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Feb 24, 2009 06:03 AM

Banh cuon/"vietnamese ravioli"

My favorite Viet restaurant in Paris serves these, steamed dumplings with pork and mushroom (( think) filling. They call them raviolis vietnamiennes, and I believe the Vietnames name is "banh cuon" (or so at least I was informed by a French website).
I've never seen them on a vietnamese menu here in the DC area. Does anyone know where I can find them? They are perhaps the single most delicious vietnamese dish I have ever had (with the possible exception of the five spice chicken at the old Cafe Dalat in Clarendon).

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  1. I have seen banh cuon on menus, but so far I have not had them served as raviolis. Just as flat wide rice noodles with stuff on top.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Steve

      These (at least at the place I go in Paris ,Le Palanquin, which is near the Blvd St Germain in the 6th, and I highly recommend) are very sheer tender rice crepes surrounding a filling, and then steamed, served with the usual dipping sauce we get here with spring rolls. They seem to be popular in France, since when I googled "raviolis vietnamiennes" I got lots of hits, with recipes and pics, all of which seemed the right thing.

    2. when i googled your dish's name, google did not come up with ravioli, but rolled crepes.

      also described as fresh rice noodle roll?
      anyway, here is a chowhound's own home recipe, and a long thread:

      wowee! look at all these versions!!!
      let's eat now, shall we?

      i found this as a regular crepe at nam viet.
      i ordered them because i had been intrigued by a similar dish, Chee Cheong Fun:

      the rice noodles were blah, because they weren't stir fried with any sauce (as i LOVE in pad kee mao). it wasn't like a "crepe" in that it wasn't rolled, or folded, either....

      "Nam-Viet Grilled Pork on Skewer with Steamed Rice Crepes
      (Banh Uot Thit Nuong) A famous dish with origins from Saigon, this dish features grilled pork on top of steam rice crepes made from the finest rice grains from Southeast Asia."

      btw, the pork skewers on top of these noodles were the best grilled meat of our whole feast..which included shrimp, scallops, vietnamese steak, and lemon peel chicken!

      at nam viet, they also offered another version of the crepe.
      "Nam-Viet Vietnamese Crepe
      (Banh Xeo)A Vietnamese Crepe made with beans served with bean sprouts, chives, onions, chicken, and shrimp, a dish that resembles an omelet but has been a Vietnamese tradition for centuries."

      1. brian, like this:

        doesn't the recipe call for potato flour and cornstarch? definitely not the rice crepe......
        the recipe seems very frenchified, with mushrooms.... maybe it is just available in france? but i love ravioli, so i'll be on the lookout. ;-).

        3 Replies
        1. re: alkapal

          that's one of the ones I found, yes. Here is another, which looks a bit more like the ones I had in Paris:

          here's the website from the place in Paris, and they do call them banh cuon:

          other recipes just call for "ravioli leaves" (bought). the wrapping in Paris tasted like a very tender, very thin rice crepe

          1. re: brianV

            ok, those remind me somewhat of the fresh summer rolls, but different filling, of course. oh, i love those things. ground spiced pork would be good in there, for sure!

            i found the "wraps and rolls" section here on wiki to be helpful in sorting things out:

            i could relate to this quote: "Spring rolls almost constitute an entire category of Vietnamese foods, as there are numerous different kinds of spring rolls with different ingredients in them."
            .....and i'm willing to try every, single one. ;-).

            1. re: brianV

              There are quite a few places you can get them in Northern Virginia, if you're willing to travel. Some place, like DC sandwich shop, have them premade.

          2. Banh cuon are available for take out at Song Que in Eden Center, on their long table of various Vietnamese specialties. Usually made within an hour or two of selling on weekends. Comes with a little container of nuoc mam (tangy fish sauce) dipping sauce. Don't remember the price, but not very expensive.

            Traditional Vietnamese (well, the way my Chinese-Vietnamese parents make it) filling usually consists of seasoned ground pork, finely chopped shitakes, and finely chopped wood ear fungus, wrapped in the thin rice crepe. Meant to be served warm, garnished with chopped cilantro. Yum!

            4 Replies
            1. re: bluepig1

              See this:

              Available by the pound (or fraction thereof) either filled or plain at Huong Binh market at Eden Center (and the price is very right!)

              1. re: wayne keyser

                Thanks for all the input; the examples (at least the ones on wikipedia) seem a bit different from the ones I've had in Paris, which are filled and then steamed and served in the steamer basket. I will try to get out to Eden Center to check out the ones there, although again those sound more like the filled rice crepes I've had here in the DC area (not that I have anything against those!)

                1. re: brianV

                  I wonder if you're not maybe really referring to the Chinese dim sum version, thicker sheets of rice noodle folded in a cylinder around a little filling (maybe 1 or 2 shrimp) and served in the steamer with a little sprinkle of sweetened soy sauce to garnish.

                  1. re: wayne keyser

                    no, I 've had the chinese ones often, and these are similar but different. The filling is much as commenter "bluepig1" describes, or in the recipe (which sounds yummy) cited by alkapal from an old chowhound thread (which also btw sounds like those described at the eden center, where you make the crepes and then fill and serve).
                    The french ones are steamed like the chinese dim sum shrimp dumplings, but the filling is more complex, and the wrapping is much thinner and more tender. So delicate in fact that when picked up with chopsticks they have a disttessing tendency to break apart.
                    All the versions are related I suspect, but not the same as the "raviolis vietnamiennes".

            2. you can get at Banh Cuon Saigon in the Edent Center in Falls Church