Banh Hoi (Vietnamese Rice Noodles with Beef)
June 24th, 2009 31 Comments

Banh Hoi (Vietnamese Rice Noodles with Beef)

I am a fan of Andrea Nguyen, the award-winning cookbook author/food writer and very talented cooking teacher. I first approached Andrea a few months ago to write a guest post on Rasa Malaysia. Despite her busy schedule–her new cookbook Asian Dumplings will be out in August–Andrea was kind enough to say yes to my invitation. Without a doubt, I feel honored and excited. Please welcome Andrea to Rasa Malaysia as she shares her Banh Hoi or Vietnamese Rice Noodles with Beef recipe with us. To learn more about Andrea and Vietnamese cuisine, please hop over to Viet World Kitchen. You can also check out her impressive bio here.

I was flattered when Bee asked me to guest post on Rasa Malaysia about one of her favorite Vietnamese foods – banh hoi rice noodles. Delicate in flavor with a slight tang, the very thin (think of something finer than Italian angel hair pasta) noodles are a special event Vietnamese food that’s often enjoyed at parties and celebrations. They’re instantly recognizable as the white noodles are shaped like rectangular mats of thick white cheesecloth. It’s best to purchase banh hoi (pronounced “baan hoy”) fresh from a Vietnamese market or Chinese barbecue shop in a Vietnamese community where they’re typically sold on Styrofoam trays and wrapped in plastic wrap.

Banh hoi are not eaten on their own, but rather as an accompaniment to rich, flavorful morsels, such as slices of this easy-to-prepare grilled beef. Vietnamese people love to bundle up food in lettuce and fresh herbs, which is exactly how this dish is enjoyed. Just grab a piece of lettuce, layer in some herbs, a piece of banh hoi rice noodle and slice of beef. Dip your creation in some nuoc cham dipping sauce and enjoy the intermingling of flavors and texture. It’s a lovely one-dish meal for summer’s grilling season!

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31 comments... read them below or add one

  1. Thank you! I’m cooking on my plancha (gas) every weekend when all the family is at home! Allways looking for new recipes: this one seems tasty! ans simple. Everyone will enjoy…

  2. Rosa says:

    I love Vietnamese food! this dish looks so flavorful and divine! Perfect for the summertime…



  3. Delicious! We love banh’s so delicate and fine texture is a great contrast to regular vermicelli noodles.

  4. NYMY says:

    Oh my! My most favorite Vietnamese dish. Banh hoi is absolutely delicious and fun to eat. There’re few places in Orange County, Westminster (Little Saigon) that served this wonderful Vietnamese classic. Anyone know where I can get this in New York?

  5. wagamama says:

    My husband and I love banh hoi and just ate some this week. Great post!

  6. mica says:

    love browsing thru your blog! loving the recipes and the pics :)

  7. Wu says:

    Is the fish sauce essential to this dish? I have friends who are allergic to fish but would love to try this.

    • You could mix in some soy sauce instead of fish sauce for the dipping sauce but you’ll have to fux with it.

      Fish sauce has been broken down into amino acids so I’m not clear on whether or not it affects people who are allergic to fish. If your friend eats Thai food, then he/she has likely been eating fish sauce.

  8. James says:

    Wow!!! Great post!..I love this food!

  9. zurin says:

    What a lovely simple dish to prepare. Ill be trying this! it will be something different!! Thanks. :)

  10. zurin says:

    btw…I love the photo ..what a nice contrast of pink, green and the darkly grilled beef!

  11. Eleanor says:

    You indicated “If you have time, freeze the place the steak for about 15 minutes to firm and be easier to cut.” but I thought perhaps “the place” was out of place. Not to split hairs.

    I think you have a beautiful and useful blog, but that might cause confusion for people who don’t read English as a first language. At any rate, I know I was confused. Which admittedly isn’t difficult. ;)

  12. Lori Lynn says:

    I sounds and looks great. I don’t think I’ve ever seen these noodle mats. When I go out to our neighborhood Vietnamese restaurant next time, I will have to look more closely at the menu.

  13. matt says:

    Andrea and Bee i cant wait to try this one..i have a tri tip in the fridge now so sometime this week i’ll comment again let you know how it turns out..making your bbq pork char siu again tommorrow just put it in the marinade

  14. I love your food pictures…they are great…and the food seems very good…I also like vietnamise food…always I like to spy this site and try to cooking something…see you :)


  15. matt says:

    Don’t pass this up!It was excellent the combination of noodles,lettuce sauce and meat was great and i’m making these for the second time tonight.

  16. Chelliah says:

    Where to buy Vietnamese Vermicelli in KL? Cannot find lah

  17. Hannie says:

    Glad to know you love Vietnamese food, your works are so great. Almost can not believe that you can buy fresh Banh Hoi in your city :). I often make this dish in weekend with making fresh Nuoc cham dipping sauce( hot water, brown sugar, nuoc mam fish sauce, lime juice, black pepper powder, and garlic). Homemade Nuoc cham dipping sauce is always more delicious than canned Nuoc cham. Try to make nuoc cham once, you may like it. By the way, I am a Vietnamese and now living in Hanoi Vietnam.

  18. Thank you so much for teaching us about Vietnamese Noodles. I guess I’ve been using the “wrong” noodles for fresh summer rolls. I used the Wai Wai brand, which is produced in China (I think…) and they are thinner.

  19. Jenny says:

    Ack. I googled ‘how to make banh hoi’ because I was having trouble with my mom’s recipe and hoping for some tips. And I get an article for how to make a recipe using pre-brought banh hoi, instead of an article actually telling me how to make banh hoi from the noodles. Back to google for me. . .

  20. Pingback:Sunday, June 26th « Raya's Nutrition Challenge

  21. Bonoca says:

    In your recipe instructions under #5 it states: “Whether grilling or broiling, cook the beef for 5 to 7 minutes, turning frequently, until browned and a little”

    And a little…..can you tell me please what is missing and what I need to do? Thanks in advance and can’t wait to make this. This is one of my favorite Vietnamese dishes.

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