FOOD FOR THOUGHT: banh cuoun aka fawm kauv

steamed pork rolls. i still remember how much i'd crave these little bad boys after i'd moved away for college. it was during those days when i yearned for a little taste of home (or, missed my mum) that i found myself trying to make them, only to fail... every. single. time. call me crazy, but i still have vivid memories of watching the mixture go down my drain as i poured it out after many honest but failed attempts... and the feeling of defeat as it overcame me was just as traumatic.

a little dramatic here? yes, haha, but i can laugh about it now. then? then, i just remember feeling so damn sad each time i built enough courage to try again, convincing myself of only positive thoughts, only to fail and fail again.

it was because growing up, banh cuoun was what my mum always made me as a special treat because of how time-consuming they are! maybe it was just because it was her who made thembut they definitely were and still are one of the most nostalgic foods that always has a way of invoking an emotion of love and brings me back to a sense of security. strange how food can do that to a person...

needless to say, i didn't go on very long after that not knowing the trick to making fawm kauv. i made sure that during my next visit home, they weren't ready and waiting for me, as they have been in the past, and instead, spent my time in the kitchen with my mum making them together... her showing me the ways. :) after several more visits and the confidence from her guidance, she was phasing out her own involvement - and before i knew it, i was mastering them on my own!

i like to believe i've gotten the technique to making steamed rice rolls down to an art now; i'm even experimenting now. and for the record, yes, the pan does in fact make an incredible world of difference; that's what i didn't have in college, the right pan. i also had neither the knowledge to get my mixture right, nor the meticulous skill set required for the assembly too... so, thanks mum! <3 these days, it's not so much the rolls i'm worried about anymore, but moreso the endless ideas with dipping sauces to complement them! again, another blog post for yet another rainy day. :)

i foresee a tutorial on how to make these little guys in the near future with how often i make them. it just hasn't happened yet because it's one of those processes where rhythm and timing are everything and although it's fairly simple... the learning curve proved to be fairly steep, as i learned the hard way. haha. i don't know how i'd handle the relapse of another failed attempt if it happened! lols.


  1. what is your recipe for the wrap?

  2. i don't really stick to one in particular, but rather find it more effective using a trial/error approach when adding the amount of water to achieve my desired consistency. i've got it down to just one adjustment after trying it; it used to take me forever to get it right... if i even did!

    i like mine thin, almost transparent once it's steamed. otherwise, it just makes it all too heavy... which i hate, esp when i order them from restaurants or buy them made and all you basically get is the opaque steamed rice flour.

    a couple of weeks ago, all i had was the starch and the flour... so i mixed them both [eyeballed] equal parts and added my water - and it still turned out just as great. consistency in the liquid is key.

    when it comes to cooking, i don't post recipes because i'm one to always cook by taste and eyeballing... and improvising with ingredients available at hand. and it always turns out! i can't do recipes bc they're too limiting - unless it's baking! ahah.

    so long story short, i don't have an exact recipe... and instead, measure by consistency.

    from experience, i can also tell you that every brand of premixed starch/flour is slightly different with variables we may not know of... and even when it says to add 4 cups, it's never right. i've always found it to be at LEAST 1 cup more... if not, even more than that - to get the right consistency.

  3. wow... that was a lot of "consistency's!" ahah...

    but obviously, that's the key. along with getting the pan to the right temperature to steam them in the sufficient amount of time in order to get the rythm established.

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