Easy Shortcut for Rice Rolls Recipe (Bánh Cuốn)

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This easy shortcut recipe using rice paper to make rice rolls (bánh cuốn) is the best timesaving hack! It’s much faster than making rice rolls from scratch or even using pre-made rice roll sheets from the store and it’s just as tasty!


Updated January 3, 2024

bánh cuốn shortcut rice paper rice rolls

What is Bánh Cuốn?

Many Asian cultures have a version of a rice roll dish and bánh cuốn are Vietnamese rice rolls.

They’re made from steamed rice flour sheets and filled with a pork and wood ear mushroom filling.

Bánh cuốn is served with nước chấm which is a sweet and tangy fish sauce mixture that you pour all over the dish and adds so much flavor.

Vietnamese rice rolls can also be topped with fresh herbs, cucumbers, bean sprouts, chilis, fried shallots, and chả lụa or Vietnamese ham.

There are lots of contrasting textures and flavors from the silky rice rolls to the crunchy shallots and the umami fish sauce to the fresh herbs.

It’s seriously so delicious! The only downside is it can take a long time to make.

RELATED: VIETNAMESE FISH SAUCE DIPPING SAUCE (NƯỚC CHẤM)

Traditional Method of Making Bánh Cuốn

Making rice rolls from scratch requires pouring a super thin layer of rice flour batter onto a pan and steaming it.

This has to be done individually and can be difficult to get right in a home kitchen.

Some Vietnamese grocery stores make it a little easier for home cooks by selling pre-cooked rice roll sheets.

However, even using those pre-made sheets can be time-consuming and tedious because you have to individually separate each layer.

They also often come in a big package that is not suitable for making small servings and it is fresh so it doesn’t have a long shelf life.

RELATED: VIETNAMESE PORK CHOPS IN THE AIR FRYER

Shortcut for Rice Rolls

I love rice rolls but I don’t make it often because it can be a lot of work (until I discovered this hack).

My mom taught me this shortcut for rice rolls and it is a total game changer!

Instead of traditional steamed rice rolls, use spring roll rice paper wrapper.

I also saw this hack on social media but figured it was all hype.

However, since my mom gave me her stamp of approval, I had to try it out myself!

easy shortcut for rice rolls

Ingredients for Bánh Cuốn Shortcut

Before you begin making these shortcut rice rolls, you’ll need to gather the following ingredients:

  • Rice Paper: Instead of making rice rolls from rice flour batter, this shortcut utilizes dried rice paper which is better known for making spring rolls.
    • Water: Water is needed to rehydrate the rice paper. Warm water will rehydrate the rice paper quicker but if you assemble slow, it is best to to use room temperature water.
    • Oil: Wet rice paper is sticky and delicate so oil helps it to move around easier and not stick to each other or onto surfaces.
  • Pork: The traditional filling for bánh cuốn is ground pork. However you can use ground chicken or turkey as an alternative.
  • Mushroom: Fresh or dried wood ear mushrooms (or black fungus) are traditional in bánh cuốn filling. You can find this at your local Asian grocery store like 99 Ranch Market or H Mart. It adds a nice texture and crunch.
  • Aromatics: Shallots and garlic adds so much flavor and aroma to the filling.
  • Seasonings: Add to the filling chicken bouillon (I like Knorr’s) or mushroom seasoning for umami and black pepper for a little bit of heat.
shortcut for rice rolls bánh cuốn ingredients

How to Make Shortcut Rice Rolls

The most important thing about this bánh cuốn shortcut for me is that it is a huge time saver!

It’s much faster than making rice rolls from scratch or even using pre-made rice roll sheets from the store.

Additionally, rice paper is dried and can be stored in the pantry for a long period of time.

Therefore you can make smaller, single portions without worrying about leftover ingredients going bad.

It is also more convenient because you can easily find rice paper at most grocery stores now in the Asian food aisle.

This rice paper hack has definitely become a go-to whenever I need a quick bánh cuốn fix at home!

Let’s walk through this shortcut for rice rolls step-by-step so you can make it easily at home!

As always, there is a recipe card at the end that you can print it out, pin it to Pinterest, or save for later!

RELATED: HOW TO MAKE EASY FISH SAUCE WINGS

Step 1: Make the Bánh Cuốn Filling

Begin by making the filing for the rice rolls.

If you are using whole dried wood ear mushrooms, rehydrate them first by soaking in hot water for about 5 minutes or until softened.

Then slice and roughly chop or cut into small pieces with scissors.

rehydrate wood ear mushrooms for Bánh Cuốn Filling

Next, add a drizzle of oil to a pan on medium heat and sauté shallot and garlic until softened and fragrant.

I am using a ceramic non-stick Caraway 10.5″ fry pan.

Then add ground pork, wood ear mushrooms, chicken bouillon, and black pepper.

Mix it all together while breaking up the pork.

Cook all the way through until the pork is no longer pink and then set it aside.

bánh cuốn filling with pork and wood ear mushrooms

RELATED: BÒ KHO (VIETNAMESE BEEF STEW)

Step 2: Make the Rice Paper Rice Rolls

To make these shortcut rice rolls, fill a large bowl with water and oil and mix together.

