Have you heard of Vietnamese pizza aka bánh trángng?
I love watching those Youtube channels where they visit street food places and night markets. I miss travel in a big way and watching vlogs of people in other countries visiting cafes and street food stalls sort of scratches the itch. It’s not quite the same but I’ll take what I can get! Recently, I saw a video of someone in Vietnam having Vietnamese pizza. I asked Mike about it and he said it wasn’t a traditional dish – it’s one of those inventive street foods that makes use of rice paper.
I LOVE rice paper. Give me something wrapped in rice paper and I’m there. So when I saw that the “pizza” was rice paper that was grilled up to a crisp, I was all in.
What is Vietnamese pizza?
Bánh tráng n??ng, or Vietnamese pizza, is a popular Vietnamese street food made with rice paper, egg, sauces, and toppings. It originated in Da Lat, in Northern Vietnam. A sheet of rice paper toasts over coals until crisp, then is topped with egg, green onions, pork floss, dried shrimp, mayo, and sweet chili sauce or sriracha. The rice paper gets super crisp and everything comes together in a salty, sweet, savory delicious bite.
Much like regular pizza, there are loads of variations, each street food vendor has a plethora of toppings to satisfy different tastes. In Vietnam, they fold over the rice paper OR serve it flat. On the internet I’ve seen people serve it up like a pizza, cut into wedges, but I think it tastes better when you fold it up so you have the crunchy crispy bits on both sides.
- Rice paper – this is the base of our pizza. When you grill it it gets crispy and crunchy. It’s important that when you buy your rice paper, it’s 100% rice. North American rice papers tends to contain tapioca flour because it makes it super easy to roll without tearing. Tapioca doesn’t crisp up in the same way as rice paper does, so make sure you get rice paper that only has rice listed in the ingredients.
- Egg – instead of tomato sauce, Vietnamese pizza uses egg as a sauce/binder. The egg helps the toppings stick to the rice paper and prevents the rice paper from toasting too much. It also hydrates the rice paper a bit and contributes to the crispy chewy texture. In Vietnamese they tend to use quail eggs, I went with just regular eggs just because of ease.
- Toppings – here is where people get inventive. Classic street food offerings include green onions, dried shrimp, pork floss (crispy sweet-n-savory dried pork bits), sausages, corn, canned tuna, ham, crispy shallots, lemongrass,
- cheese – especially Laughing Cow cheese.
- Sauces – sriracha, Kewpie mayo, sweet chili sauce, hoisin, anything your heart desires. Usually you’ll see sweet chili sauce or sriracha and Kewpie mayo.
How to make Vietnamese pizza
- Toast. Add a sheet of rice paper to a dry pan and toast over very low heat.
- Egg. Add an egg on top and scramble it, spreading it evenly over the rice paper.
- Top. Sprinkle on green onions and any other toppings you desire.
- Crisp. Let the egg cook and the rice paper crisp up.
- Sauce. Drizzle on a bit of mayo and sweet chili sauce or sriracha.
- Eat. Enjoy hot, open face, or folded over like they do in Vietnam.
Vietnamese pizza toppings
- Egg – they use quail eggs in Vietnam because they’re small and cheaper than chicken eggs. They also happen to have more yolk to whites so they lend extra savoriness and richness. If you have quail eggs, by all means, use them, but regular eggs work too.
- Green onions – these add freshness and bit of an onion-y bite. Sometimes people like to use green onion oil, but for ease, sliced green onions work great.
- Pork floss – sweet, savory, soft, and crispy all at the same time, pork floss is a classic popular Chinese topping used in Vietnamese pizza. It’s basically pork that’s been cooked with soy sauce and sugar until it’s dry and shreddable. You can buy it online or in Asian grocery stores.
- Dried shrimp – sweet and full of umami flavor, tiny dried shrimps common all over Asia to add a briny umami flavor and texture to a multitude of foods. To release their flavor, soak them in hot water, then simply sprinkle on the rice paper.
- Kewpie mayo – kewpie mayo adds an indispensable creaminess and richness.
- Sriracha or sweet chili sauce – If you like it hot, go with sriracha and if you want a bit more sweet with your heat, sweet chili sauce is the way to go. Drizzle to your heart’s content.
Vietnamese pizza is infinitely customizable so if you don’t have pork floss or dried shrimp, no worries at all. You can try tiny bits of ham, bacon, tuna, tofu, or even skip the protein all together. Personally, I like sautéing up a bit of ground pork best of all.
I hope you give this Vietnamese pizza a try. I’m thinking of opening a Vietnamese pizza stand on my street corner I can live out my dreams of being a pro bánh tráng n??ng maker LOL