Vietnamese Fried Rice Cake

Last night, I was watching a youtube video of someone’s food adventure in Vietnam. They were enjoying this Vietnamese dish called “Bot Chien” which my mom would sometimes make on the weekend, but I’ve never actually made it myself. This dish is actually quite simple and just took me a couple hours to whip together. Luckily, I had all the ingredients I needed at home to make this today, so I was able to enjoy it for lunch with Kevin. Let’s get down to the recipe, shall we?

INGREDIENTS
(this recipe yields 4 servings)

2 cups of rice flour (not the glutinous kind)
2 tbsp of cornstarch
3 cups of water
2 tsp of vegetable oil
pinch of salt
eggs
chopped scallion

SAUCE

soy sauce
black (or red) vinegar
chili flakes

To make the rice cake, In large bowl, combine the rice flour, cornstarch, water, vegetable oil, and salt and whisk until there is no lumps, and set it aside for about 20 minutes. Whisk the mixture again and now you want to cook it until it becomes a thick paste. There are two methods: 1) pour the mixture into a large wok or skillet and stir it over medium heat until it becomes a thick paste; 2) you’ll need to have the mixture in a microwaveable bowl (good idea to use this ahead of time when mixing your ingredients) and microwave it at intervals of 2-3 minutes (and mixing it between each time) until it becomes a thick paste.

Next, transfer the paste into 2 square or circle pan that is large enough to fit into your steamer. Ensure that the paste is flattened and smoothed out using a spatula, and steam for 35 – 40 minutes, or when placed a toothpick in the center, the toothpick comes out clean (without any of the paste adhering to it).

Remove the rice cake from the steamer and allow it to cool at room temperature before placing it in the fridge overnight or for about 4 hours. If you’re impatient (like I am), cool the pan of rice cake in a cold water bath and then stick it in the fridge for about 30 – 40 minutes (or if it’s winter, just stick it outside for about 30 minutes).

Remove the rice cake from the pan, by running a spatula around the edges. Cut the rice cake into small rectangular bite size pieces. To fry the rice cake, place about a tablespoon of oil in a non-stick pan. Mix the rice cake in a bit of soy sauce and dark soy sauce until completely coated, and then add it into the pan. Cook both sides of rice cake until it becomes browned and slightly crispy. Beat an egg and pour it over the rice cake and add some chopped scallion on top.

Once the bottom has set, you can either try to flip it over as one piece, or divide it up into four pieces and flip each one individually. Once eggs are cooked through, transfer the rice cake onto a plate and top it with more fresh scallions, and serve with the sauce. You can either dip it into the sauce or just pour it over the rice cake.

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