Bánh Rán Nhân Chay (Crispy, chewy rice pastry with a savoury vegan filling) GF and Vegan

  • Author: Kim Bao


Bánh rán nhân chay is a Vietnamese Crunchy, chewy, glutinous rice ball filled with vegetables and a texture similar to that of a nice hearty, meaty eggroll.  Except its all gluten-free and vegan!



For the dough:

  • 50 grams white rice flour
  • 250 grams glutinous rice flour
  • 60 grams potato starch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 40 grams sugar
  • 5 grams salt
  • 260 ml hot water (starting with 160 ml and add more accordingly)

For the filling:

  • 1 14 oz package of tofu
  • 1 small sweet potato grated
  • 2 medium size carrots
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 45 shiitake mushrooms reconstituted or preferably fresh
  • 1 bundle of bean thread noodles
  • 45 wood ear mushrooms aka black fungus
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon amino acid + 1 teaspoon
  • 1/4 head of cabbage shredded
  • 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper


Making the Dough:

  • The end result of the dough is to make it pliable like playdoh.  Not so wet where it sticks to your fingers, not so dry that it crumbles when you knead it.
  • Take all the dry ingredients and combine. Make a small well and add half the hot water. Approximately 160 ml. Stir and continue to add the remaining water slowly until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Once the dough moves easily, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and set aside for a minimum of  an hour and if possible overnight.

Making the filling:

  • Soak bean thread noodles, wood ear mushrooms, and shiitakes (if using dehydrated) and set aside.
  • Sprinkle salt over cabbage, carrots, potatoes, and set aside.
  • Cut the bean thread noodles into 3 inch pieces and julienne or dice up the wood ear and shiitake mushrooms.
  • Set the bean thread and wood ear mushrooms in a bowl.
  • Heat a frying pan to medium and add chopped shiitakes and onions.  Add 1 teaspoon of amino acids or tamari and stir fry for 3-5 minutes.
  • Take all the vegetables and squeeze out excess liquid. Combine all the remaining ingredients in a bowl for the filling and add aminos, garlic, pepper and cornstarch. Divide into 12-2 ounce balls.. Their might be extra filling, reserve the rest for later use.  Cover the balls tightly with plastic wrap until ready to use.

Assembling the bánh:

Have a small bowl of  hot water ready. If the dough gets too dry and crumbly, having the water will help bring out the tackiness to help make it pliable to make the balls. It will also help with making the balls seamless when pulling it together.

  • Divide the dough into 10-12 pieces.
  • Take one ball of dough at a time and keeping the remaining pieces covered at all times. Flatten it out with a tortilla press or using a rolling pin. Hold the flat dough in your hand and add the ball into the center of the dough as shown.
  • Press the ball so it gets squished in like a little football and seal the center. You’ll more than likely have to take your thumb to push the filling into the dough so you can seal the center. Bring the ends towards the center and push the sides together. Use a little bit of water if needed to make it seamless. Repeat for the remaining balls.


So real talk here, don’t fry these at high.  You just did a ton of work and the last thing I want to hear about is how it exploded in the frying process because the heat was too high!!!!  This is slow and easy frying.  A couple of options to help you achieve results for you and yours.

Easy test for oil temperature if you don’t have a thermometer is to place wooden chopsticks in the oil. It should bubble around evenly.  If it’s explosive or going crazy, it’s way too hot. You want your oil between 300-325 degrees.

There’s a couple ways of doing this:

  • The first way is to allow the balls to fry at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes and then increase the heat to 325 degrees and fry until golden brown for another 5-8 minutes.


  • The second way is a par fry.  You could par fry the balls initially for 8-10 minutes.  Pull it out to dry on a rack and then stick it in the fridge to continue frying when you’re ready to eat.  I mean, seriously its only me and 2 kids so how anyone finishes 12 of them is hard to fathom. Lol.
  • It will last for several days like this and once you hit the second fry, you can be fancy and stick it in the air fryer for 10-15 minutes at 325 OR you could just fry it in oil again for an additional 10 minutes at 325.

I’ve done all of these with great results.

Serve with aminos and Tương Ớt Tỏi (Vietnamese Chili Garlic Sauce)


* There should be no cracks, gaps, or space between the filling and the dough.

*Keep hot water nearby when forming the dough.