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Aug 23, 2010 09:24 AM

Bi Chay/Bi Hop: What do you do with it?

I found this nice blog post about bi chay. I don't eat pork but I know pork skin bi is used in banh mi and as a texture and flavor addition in other dishes like com suon plates. Bi chay is the vegetarian version. I am not sure if it was developed for Buddhist fast days or just as another food, but it is crunchy and yummy. The blogger says she uses bi chay for veggie banh mi and goi cuon chay.

How do you use bi chay? Any other traditional ways or innovative ways?

Also, my local Vitenamese market labels their bi chay as bi hop, but it seems to be the same products. Are these two different names for the same things? I know 'chay' is veg, but what is hop?

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  1. We had a build-your-own po piah dinner the other night and I used the bi chay as one of the stuffings.

    More ways to use it? Anyone?

    1. "Hop" could be anything, but in your particular case, I'd guess the meaning as boxed, as in prepared and packaged.

      I eat mine with rice noodles, pickled veggies, lettuce and ... fish sauce. I'll also do rice + bi chay + fish sauce. Obviously, I'm not vegetarian.

      A varation for anything willing to take up the task of making bi chay (I won't. I get it at the temple when they make it.): bean thread noodles should be deep fried and omit the jicama and taro.