Bánh Bột Chiên / Bột Chiên is a popular street food in Saigon. It is a Chinese-influenced dish, which has various regional variations throughout Asia.
Making bột chiên from scratch can take a lot of time, especially when preparing the rice cake.
However, I’ve just discovered one ingredient that can perfectly replace the homemade rice cake, and it’s also very popular at any Asian supermarket. It significantly reduces your cooking time to just around 15 minutes.
🙋♀️ What is Bánh Bột Chiên?
Bánh Bột Chiên is a beloved after-school snack in Southern Vietnam. It’s made by frying rice cakes with egg. The rice cakes have crispy outsides and soft, fluffy insides, then they’re served with a tangy soy sauce.
Try more popular Vietnamese street food:
Bánh Bột Chiên, like many other Chinese-influenced dishes, was introduced to Southern Vietnam by Southern Chinese immigrants and then adjusted to suit local tastes and ingredients. It’s nearly identical to Chai tow kway, a stir-fried turnip cake dish popular in Singapore and Malaysia.
Most Chinese dishes in Southern Vietnam are influenced by Cantonese, Hakka, Teocheow, Fujian, and Hainanese cuisines. If you are a food enthusiast and travel to Saigon, you should definitely visit Chinatown, which is located in District 5 and 6.
Explore more delicious Chinese-Vietnamese dishes:
🌟 Substitutes for homemade rice cake
Making the rice cake from scratch is not challenging, but it does take quite a bit of time and effort to prepare and steam the batter. I may introduce a recipe for making the rice cakes later, but today, it’s all about quick and easy cooking for lazy cooks.
Here are some substitutes for rice cakes that you may find at your nearby Asian markets:
- Premade rice cakes: I’ve found that they are quite accessible in many Asian markets in the United States, especially in areas with a large Vietnamese population, but it’s not the case in Germany.
- Premade turnip cakes or taro cakes: These are also similar to premade rice cakes.
- Rice macaroni: Nui Chiên Trứng (fried macaroni with eggs) is also a popular dish in Vietnam and is often served at Bột Chiên food stalls. To prepare it, you need to boil the macaroni until they are al dente, then drain them well. The next steps are similar to how you make Bột Chiên.
- Korean rice cake (tteokbokki): This is my secret ingredient today. It’s much more popular and easily accessible. They are likely 90% similar to homemade rice cakes; the remaining 10% difference is mainly in appearance, lol.
🍚 Ingredients for my Bột Chiên Hack
- Korean rice cake (tteokbokki): Fresh tteok is ideal for its ease of cooking, but refrigerated or rice cakes will also do the job. If you prefer a crispier texture, you can use thinly sliced rice cakes (Tteokguk Tteok).
- Eggs: I use two eggs for each serving of Bột Chiên.
- Dark soy sauce or regular soy sauce: This is used to marinate the rice cakes and give them an appealing color.
- Scallions: These are for garnish and to enhance the flavor.
- Cooking oil: You’ll need this for frying the rice cakes and eggs.
- Dipping sauce: Vietnamese people serve Bột chiên with tangy soy sauce. For making this dipping sauce, you will need soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar and sriracha or minced fresh chili.
- Green Papaya (or Daikon) and carrots: These vegetables help reduce the greasiness of this fried dish. If you have some Đồ Chua (Vietnamese pickled carrot and daikon) on hand, feel free to use it.
- Prepare the rice cakes (skip this step if you use fresh tteokbokki).
- For refrigerated rice cakes: Soak them in warm water until they soften evenly.
- For frozen rice cakes: Soak them in water for 10-20 minutes, then boil the rice cakes for 2-3 minutes until they are soft all the way through.
- Drain the rice cakes completely. Depending on your rice cake size and personal preference, you can choose to halve them or leave them whole
- Coat the rice cakes with dark soy sauce or regular soy sauce.
- Heat some cooking oil in a pan over medium heat. Fry the rice cakes, turning them occasionally, until they are evenly browned and crispy.
- Once the rice cakes are crispy, crack two eggs into the pan and spread them evenly over the rice cakes to bind them together. Add the chopped scallions.
- Flip the mixture once the egg bottoms are cooked. When it’s done, transfer it to a plate.
- Prepare the dipping sauce: In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and sriracha or minced chili.
- Serve Bột Chiên with the dipping sauce and julienned carrot and green papaya (or with Đồ Chua if available).
Did you find this recipe helpful?
Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below! Your support means the world to me! It would greatly inspire me to create more valuable content about Vietnamese and Asian cuisines. Thank you and have a nice day!! Don’t forget to stay in touch with me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube 🥰.
Bánh Bột Chiên Hack (15 minutes)
- 1 non-stick pan
- 1 cup Korean rice cakes (about 120g) (fresh, refrigerated or frozen)
- 1 tsp Dark Soy Sauce (or Regular Soy sauce)
- 2 eggs
- ½ sprig chopped scallions
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ½ tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp Sriracha (or minced chili) (to your taste)
- Đồ Chua (pickled carrots and daikon) (or julienned carrots and green papaya / daikon)
- Cooking oil
- Prepare the rice cakes (omit this step if you are using fresh tteokbokki).– For refrigerated rice cakes: soak them in warm water until they become evenly soft.– For frozen rice cakes: Soak them in water for 10-20 minutes, then boil for 2-3 minutes until they are soft throughout.
- Drain the rice cakes thoroughly. Depending on your rice cake size and personal preference, you can opt to halve them or leave them whole.
- Coat the rice cakes with dark soy sauce or regular soy sauce.
- Heat cooking oil in a pan over medium heat. Fry the rice cakes, rotating them occasionally, until they become evenly browned with a crispy exterior.
- Once the rice cakes are crispy, crack two eggs into the pan and spread them evenly over the rice cakes to hold them together. Add the chopped scallions.
- Flip the mixture once the bottom of the eggs is cooked. When it's ready, transfer it to a plate.
- Prepare the dipping sauce by combining soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and sriracha or minced chili.
- Serve Bột Chiên with the dipping sauce and Đồ Chua (or julienned carrot and green papaya)