Rice Paper Salad: A Delicious Vietnamese Street Food Snack

As someone who has had the pleasure of traveling to Vietnam, I can vouch for the popularity and mouthwatering taste of Banh Trang Tron. This traditional street food snack is a staple in Vietnamese cuisine and can be found throughout the country. The first time I tried Banh Trang Tron, I was blown away by the unique combination of flavors and textures it offers.

The chewy rice paper, savory meat or seafood, and fresh vegetables and herbs come together to create a truly delightful and satisfying snack. But Banh Trang Tron is more than just a tasty treat – it holds cultural significance as well, being an integral part of Vietnamese street food culture. If you ever find yourself in Vietnam, I highly recommend giving it a try.

What is Banh Trang Tron?

Banh Trang Tron is a popular Vietnamese snack that incorporates a variety of ingredients. The addition of mangoes gives it a slight tanginess and refreshing taste. Roasted peanuts provide a delightful nuttiness and crunchy texture, while dried shrimp and dried beef lend a crispy and savory element with a hint of umami. All the ingredients are cut into small pieces and mixed together in an inox bowl with scallion oil. You can find street vendors selling Banh Trang Tron all over Vietnam, making it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

Banh Trang Tron Recipe

To make Vietnamese rice paper salad, you’ll need to cut all the ingredients into small pieces before mixing them together. Here’s a quick and easy recipe:

Cooking note

  • Yield: 2-4 servings
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Course: Snack/ Appetizer
  • Cuisine: Vietnamese
  • Equipment:
    • Cutting board
    • Knife
    • Large mixing bowl

Ingredients of Banh Trang Tron

  • 1 pack of dried rice paper (round, white)
  • 1 green mango
  • 10 quail eggs
  • 3 fresh tamarinds
  • 5g shredded dried pork floss
  • 40g shredded dried beef
  • 100g spring onions and purple onions (chopped)
  • 50g Vietnamese coriander (chopped)
  • 50g peeled peanuts (roasted)
  • Sate sauce
  • Shrimp salt

How to make Banh Trang Tron

  1. Cut the rice paper into bite-sized rectangular pieces, avoiding cutting them too small to prevent them from becoming too moist or crumbly when mixed.
  2. Peel and julienne the green mango, and set it aside.
  3. Peel and thinly slice the purple onion. Heat a pan with a little cooking oil and sauté the onion until fragrant. When the onion turns golden-orange, turn off the heat and add a tablespoon of sate sauce. Mix well and let it cool.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan and pour the hot oil over the pre-cut scallion in a small bowl. This method helps retain the vibrant green color of the scallion. Allow the mixture to cool.
  5. Boil the quail eggs until cooked, then peel off the shells.
  6. In a large deep bowl, combine the rice paper, green mango, scallion oil, shrimp salt flakes, most of the peanuts (approximately 3/4), Vietnamese coriander, and the cooled purple onion mixture. Put on disposable gloves and mix all the ingredients thoroughly 3-4 times.
  7. Transfer the mixture onto a serving plate and top it with shredded pork floss, dried beef, remaining peanuts, and quail eggs. Serve and enjoy!

Tips for Serving Banh Trang Tron

  • Rice paper salad is best served fresh, but you can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  • To prevent the rice paper from getting too soggy, add the sauce and rice paper just before serving.
  • You can also serve Banh Trang Tron with a side of Vietnamese shrimp chips or crackers for added texture and flavor.

Regional Variations of Banh Trang Tron

Banh Trang Tron has regional variations throughout Vietnam, each with its own unique style and flavor. Here are some examples:

  • Saigon-style Banh Trang Tron: This style is characterized by its spicy and tangy flavors. It typically includes shredded green mango, roasted peanuts, and a spicy fish sauce dressing.
  • Hanoi-style Banh Trang Tron: Milder in flavor compared to the Saigon-style, it often includes green papaya, herbs, and a sweet and sour dressing made from vinegar and sugar.
  • Central-style Banh Trang Tron: Known for its unique blend of sweet, salty, and spicy flavors. It usually includes a variety of seafood such as squid, shrimp, and crab, along with banana flowers, peanuts, and a sweet and sour dressing made from tamarind and sugar.

Each regional style of Banh Trang Tron has its own distinct taste, representing the local cuisine and culture.

Substitute Ingredients for Banh Trang Tron

If you don’t have access to some of the traditional ingredients for Banh Trang Tron or have dietary restrictions, you can try these substitutes:

  • Meat and Seafood: For a vegetarian or vegan version, you can use tofu, tempeh, seitan, or roasted chickpeas as protein substitutes.
  • Vegetables: Feel free to use any combination of vegetables you have on hand or prefer. Some good options include shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, sliced cucumber, chopped lettuce, and bean sprouts.
  • Spices and Sauces: Use any type of sauce or seasoning you like, such as hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sriracha, or peanut sauce.
  • Optional Toppings: Experiment with roasted peanuts, fried shallots, chopped herbs (mint, cilantro, basil), or sesame seeds as your choice of toppings.

Remember that these substitute ingredients may alter the flavor and texture of the dish, but they can still be delicious and satisfying in their own right.

Ready to try Banh Trang Tron at home? Join me in exploring the delightful world of Vietnamese street food!

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