This Vegan Bánh Hỏi (Vietnamese Rice Vermicelli Woven) is served with chewy tofu, fresh herbs, green onions, cucumber, and crispy onions. Wrapped in rice paper and dipped into a delicious vegan “fish” sauce! Plant-based, healthy, and super fresh!
📘 What is Bánh Hỏi
Bánh hỏi is a type of Vietnamese dish that consists of rice vermicelli woven served with many different add-ins, from fresh herbs to cucumber, fried onions, and different kinds of meat. It is usually wrapped in rice paper and served with a dipping sauce.
🥣 How to Make Vegan Bánh Hỏi
This recipe is a simple take on regular bánh hỏi. It is easy and will take you about 30 minutes to prepare.
Here is what you will need:
- Tofu – Use medium tofu for a soft and chewy texture. Firm tofu will work as well.
- Sweet chili sauce – You can use store-bought sweet chili sauce like Chin Su, sriracha, or make your own chili sauce!
- Soy sauce – For umami and saltiness. Use coconut aminos for a gluten-free option.
- Sugar – You can use regular sugar or coconut sugar to keep it refined sugar-free.
- Five spice powder – Five spice powder is a spice blend that contains cinnamon, star anise, cloves, fennel, and white pepper. It gives the tofu a subtle “char siu” flavor here.
- Green onions – Sautéed; green onions will bring a fragrant and subtle peppery flavor.
- Rice vermicelli woven – Called “bánh hỏi” in Vietnamese, these rice vermicelli woven are sold as dried sheets. You can find rice vermicelli woven online, or in most Asian stores.
- Fresh herbs – Thai basil, perilla leaves, cilantro. Use what you have on hand or a combination of those three herbs.
- Cucumber – For crunchiness and freshness.
- Rice paper – Optional, only if you plan to serve these rolled. More on how to eat bánh hỏi below.
- Fried onions – Or fried shallots for crispiness. Use store-bought or homemade.
To prepare the tofu, cut it into thick rectangles and fry it until golden brown. You can deep-fry it or air-fry it. Frying the tofu will allow it to absorb the sauce better and give it more chewiness.
Once fried, let the tofu simmer in a sauce that consists of soy sauce, sugar, chili sauce, five-spice powder, and water. Simmer until the tofu has absorbed all of the sauce.
Vermicelli Woven (Bánh Hỏi)
In the meantime, let’s prepare the woven!
Depending on the brand, the instructions might change, but usually, it consists of placing the dry vermicelli woven in a deep plate or dish and covering it with boiling water. Let the vermicelli rehydrate for 1 minute and 30 seconds before draining. Rinse under cold water and drain well before rolling.
Arrange the woven on a plate and top with sautéed green onions.
Dipping Sauce (Nước chấm)
The dipping sauce brings a ton of flavor to this dish. It consists of vegan fish sauce, sugar, garlic, chili, and water to dilute. You can also add a squeeze of lime for extra freshness.
🥢 How to Eat Bánh hỏi
There is not just one way to eat bánh hỏi, but it’s usually eaten this way:
- Wet a piece of rice paper to soften it.
- Place a leaf of lettuce on top of the rice paper.
- Unroll one of the vermicelli woven and place it on top of the lettuce.
- Then top with a piece of tofu, fresh herbs, and a slice of cucumber. Roll it tightly and dip it into the dipping sauce, just like spring rolls!
If you want to make a lighter version, feel free to wrap the vermicelli woven and add-ins directly into lettuce leaves!
If you want an authentic flavor, there is no substitute. You can use soy sauce, but the flavor won’t be the same.
This dish is best served at room temperature.
You can keep the cooked tofu for up to 3 days in the refrigerator and the cooked vermicelli woven for 2 days in the refrigerator. I would advise cooking the vermicelli woven just before serving for the best texture.
This Vegan Bánh Hỏi is so underrated! It’s loaded with textures and flavors, fresh, healthy, and makes a great communal meal! Simply arrange all the add-ins on the table and let the guests roll their own rolls!
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
- 8 pieces rice vermicelli woven
- 8 sheets of rice paper
- For serving: lettuce, basil, perilla leaves, sliced cucumber, fried onions
- 1 tbsp vegan fish sauce
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp lime juice
- 1 clove of garlic finely minced
- 1/4 Thai chili chopped, optional.
- Start by deep-frying the tofu until golden brown. You can deep-fry it in a deep saucepan or fry it in an air-fryer. Once golden brown, transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper towels to remove excess oil.
- Heat the two tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick skillet. Once hot, add the chopped green onions and cook for 1-2 minutes. Transfer the sautéed green onions with the remaining oil to a small bowl and set aside.
- To the same skillet, add the fried tofu rectangles. Pour in the sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, sugar, five-spice powder, and water. Let simmer for 5-8 minutes or until no more liquid remains and the tofu is glazed. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate.
- To cook the vermicelli: Place the dry rice vermicelli woven in a deep plate or dish. Pour boiling water over the vermicelli and let it sit for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Drain and transfer to a bowl of cold water to cool. Drain the rice vermicelli woven well and roll each one into a roll. Arrange the rolls on a plate and top them with the cooked green onions and drizzle with some of the oil.
- To serve: Dip a sheet of rice paper in warm water for a few seconds. Place a leaf of lettuce and some fresh herbs in the middle of the rice paper. Top with a vermicelli woven (unrolled), a piece of tofu, and sliced cucumber. Roll tightly and dip in the sauce!Alternatively, if you don't want to serve it on rice paper, you can simply roll a rectangle of tofu, some herbs, and a thin slice of cucumber in the rice vermicelli woven and dip it into the sauce.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and stir until the sugar has dissolved.