Go Back
+ servings
Close up of Bì Chay in a bowl.
Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Bì Chay (Vegetarian Shredded Pork)

Get ready for an exciting crunch with Bì Chay! Fry all the vegetable threads until they come out shatteringly crisp. Then mix for the flavors to come alive!
Prep Time2 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 30 mins
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian, Vietnamese
Servings: 10
Calories: 588kcal
Author: Jeannette

Equipment

  • Spice grinder
  • Vietnamese julienne peeler or mandoline

Ingredients

  • 50 g / 0.11 lb dried bean curd sheets
  • 3/4 US cup brown rice
  • 1 1/2 kg / 3.3 lb taro
  • 350 g / 0.77 lb carrot
  • 300 g / 0.66 lb sweet potato (purple or orange)
  • 450 g / 1 lb jicama
  • 40 g / 0.09 lb green bean thread
  • 300 g / 0.66 lb vegetarian ham (or fried tofu, or both)
  • 3/4 tbsp salt (or to taste)
  • 3/4 tbsp sugar (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp vegetable stock powder
  • 5 US cup cooking oil (1/2 US cup for frying the ham, then extra to top off as you fry)

Instructions

  • Toast the grains on low heat for 15 minutes or until they become golden brown, then let it cool for 10 minutes.
  • Grind the grains until they become a fine powder.
    Note: If you can't grind your own grains for Bì Chay, you can buy them already ground from Asian supermarkets. They will be in packets labelled as 'roasted rice powder'.
  • Shred all the vegetables into thin strips, setting each type apart from each other.
    Note: We do this because it makes it easier when frying. Each vegetable has a different cooking time, so it's important to cook them all separately.
  • Slice the ham 1cm (0.4") thick.
  • Pour 1/2 US cup oil in a pan or pot and fry the ham on high heat for 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Take them out and place on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil.
  • Using the same oil, carefully place one bean curd sheet in flat. It will immediately bubble and you can remove it as is. It comes out soft but will crisp up as it cools. Repeat this for all the sheets, then add the green bean threads in.
  • Just like the sheets, they will puff up as soon as they touch hot oil. Remove from the oil when it has puffed.
    Note: Make sure to separate the green bean thread so it's not in a ball. The flatter it is, the easier it is for each strand to puff.
  • Pour in the remaining oil and bring it to a high heat. Carefully put a handful of each vegetable in to fry at a time. Use a spider ladle to scoop them out when cooked, placing each batch on a plate lined with paper towels.
    Pro Tip: Spread the vegetables out on the surface of the pot so they cook evenly and don't clump together. Carrots, sweet potato and jicama will take about 50 seconds to cook while taro will only need 20 seconds.
    Note: If you prefer your Bì Chay without too much crunch, stir fry the carrot and jicama instead.
  • Slice the pan fried vegetarian ham into thin strips or slices, depending on your preference. Leave it aside for later.
  • Put all the ingredients in a bowl, including the seasoning. Press down into the fried bean curd sheets to break into smaller pieces and gently crush the green bean thread into shards.
  • Slice the pan fried vegetarian ham into thin strips or slices, depending on your preference.
  • Put all the ingredients in a bowl, including the seasoning. Press down into the fried bean curd sheets to break them into smaller pieces and gently crush the green bean threads into shards.
  • Mix everything until well combined.
  • Serve immediately as is!

Notes

  • Deep fry everything. This may not be the healthiest way to enjoy Bì Chay, but it sure does make it extra crunchy and delicious!
  • Season according to how you're going to serve it. If you're going to wrap it in a rice paper roll, use less salt because you'll be dipping it in a sauce. But if you're having it as part of a noodle salad, add more salt since it will be mixed in with lots of noodles and salad.
  • Julienne the vegetables thinly. The thinner, the faster it will cook and the crispier it will be.
  • We get the ham from specialty Asian vegetarian shops in the freezer section. If you can't find any, just skip it altogether or use fried tofu. Alternatively, use both.
  • Fried bean curd sheets and green bean threads can be found in Asian supermarkets in plastic packets. Make sure that you get the dried versions of both.
  • You can use white rice grains if you don't have brown rice.
  • The ratio of each vegetable in Bì Chay is entirely up to you. You can use more of you favorite ones or skip others depending on the flavors you prefer.

Nutrition

Calories: 588kcal | Carbohydrates: 102g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 774mg | Potassium: 2053mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 10340IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 156mg | Iron: 2mg