BANH CANH (Vietnamese: Bánh canh) (literally “cake soup”) is a thick Vietnamese noodle that can be made from tapioca flour or a mixture of rice and tapioca flour. “Cake” refers to the thick sheet of uncooked dough from which the noodles are cut.
- Bánh canh cua – a rich, thick crab soup, often with the addition of quail eggs
- Bánh canh bột lọc – a more translucent and chewy version of the noodle
- Bánh canh chả cá – the dish includes fish cake and is popular in the South Central, Vietnam.
- Bánh canh giò heo tôm thịt – includes pork knuckle and shrimp
- Bánh canh Trảng Bàng – bánh canh made in the southeastern Vietnamese town of Trảng Bàng (Tây Ninh Province), served with boiled pork, tapioca noodles, and local herbs
- Bánh canh tôm – a shrimp-flavoured broth that is also mixed with coconut milk
The Vietnamese word BÁNH refers to items such as noodles or cakes that are made from flour, and CANH means “soup.”
RECIPE for BANH CANH noodle:
- 1 cup tapioca starch
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
In a mixing bowl, mix the rice flour, tapioca starch and salt with 1 cup boiling hot water. Knead well until dough is soft and non-sticky. Cover and let the dough rest for about 30 minutes to reduce the strong flour smell. Then sprinkle some flour on the working surface and use a rolling pin to roll the dough to a thickness of ¼ inch (0.5cm). Cut into 3-inch (7cm) strips.
In a mixing bowl, dissolve the rice flour, vegetable oil and salt in 1 ½ cup water. Then microwave for 2 minutes 30 seconds until the mixture is half-cooked (yet still quite runny). Add the tapioca starch and stir until well-combined. Transfer the flour mixture into a potato ricer. Press gradually and continuously to release the noodle into a pot of boiling water. (If you don’t have a potato ricer, you can use a piping bag or a thịck plastic bag. Cut off a small hole at the tip and press to release.) When the noodle float to the surface, use a slotted spoon to transfer to a bowl of cold water and then drain.
The noodle for BANH CANH can be made from RICE FLOUR, TAPIOCA FLOUR, sometimes WHEAT FLOUR, or a mixture of those. The recipe is flexible. You can adjust the ratio to your preference: Use more tapioca flour if you like chewy noodle, use less if you want it softer. I personally prefer the second method because it is easier, and the noodle is softer.