May 2011

Bò Bía – Vietnamese Jicama, Carrot, Chinese Sausage, Egg, and Dried Shrimp Rolls

Bò Bía – Vietnamese Jicama and Chinese Sausage Rolls with Hoisin Dipping Sauce

The second part of The Astronomer’s anniversary present came nearly two weeks after the first. I had originally planned to deliver both rice paper wrapped-delights simultaneously, but it turned out to be too much food and effort for only two mouths. Also, we had a ridiculous amount of leftovers from our ten-course banquet bonanza, so it was just as well that I held off on making bò bía for a little while.

Whereas The Astronomer loves gỏi cuốn most, I’ve always been partial to these lesser-known rolls filled with jicama, carrots, thin egg ribbons, Chinese sausages, and dried shrimp. The dipping sauce is identical in both situations, but the flavor profiles are completely different. While gỏi cuốn is mostly subdued save for the bites with fresh mint and garlic chives, bò bía brings bold flavors and interesting textures from start to finish.

This recipe comes from my aunt Tina, my family’s designated bò bía specialist. I grew up eating her rolls at family gatherings and have been meaning to learn how to make them for years. It’s true that bò bía contains a lot of different ingredients, but the only time-consuming and tedious step is julienning the jicama and grating the carrots. A finely sharpened mandoline slicer is extremely helpful, as well as a diligent sous chef. Once I got over this initial hurdle, the rolls came together simply, easily, and damn tastily.

  • 1 large jicama (or 2 medium-sized), julienned
  • 2 large carrots (or 3 medium-sized), grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 eggs
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 5 Chinese sausage links
  • 4 ounces dried shrimp
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 head red leaf lettuce, rinsed and de-ribbed
  • 1 package rice paper

Bò Bía – Vietnamese Jicama and Chinese Sausage Rolls with Hoisin Dipping Sauce

For the slaw, combine the carrots, jicama, and salt in a large pot. Cook over medium heat until the jicama and carrots have softened, but still retain a bit of crunchiness, approximately 15 minutes.  Set aside.

Bò Bía – Vietnamese Jicama and Chinese Sausage Rolls with Hoisin Dipping Sauce

For the egg ribbons, beat the eggs in a large bowl using a fork or whisk until they are mostly uniform in color.

Using a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat, pour in 1/3 of the egg mixture and give it a good swirl so that it spreads out thinly across the entire pan. Once the bottom side has set, run a spatula underneath the omelet and flip it to cook the other side. Repeat this step two more times for the remaining eggs. Set the finished omelets aside to cool. [Note: a thin coating of non-stick cooking spray is a good idea if your pan is weathered.]

Bò Bía – Vietnamese Jicama and Chinese Sausage Rolls with Hoisin Dipping Sauce

Once the omelets have cooled, roll them up and slice thinly. Set the ribbons of egg aside.

Bò Bía – Vietnamese Jicama and Chinese Sausage Rolls with Hoisin Dipping Sauce

For the Chinese sausages, thinly slice each link at a bias. Transfer the sausages into a frying pan and render the fat over medium heat, approximately 7 minutes. Set aside. Pour out all of the fat left in the pan save for 1 tablespoon.

Bò Bía – Vietnamese Jicama and Chinese Sausage Rolls with Hoisin Dipping Sauce

For the dried shrimp, add the shrimp and garlic into the oiled pan. Saute over medium heat until the garlic is golden and the shrimp are crisp, approximately 8 minutes.

Bò Bía – Vietnamese Jicama and Chinese Sausage Rolls with Hoisin Dipping Sauce

Once all of the ingredients have been properly prepped, it’s time to roll.

Bò Bía – Vietnamese Jicama and Chinese Sausage Rolls with Hoisin Dipping Sauce

Quickly wet a piece of rice paper under running water, making sure to moisten both sides. Lay it down on a cutting board. Place a lettuce leaf at the lower end of the rice paper. Add a bit of the slaw, egg, and shrimp evenly across the rice paper. 

Roll the rice paper over the filling and tuck it underneath.  Add four sausages across the rice paper (see the photos of the shrimp placement in my gỏi cuốn recipe for an example). Fold the sides inward and continue rolling as tight as possible without tearing the rice paper. Repeat until all of the ingredients have been used.

Bò Bía – Vietnamese Jicama and Chinese Sausage Rolls with Hoisin Dipping Sauce

Serve as soon as possible along with a hoisin dipping sauce topped with crushed peanuts. See here for the recipe—water can be substituted for the pork/shrimp broth.

Makes approximately 24 rolls. [For Printable Recipe Click Here]

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

25 thoughts on “Bò Bía – Vietnamese Jicama, Carrot, Chinese Sausage, Egg, and Dried Shrimp Rolls

  1. Oh love these and I’m so excited that you’re sharing this recipe. My mom is a vegetarian – so I don’t really have the opportunity to learn these types of dishes since she rarely ever prepares them.

  2. So eye catching! I love anything jicama related. Interesting that it’s called bò bía. I grew up with something similar, called po pia.

  3. I love Chinese sausages and love that you used them in this classic Vietnamese dish. Your version seems quite filling and could easily be a meal rather than a starter/appetizer. I always have trouble with my filling falling out from my rolls after the first bite. I guess gravity takes toll on any stray pieces when I go for more dipping sauce. Do you have any tips?

  4. Bunny – You can avoid the filling falling out after the first bite by wrapping the rolls tighter. Check out my friends The Ravenous Couple’s “How to Roll” video for a quick tutorial. The “half fold” at the beginning is key! Good luck 🙂

  5. I do enjoy these much better than goi cuon, which I find rather bland. That’s why I make these and never goi cuon! It’s funny that we both add grated carrots because in Vietnam, they only use jicama. I think it was originally a cost concern for my mom but the carrots add great colour!

  6. how odd, your normally bright orange theme has suddenly gone missing! weird… anyways, the ingredients sound unusually delicious I’ve never seen this particular combination. Drooling!

  7. Mmm… now I want bo bia, esp. after picking up an especially plump jicama.

    To make egg ribbons, I usually thin the egg, too. About 1:3 water to egg. Using this same technique for bun thang, you get really really thin ribbons.

  8. I am beyond impressed with your egg ribbons! I am disaster with eggs… I don’t know that I could achieve omelet flippage even with an entire can of spray to coat my weathered pan. The Astronomer is a lucky man.

  9. Wow, these look fantastic! The sausages look so pretty lined up under the transparent rice paper. I’ve been craving the shrimp + mint version 24/7 lately but now I really want to try these out!

  10. Looks nice 🙂 In our cuisine we do not use rice wrappers but flour. I will try with flour wrap 🙂

  11. Thanks gastronomy! I tried this recipe and it turned out as instructed. 🙂 I been practicing several of your recipes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *