Friday, October 31, 2008

Bò Bía (Vietnamese Jicama and Carrot Rolls)

Bò bía is a Vietnamese street food. They are rolls comprised of jicama, carrot, dried shrimp, eggs and lạp xưởng (Chinese sausage). I used to buy some in Vietnam, where it is considered a street food. I used to regularly make these as a vegetarian version for my ex-roommate D. We referred them as carrot rolls even though I would say jicama plays a more important role in this dish.

My favourite type of dish again: easy, healthy and yummy! This dish can be served as an appetizer but I like it as a light main meal. I love the crunch of the jicama and the sweetness of the hoisin sauce for dipping. I also really enjoy lạp xưởng but you can skip it if you're really worried about being healthy... The first time I ate this dish was at one of my mom's friends. My mom had totally forgotten bò bía from her repertoire of Vietnamese dishes but it was quickly added as one of our favourites.

Bò Bía (Vietnamese Jicama and Carrot Rolls) - Serves 4
Traditionally, this is made with dried shrimp. I omit this but you can find a more traditional recipe on Wandering Chopsticks!

For the jicama and carrot mixture
* oil
* 1 garlic clove
* 1 jicama, julienned (cut into matchsticks)
* 3 carrots, shredded
* salt and pepper, to taste

Cook garlic in oil.
Add jicama until it has softened but still has some crunch left.
Add carrots and mix.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Jicama matchsticks.

Cooked jicama and carrot mixture for bò bía.

To Serve
At home, we serve this as "roll your own", as most dishes with bánh tráng (rice paper). This mean we serve all of the ingredients for the rolls, the rice paper and a bowl of warm water. Each person dips their rice paper, adds what they want and roll themselves. I skip the traditional fresh herbs and usually roll this with lettuce. I feel like a terrible Vietnamese person but when I was younger I used to hate herbs. Now I don't mind them but don't bother buying them when I cook for myself.

* bánh tráng (rice paper), 3-5 per person (for a meal)
* jicama and carrot mixture
* thin omelette (1 egg per person and same amount of milk - I use the broken eggshell to measure the milk)
* 1-2 lạp xưởng per person, cooked and sliced thinly
* lettuce or herb of your choice
* hoisin and chili sauce, for dipping

For omelette: Beat eggs and mix with milk, a bit of salt. Pour thin layer in hot pan and roll. Slice thinly.
For lạp xưởng: Cook lạp xưởng in a pan and slice thinly.
Mix hoisin sauce with chili sauce. (If you're lucky, you made some homemade chili sauce!)
On top of a wet rice paper, line up ingredients and roll. (There are pictures at the bottom of my bánh xèo post.)
Dip in sauce.

Thin slices of omelette.

I love the flavour of lạp xưởng (Chinese sausage).

Mix hoisin sauce with as much chili sauce as you can handle. I used to use Sriracha.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

These rolls are actually an adaptation of popiah (fresh Hokkien/Teochew rolls). Anyway, yours looks delicious!