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Banh Hoi (Vietnamese Rice Noodles with Beef)


Banh Hoi Rice Noodles with Grilled Beef Recipe

Banh Hoi Thit Bo Nuong
Serves 4 as a one-dish meal


1 1/4 pounds well-marbled tri-tip (bottom sirloin) steak, well trimmed (about 1 pound after trimming)
2 large cloves garlic, minced and crushed to a paste
1 small shallot, finely chopped (about 2 1/2 tablespoons total)
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
Generous 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground preferred
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon light (regular) soy sauce
2 tablespoon oil
1 pound fresh banh hoi fine rice noodles
1/2 cup Scallion Oil Garnish
1 small head soft leaf lettuce, such as red leaf, green leaf, or butter leaf
8 to 12 sprigs cilantro
8 to 12 sprigs mint
1 small English cucumber, seeded and sliced, optional
8 to 12 sprigs of other Vietnamese herbs, such as red perilla (tia to) and Vietnamese balm (kinh gioi), optional
3/4 cup Nuoc Cham dipping sauce


1. If you have time, freeze the place the steak for about 15 minutes to firm and be easier to cut. Slice the beef across the grain into thin strips, a scant 1/4 inch thick, about 1 1/2 inches wide, and about 3 inches long. You may need to angle the knife to achieve the ideal width. Set aside.
2. In a bowl, combine the garlic, shallot, brown sugar, salt, pepper, fish sauce, soy sauce and oil. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the beef and use your hands to massage the seasonings into the beef, making sure that each slice is well coated. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate at room temperature for 1 hour. Or, refrigerate overnight, letting the beef sit out for 30 minutes to remove the chill before grilling.
3. While the beef marinates, make the scallion oil, if you haven’t done so. Before grilling the beef, prepare the banh hoi noodles. Use scissors to halve each piece of the noodles into pieces the size of playing cards. Arrange them on 2 platters in overlapping layers, with some scallion oil atop each piece of noodle; leftover scallion oil can be served on the side for extra richness. Cover the noodles, and set aside to prevent drying while you cook the beef. Arrange the lettuce, herbs and cucumber on 1 or 2 plates and set at the table. Put the dipping sauce in a communal bowl or individual dipping sauce bowls and set at the table.
4. Prepare a charcoal or preheat a gas grill to medium (you can hold your hand over the rack for no more than 4 to 5 seconds). To broil the beef, position a rack about 4 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven for 20 minutes so it is nice and hot.
5. I usually grill the meat as individual pieces, working the meat with tongs to turn them frequently. If you prefer, skewer the meat on soaked bamboo skewers (soak 16 to 20 skewers in water for 45 minutes) so that the pieces are easier to grill; you can serve the meat on the skewers or remove them from the skewers. Whether grilling or broiling, cook the beef for 5 to 7 minutes, turning frequently, until browned and a little charred.
6. Arrange on a platter and serve with the noodles, lettuce and herbs, and dipping sauce. To eat, invite guests to take a palm-size piece of lettuce, add few leaves of fresh herbs, a piece of banh hoi noodle, and a piece of beef. Bundle up the parcel, dip it into the sauce and deliver to the mouth.

Cook’s Note:

If beef is not your meat, feel free to substitute boneless, skinless chicken thigh or pork shoulder.

Additional information:

Vietnamese Noodles 101: Banh Hoi Fine Rice Noodles – details on where to buy, how to store, and how to refresh 
Vietnamese herb primer – the many different kinds, their names, and photos

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31 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. NYMY

    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?

  2. Wu

    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.

  3. Eleanor

    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. ;)

  4. 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.

  5. matt

    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

  6. 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 :)


  7. matt

    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.

  8. Hannie

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Jenny

    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. . .

  11. Bonoca

    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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