded
- Dried beef jerky: 1/2 cup, shredded
- Sweet basil: 1 stalk of leaves, chopped
- Mint: 1 stalk of leaves, chopped
- Green onion: 1 stalk, chopped
- Deep-fried shallot: 1/2 cup
- Dried shrimp: 1/2 cup
- Roasted peanut: 1/2 cup, roughly chopped
- Chilli powder (optional): 2 tsp
- Small lime: 5
- Quail egg: 10
- Mix chilli oil, chilli paste, fish sauce, sugar and water together. Set sauce aside.
- Place rice paper, mango, squid, beef jerky, basil, mint, green onion, shallot, shrimp, peanut and chilli powder in a mixing bowl.
- Add in fish sauce mixture (about 2 – 3 tbsp per serving).
- Squeeze lime juice into salad.
- Mix everything together. Divide into 5 portions.
- Top up each bowl of salad with 2 quail eggs.
- Serve at room temperature or chilled.
- As the rice paper strips stick together very easily, it is a lot easier to mix the salad with the hand so as to separate them while you mix. Use a disposable glove to do this – just like the Vietnamese do!
- Most Vietnamese love their food hot and spicy. Hence this dish is usually served with lots of chilli oil and chilli powder. If you do not take spiciness well, I am sure this dish would still taste wonderful with just the fish sauce and sugar.
- This recipe was kindly adapted from a street side stall selling Bánh Tráng Trộn near the Lucky 3 Hotel in Hanoi.
- Check out other exciting Vietnamese delicacies at my Hungry Peepor FaceBook page now!
5 persons (as side dish)
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