Homemade Banh Hoi

Adam and I enjoyed making and eating banh hoi at Nam Phuong and Co’m so much that we decided to make our own. First, we headed to the Buford Highway Farmer’s Market to pick up supplies. We grabbed cilantro, loose-leaf lettuce, daikon radish, flat rice vermicelli, and spring roll wrappers. We also used fresh basil from our CSA box, as well as chicken breasts and carrots that we had on hand.

Spring roll wraps.

Since the banh hoi we had at Nam Phuon was barbecued shrimp, I was inspired to go for a barbecue sauce on the chicken. I used Fox Brothers Barbecue sauce, coconut oil, vinegar, mushroom soy sauce, and a little mustard powder. I let the thinly sliced pieces soak in this mixture for a while, while they defrosted. In the meantime, I trimmed and washed the lettuce and cilantro, got the basil out of the freezer (I need to refine my herb storage techniques), and sliced up the radish and carrot.

Das veggies.

Then we started water in the kettle for dipping the wraps into during the meal, and set about steaming the flat rice vermicelli. This was the one part that didn’t come off perfectly – and it wasn’t even that bad. Though we followed the instructions, the vermicelli seemed to cook very quickly. So we wound up with some messy, falling apart pieces, but it all gets mashed up in the roll-making process, so we weren’t bothered.

Steaming the flat rice vermicelli – before we realized it would go so fast you didn’t really have time to put the lid on.

After that we were ready to go. The only thing we didn’t try to attempt was the nuoc mam pha dipping sauce you usually get with banh hoi. This was a big enough step for now; we’ll pick up the nuoc mam pha next time. For dipping this time we had one bowl of left over barbecue marinade and a bowl of italian dressing. Both were nice, but I think the salad dressing came closest to the effect of the nuoc  mam pha.

The spread.

All in all, I think it was a great first attempt. It was also kind of nice to sit at the table – we normally cuddle up on the couch with some sci fi. I look forward to trying this again with diffferent proteins, and to making the nuoc mam pha. It was easy and fast enough for a weeknight meal. Home run!

One of my rolls. Questionable in appearance, perhaps, but not in taste!


Nerd. Foodie. Gamer. Homecook. Perpetual planner. Gardener. Aspiring homesteader. Direct response graphic designer. I use too many damn commas.

7 thoughts on “Homemade Banh Hoi

  1. If you need a recipe for the sauce or a pretty good interpretation of the bbq shrimp, please let me know. I can help. We had 7 folks over for dinner with these rolls and a shredded green papaya salad (al la C’om Vietnamese Grill) last night. Evidently the leftovers that we sent home with people were still wonderful today.

    • Helen, I would LOVE to try your interpretation of the BBQ shrimp!

      That meal sounds like it was just lovely – how did you manage the logistics for 7-9 people? Did everyone have their own bowl of hot water, and did the water stay hot long enough for everyone to have their fill? You have very lucky friends/family to get served such a fun and delicious meal!

  2. You have my email address (I would guess!) from the blog, if not ask Grant and Marie. Just give me a shout and I’ll be happy to direct you on the sauce and the bbq shrimp.

    When we did the wraps we did it in leaf lettuce with all of the trimmings, Vietnamese bbq shrimp and some Korean marinate chicken from Super H mart (I really thought I had bought pork….maybe it’s still lurking somewhere in the freezer). We kind of trend toward low carb during the week so there weren’t any rice wrappers involved….also makes it easier to eat more!

    Thanks for the compliment on the dinner. I was an Executive Chef for about 15 years so no one is ever certain what they’ll have for dinner at my house!

  3. It’s not really a home made… In Europe, for example in France when we said “homemade bread” it’s mean we knead the dough then we bake it at home. It doesn’t mean that we buy the bread from the “boulangerie” and bring it home and put it on an oven to keep it warm. Same goes with pasta in Italy, Homemade pasta is not the dry one buy from the supermarket and later boiled at home.

    Well nevermind my comment, I was just looking for a recipe for a homemade banh hoi ^^

    • Oh no! You’ve seen through my worldly airs, dashed my disguise as a reasonably intelligent person trying to learn more about other cultures, and revealed me as the ignorant bumbling average American I really am! Now the entire world knows that I am but a sham.


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