With rice, dexterous Vietnamese hands can make numerous delicious dishes. Among them, the common and modified one is “steamed rice flour”: if soft, we can have “banh uot”, “banh cuon”; if put in the sun, we can have dried rice paper, as well as baked pork rice paper rolls, dried pork skin rice-paper rolls or dried rice paper hit with hands. But the most interesting thing is that we can sit together to make “banh uot” and smell the pungent odor of timber, feel the vapor of fragrant rice and shout for joy when we have made a very thin rice paper wrapper. It is so cozy and simple. A researcher has remarked that because our country was so poor and our ancestors had nothing to eat, they created many different dishes from our staple food: rice.
“Gac” steamed rolls are a wonderful invention. The first interesting thing is its color. In the old days, the red color of “gac” was a lucky color, so it is often used in Tet festivals or acts of worship. Now, according to Western medicine, there are numerous wonderful uses of “gac” besides its color and aroma. It is more interesting when chewing a hot, pulpy and aromatic “gac” steamed roll to know that we are adding some vitamin A and minerals to our bodies. And the red color of “gac” matches the salmon’s orange color. It is the eye-catching characteristic for this familiar but exotic dish, thus satisfying our eyes though we have not put it into our mouths.
STEAMED “GAC” ROLLS STUFFED WITH SALMON FILLETPrint This
- INGREDIENTS FOR STEAMED GAC ROLLS
- 100g banh uot flour
- 20g cassava flour
- 200-220ml warm water
- 50g gac pulp (purée)
- 2g salt
- 50ml cooking oil
- INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING
- 100g salmon fillet
- 70g onions
- 70g jicama
- 100g shallots
- 50g black fungus soaked to swell
- 2g ginger, cut into short shoestrings, then finely chopped
- 2g seasoning powder
- 1g ground black pepper
- 1g sugar
- 10ml cooking oil
- INGREDIENTS OF THE DIPPING SAUCE
- 30ml boiled water set to cool
- 15g sugar
- 30ml fish sauce
- 5ml lime extract
- 4g minced red chili
- ACCOMPANYING VEGETABLES
- Spicy herbs
- Mung bean sprouts
Preparation: Pour banh uot flour, cassava flour, Gac pulp (purée), 2g of salt into a large bowl; slowly pour 200-220ml of warm water into the bowl and stir in the flour, using a sieve to sift flour, and let it sit for 30 minutes. Remove the skin from the salmon, dry and dice it. Dice or mince jicama, onions, and soaked black fungus.
Make the filling: Slice the shallots thinly and then fry them. Heat the pan, pour 5ml cooking oil into hot pan, tip the onions in and stir-fry them, then tip the jicama in and add 2g ginger, 1g seasoning powder, 1g ground pepper and 2g sugar. Add the dried black fungus, stir quickly, and pour the filling into a bowl. Continue to pour 2ml cooking oil into the pan, tip the salmon in and stir quickly. Pour 3ml white wine to make the salmon less fishy; when the salmon shrinks a bit, tip in the combination of the stir-fried jicama and give the pan a good toss.
Make the rolls: Coat the non-stick pan with a little oil, pour in the flour which was set aside for 30 minutes; spread it out evenly, 1mm thick, then put the lid on it, keeping a medium heat. The flour is cooked when it is transparent. Remove it and put the filling into it, then wrap it.
Make the dipping sauce: In a bowl, put 15g sugar, 30ml fish sauce into 30ml boiled water; stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Pour in some lime and ground red pepper (this is up to the diners).
Put the rolls on a plate, spread stir-fried crispy shallots onto them. Serve with spicy herbs, poached mung bean sprouts; each roll should be dipped into sweet fish sauce.
The rolls must be transparent, thin, and sticky with a natural orange color of Gac. The filling must be neither salty, nor flat; the salmon medium, rich with the flavor of spices and the natural sweetness of the jicama and onions.
A steamer can be used to make the rolls.
If warm fresh coconut milk (about 60 degrees Celsius) is used to make the paste, the rolls will be more delicious.
EFFECTS OF THIS DISH
This dish enhances energy, fosters the strength of the body, fights infection, stimulates digestion, reduces body heat, reduces poisoning, relieves constipation, enhances eyesight, beautifies facial skin, lowers blood pressure, reduces bad blood cholesterol and ureic acid in blood. Therefore, this dish is good for those who have weakened immune systems, poisoned bodies, bacterial infections, the elderly and children recovering from illness, those who have loss of appetite, have high blood pressure, hardened arteries, high blood cholesterol levels, obesity, gout, joint pain, constipation, thirst, hot flashes and restlessness, and impaired eyesight.
TRAN THI LAN ANH First Place Convention Center (Ho Chi Minh City) Runner-up in the Golden Spoon Awards 2013