Make sure the bowl is large enough so that the rice paper can fully submerge.

Place dried rice paper into the water one sheet at a time so they don’t stick together.

Soak rice paper for about 3-5 minutes to soften.

This is longer than what you would normally do when making spring rolls because you want the rice paper to really soak up the water and become thicker to mimic rice roll sheets.

If you want to save time, you can also soak multiple sheets at the same time in the bowl.

I recommend at most only soaking 5 sheets because some of them may become too soft as it sits in the water while you are assembling.

It if is too soft, the rice paper will tear easily.

Repeat this soaking step once you are done assembling the rice rolls.

Add more water and oil as needed.

bánh cuốn rice paper hack

After soaking, the spring roll wrappers transform into something very close to rice roll sheets.

It becomes thicker and more opaque, althoug not as opaque or thick as the traditional.

However, the texture and taste is pretty similar.

This rice paper hack definitely does the trick when you are craving bánh cuốn!

bánh cuốn spring roll rice paper wrapper

Step 3: Assemble Bánh Cuốn

To assemble bánh cuốn, remove one rice roll sheet from the water bowl and place on an oiled plate to prevent sticking.

The rice roll sheet is super delicate so be careful not to tear it.

Spread the filling across the rice roll sheet in a line and then roll it up.

how to make bánh cuốn rice rolls

Repeat until all rice roll sheets and filling are gone.

Alternatively, you can roll the rice roll sheets by itself and then just top it with the meat to make it an even faster meal.

Technically this would be bánh uớt because it has no filling.

Lastly before serving, steam the rice rolls covered on the stove or microwave for 1 minute.

bánh cuốn with rice paper

How to Eat Bánh Cuốn

About 5 rice rolls is one serving.

To make it easier to eat, you can cut the rolls a few times into bite size pieces.

Serve bánh cuốn with the following toppings to your liking:

  • Vietnamese ham (chả lụa or giò lụa)
    • You can find this in the refrigerator aisle of a Vietnamese or Asian grocery store like 99 Ranch Market. It is fully cooked, usually a cylinder shape, and wrapped in foil.
  • cucumber
  • fried shallots
  • bean sprouts
  • fresh herbs
  • chilis
mint, cucumber slices, and slices of Vietnamese ham topping for bánh cuốn

Lastly, it is mandatory to pour nước chấm (fish sauce dipping sauce) all over.

This is like a dressing for the dish, adding so much sweet, tangy, and umami flavor.

It’s so flavorful and really easy to make using this nước chấm recipe.

Vietnamese Fish Sauce Dipping Sauce (Nước Chấm)

Leftovers and Storage

Unfortunately prepared bánh cuốn does not do well as leftovers.

The rice rolls are moist and very delicate so they may become too soft and spoil quicker.

I recommend leftovers for only 1 or 2 days.

However if you want to prep the filling ahead and store it separately, you can keep that for up to 4 days.

You can also freeze the filling.

It is best to prepare the rice paper rice rolls fresh when you’re ready to eat.

More Vietnamese Recipes To Try:

If you’re a fan of bánh cuốn, then you’ll need to try making these Vietnamese staples as well!

Save This Shortcut for Rice Rolls!

I hope this step-by-step tutorial for how to make shortcut rice rolls is helpful and that you try this quick and easy hack for bánh cuốn at home!

Be sure to save this so you can make it whenever you’re craving it and share this with your family and friends!

If you try this shortcut for rice rolls, then please leave a rating and comment below. I’d love to know what you think!

Did you make this recipe? I would love to see! Tag me on Instagram @feedmi_

Easy Shortcut for Rice Rolls (Bánh Cuốn)

This easy shortcut recipe using rice paper to make rice rolls (bánh cuốn) is the best hack! It saves so much time and is just as tasty!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Assembly Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

Filling

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp mushroom or chicken bouillon
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup wood ear mushrooms, chopped

Rice Rolls

  • 20 sheets dried rice paper
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tbsp oil

Toppings

  • fish sauce dipping sauce (nước chấm)
  • cucumbers
  • Vietnamese ham (chả lụa)
  • fried shallots
  • bean sprouts
  • fresh herbs
  • chilis

Instructions

Filling

  • Add a drizzle of oil to a pan on medium heat and sauté shallot and garlic until softened.
  • Add ground pork, wood ear mushrooms, chicken bouillon, and black pepper.
  • Mix it all together while breaking up the pork. Cook until it is no longer pink then set it aside.

Rice Rolls

  • Fill a large bowl with water and oil. Mix together.
  • Place dried rice paper into the water one sheet at a time so they don't stick together.
  • Soak rice paper for about 3-5 minutes to soften. Only soak about 5 sheets at the same time because they may become too soft while you are assembling.
  • Repeat this step once you are done assembling the rice rolls. Add more water and oil as needed.

Assemble

  • To assemble, carefully remove 1 soaked rice paper sheet from the water bowl and lay it on an oiled plate.
  • Place a spoonful of the filling in a line across the rice paper. Roll it up and repeat with the remaining rice paper.
  • Steam covered on the stove or microwave for 1 minute.
  • Serve with fish sauce dipping sauce (nước chấm), toppings, and enjoy!

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