Pan - fried rice cakes with egg & spring onions

Pan - fried rice cakes with egg & spring onions

Bôt chiên

Street Food Asia
4 as part of a shared meal
Alan Benson

This is the Vietnamese version of a Singaporean dish called carrot cake, which doesn’t contain carrots at all. But that’s another story. The Vietnamese one is made with a rice flour- and wheat starch-based batter, which is steamed then cut into pieces and pan-fried. You eat the little fried ‘cakes’ with a lightly sweetened soy-based chilli sauce and the whole effect is a delicious snack for any time of the day. What’s great about this dish are all the various textures – it’s chewy, soft and moist, plus the frying gives the exterior a crispness that’s addictive. My favourite place for this is on Cô Giang Street and to find it I just look for the women, or men, with huge hotplates, frying up cubes of rice cake; you can’t miss them.


Quantity Ingredient
60g rice flour
30g wheat starch
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon kecap manis, (see glossary)
1 large egg
1 spring onion, finely sliced
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons crushed roasted peanuts, to serve

Dipping sauce

Quantity Ingredient
1 1/2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
3/4 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoons sriracha chilli sauce


  1. Mix the dipping sauce ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. Line a 22 x 30 x 3.5 cm baking tray with plastic wrap.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the rice flour, wheat starch, a pinch of sea salt and 250 ml water in a small saucepan. Place over a medium heat, stirring with a whisk to form a smooth batter. As the mixture thickens, begin stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. When the mixture has reached a smooth, gluey consistency, remove it from the heat and transfer it to the prepared baking tray. Using a spatula, smooth the mixture out into an even layer about 1 cm thick. Cover the tray well with plastic wrap.
  4. Half-fill a large steamer with water and bring to a rapid boil over a high heat. Set the bowl in the steamer, then cover and steam for 15 minutes. Remove from the steamer and leave to cool.
  5. Once cool, remove the top layer of plastic wrap from the rice cake. Turn the tray over, inverting the rice cake onto a chopping board. Tap the bottom of the tray and lift it off the rice cake. Remove the remaining plastic wrap and, using a sharp knife, cut the rice cake into 2-cm squares. Set aside.
  6. Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Add the rice cakes and cook for 3 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp underneath. Reduce the heat to medium, drizzle the cakes with kecap manis, then turn the cakes over and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, beat the egg together with ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a bowl, then stir in the spring onion, reserving 1 tablespoon to finish the dish.
  8. Once the cakes are browned and crisp all over, pour in the egg mixture. Leave it for about 15 seconds to set, then use a spatula to turn the cakes and coat them in the egg. Add the remaining spring onion, then transfer the coated rice cakes to a serving platter and top with the crushed peanuts. Serve hot with the dipping sauce.
South-East Asian
Street Food
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