Vietnamese Banh Canh Noodles from Scratch (Cach Lam Soi Banh Canh)
Banh Canh is a thick Vietnamese noodle made from tapioca flour or a mixture of tapioca flour and rice flour. The more tapioca flour, the chewier the noodles. I like to call this Vietnamese udon.
These banh canh noodles are made by pressing the dough through a potato ricer or spaetzle with large holes and dropping them directly into boiling water. If you don’t have a potato rice or spaetzle with large holes, you can simply roll-out the dough and cut the noodles by hand.
Boiling water is absolutely crucial when working with tapioca flour/starch. If the water isn’t boiling or hot enough, the dough will “melt”. This is most obvious when you pick up the dough that’s been mixed with tapioca starch and room temperature water. It appears to be hard and crumbly. The second you let it relax, it melts like flowing lava. This makes for a very cool science project but not so great for making noodles.
Boiling water eliminates the melting effect and also activates the elasticity of the tapioca starch. Heat the water in small sauce pan on the stove and have it ready to go. Be careful if you will be kneading by hand because the water will make the dough very hot to handle. Mix first with a spoon then once slightly cooled, continue with your hands. I like to use stand mixer to avoid burning myself, as well as speeding up the process.
If you do have this melting effect, simply place the dough in the microwave and heat on high for 1-2 minutes and resume as usual.
When you are done making these noodles from scratch, check out my Vietnamese Thick Noodle Soup Recipe for the amazing pork broth to turn these noodles into a complete meal.
Vietnamese Banh Canh Noodles from Scratch (Soi Banh Canh)
- 1-3/4 cups regular rice flour
- 2 cups tapioca flour/starch (can substitute with potato starch)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1-1/2 cups boiling water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Potato ricer/spaetzle with large round holes
- Either by hand or with stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix together rice flour, tapioca flour and salt until combined.
- Start with 1 cup boiling water, add to the flour mixture along with vegetable oil. Mix until combined. Continue to add remaining 1/2 cup water as needed until you get a stretchy and soft texture (similar to kids' play slime). If the batter comes together cleanly from the sides of the bowl into a smooth dough (like play-doh), the batter is too dry and will be difficult to press through the potato ricer/spaetzle. Add more water in that case.
- In batches, press batter through the potato ricer/spaetzle. Once noodles float to the top, transfer with a slotted spoon into cold water.